After being dismantled by the Tennessee Titans, the Miami Dolphins look to bounce back against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football.
The Dolphins played pathetic against the Titans. They are who we thought they were. A rebuilding team. Ryan Tannehill needs help around him and he did not get that from his teammates. The defense looked lost for the second straight week.
If we play like we did against the Titans, the Bills should have nothing to worry about.
Here are some things I'm looking for:
What the heck Joe?
I've been a HUGE supporter of Joe Philbin since 2011. If Tony Sparano was to be fired before the start of the 2011 season, I wanted Joe Philbin in there.
I got my wish this year when Philbin accepted the head coaching job. I was ecstatic to say the least.
Through the first half of the season we saw a new team. The coaching staff was willing to take chances and allow their star players to make plays.
But the last two weeks have been abnormal, especially on Sunday.
After a Reggie Bush fumble, Philbin decided to bench Bush. I could see for a series or two, but Bush was out most of the game. You could say we have a short week and we need Reggie healthy. But you don't take your best player on offense out! The Titans made Tannehill attempt to beat them and the Titans came up victorious.
However, if Bush starts lighting teams up again, then I will applaud Philbin.
Richie Incognito was benched for a few plays after a personal foul penalty. Nate Garner got blown up on the first play he came in for Richie. I'm not Richie's biggest fan but you keep your best players in there!
I'm still a supporter for Philbin. I still think he can turn this franchise around. It's just going to take time.
Can the front seven stop Jackson and Spiller?
Chris Johnson tore apart the Dolphins defense. It's something we don't see too often. However, streaks must always come to an end. The Dolphins streak of no 100 yard rushers ended at 23 straight games.
Fred Jackson has 75 attempts and 298 yards this season. Remember, he was injured for a few weeks. Jackson's counterpart, C.J. Spiller has 87 attempts for 632 yards. Combined they have 162 attempts and 930 yards. The Bills backfield is one of the best in the league, in my opinion.
This will start up front. Paul Soliai is fighting an ankle injury and may not be on his game Thursday. However, he's still a dominant force whether he's 100% or 80%. Randy Starks has been dominant all year. If these two can stuff the run, the Bills will have trouble with play action and running the clock down.
Good news though. Jackson is out against the Dolphins. That sounds kind of mean saying "good news". Okay, good news for the Dolphins, bad news for the Bills. With Jackson not being able to go go, expect a lot of Spiller who hasn't torn up the Dolphins in the past. Tashard Choice will be the backup.
Can the secondary handle Fitzpatrick and his wide receivers?
Now if we were to stop Jackson and Spiller, would our secondary be able to handle Ryan Fitzpatrick? Fitzpatrick has gone 185/296, 2011 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Pretty good stats in my opinion. Interceptions are a problem though. When he does make mistakes, they come in bundles.
Fitzpatrick can pick defenses apart. He should have no problem picking us apart if we played like we did against the Titans and Indianapolis Colts. However, if we play like we did against the Cincinnati Bengals, Fitzpatrick could be in for a long night.
Sean Smith needs to stop dropping the easy interceptions. Nolan Carroll is still growing.
The safeties need to be ready for anything.
Who needs to step up?
In my opinion, everyone. But that's too broad.
I'll go with the offensive line.
They looked dominant for most of the first half of the season. Now it seems Tannehill is getting hit every play and the run game can't get going. If Jake Long can't stop the rush, Tannehill will have no time to throw. If Incognito, Mike Pouncey, and John Jerry can't create run lanes on the inside, we're going to be in for another long game.
Jonathan Martin will have to bring his "A" game.
Match up to watch: Jake Long vs Mario Williams. Long has struggled all season. Set the tone for the rest of the season, shut Mario down.
What are you watching for?
But most importantly, what are you guys watching for?
And, if you are looking for tickets, either to this week's game in Buffalo, or any of the Dolphins remaining seven games, you can check out our Miami Dolphins Tickets page.