The Buffalo Bills head to Miami tomorrow, looking to get back on the wining track against the Dolphins. Starting off the season 3-0, the Bills looked like a threat in the AFC East. Now, heading in to Week 11, buffalo is reeling after two straight losses, and are hoping the 2-7 Dolphins play like the 007 team, not the recently surging 2-0 team.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, started off the season like it was 2007, finally finding the win column after 7 losses. Now, coming off back-to-back wins, Miami is looking to save any hope of a playoff run by beating their struggling AFC East rivals.
With the potential of Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to tear apart an under-performing Miami secondary, the Dolphins are going to have to put up some points if they want to win this game. But, what are the defense's strengths and how does Miami beat the Bills' defense?
I asked that exact question to the managing editor of SB Nation's great Buffalo Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings, Brian Galliford.
"They're better against the run than they were a year ago - though still not great," Galliford replied, "and they've got a group of play-making safeties that rank among the league's elite, even though they don't get a ton of publicity. They can take the ball away in bunches. That's about it for strengths; weaknesses include the complete absence of a pass rush, the inability to properly defend tight ends, losing edge contain on the run and on misdirection plays, and defending the play fake. It's really not a good defense at all."
With a Miami offense that has started to find it's rhythm over the last few games, the Bills defense sounds like it will provide little challenge. If the Dolphins' continue to utilize running back Reggie Bush on end runs and misdirections, that should play directly into the weakness Galliford mentioned.
It will be interesting to see what the "complete absence of a pass rush" does when faced with the complete absence of a right tackle - but, it looks like quarterback Matt Moore should have time to find receivers this week. And, with wide receiver Brandon Marshall beginning to hand on to balls he was dropping earlier this year, and Davone Bess starting to look like the possession, first down machine that he was in previous years, that time allowed could lead to a big day through the air.