The Miami Dolphins are preparing to face the Buffalo Bills in the first of the annual two-game AFC East rivalry. As the Dolphins look to face a second-straight divisional rival to start the season, it is time to get a closer look at the Bills and what Miami fans should expect to see on Sunday.
Before we get to the 1pm ET Sunday kickoff, I had a chance to talk to Corey Giacovelli from Buffalo Rumblings. We discussed Josh Allen, the Bills defense, and what are fan expectations for Buffalo this year. You can check out his look at the Bills below, and make sure you head over to their site to check out my answers to his Dolphins questions.
1. Josh Allen seems like a quarterback around whom the Bills can build, but he also seems like a quarterback who can frustrate you with overthrows and fumbles. What is an honest assessment of him and where his career goes?
Josh Allen in my opinion is in the mid tier of quarterbacks in the league. He can do a lot of things well like running the football and firing up his teammates but like you said on the flip side he has been prone to accuracy and fumbling issues. The good news with Allen is that each year you can clearly see that he is developing more and more, trying to become a well rounded player. Allen is a guy that the Bills can win around and make some noise in the post season but he needs to keep on growing if he wants to be one of the top guys in the league. Currently, his career path reminds me a lot of Cam Newton which makes sense considering Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott were both with him in Carolina. Just like Cam, Allen is taking a lot of hits over the games due to having the football in his hands a lot. I would like to see Allen start to be smarter running the football before he ends up with the same kinds of injuries that Cam had.
2. The Bills clearly were aggressive in adding pieces to the team, especially adding Stefon Diggs to the wide receiver corps. For a team that made the playoffs two of the last three seasons, adding pieces like Diggs could be a huge step forward in moving from qualifying for the playoffs to being a contender late in the postseason. Where are the Bills most improved heading into this season?
It feels weird to say but the place the Bills are the best improved with would be in their heads. This team has the confidence and swagger that they can be one of the best teams in the league and more importantly they expect to be one of the best teams at the end of the world. It has been a while when Bills fans were confident in the team on both sides of the football. Usually it was the same recipe of the defense getting stops but then the offense is unable to get points on the board. Now, the team is at a point where we expect the offense to put up at least 20 points per game and the defense holding firm. If you want a specific place I would have to go with the receivers because adding a true number one target like Diggs just opens up the offense so much more and will make Allen a much better football player.
3. The strength of the Bills is clearly their defense. How do you attack it if you are an opposing offense? What should Miami expect to see on Sunday?
Usually I tell people that the way to attack the Bills defense is to use a lot of misdirection such as screens or play action to try to get the players out of position to make big plays down the field. Usually you never know what to expect from the defense because of the different looks and blitz packages that the defense runs. However, this game is going to be different because we just found out that the Bills will be without their two star linebackers. Not having Matt Millano and Tremaine Edmunds should make things a lot easier for the Dolphins on Sunday because there will be an opportunity to exploit the middle of the field. Miami may want to use crossing routes over the middle or use running backs out of the backfield to try to exploit the players filling in for Buffalo. One thing is for sure is Tre’Davious White will still be lining up at corner so it will be wise for Ryan Fitzpatrick to avoid him as White single handedly turned the game around in Buffalo last season.
4. Last week, as the Bills smacked around the New York Jets, what did you learn about Buffalo for this season? Where were you surprised? Where were you disappointed?
I learned that this team has the potential to be one of the better teams in the conference. The key word is potential because no one was considering the Jets one to be one of the better teams coming into the season but a win is a win and you cannot take that away. One takeaway is that the team is not going to be afraid to spread out the formation this year as they ran the most 4 wide receivers formations in the league for week 1. The team has plenty of weapons to be successful in that formation so it will be interesting to see if they repeat that against the Dolphins. I was surprised that almost immediately it seems that the team is going to be splitting reps between Devin Singletary and rookie Zach Moss. Going into the season, I was thinking that Singletary was going to be the go to back but it seems that the two of them will be splitting the duties. The disappointment has to be Allen still having troubles holding onto the football. His two fumbles took the team out of scoring range and allowed the Jets to hang around which you can not be doing as the season goes on.
5. It seems like there are predictions ranging from contenders for the AFC title through to missing the playoffs for the Bills this year. What do you expect from them in 2020?
I expect them to compete, no more and no less. It is hard to say just how good this football team can be but their schedule will certainly be able to tell us. First off the team has to prove that they can defeat the New England Patriots before we can even talk about winning a division title. Then they have a big Thursday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Depending on that performance we will be able to see what the true potential is for this football team. Right now? I would have to say that I expect the team to be heading to the playoffs but I can not say for sure that it will be a home playoff game.