The Buffalo Bills go on the road to face the Miami Dolphins in the NFL’s week 11 matchup. Miami is riding a two-game win streak and are surprising a lot of people around the league with its undefeated November, while the Bills are coming in losing two of their last three games. The head-to-head AFC East divisional showdown will play its second matchup this season in an encore from week seven.
“We felt like we played good ball for the game (the last Buffalo game). We just didn’t finish the right way. We’re going to come in this game and try to finish – play the whole game like we did the first half (of the) last game,” Dolphins inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan said.
Miami comes into the game on a two-game win streak
The Dolphins (2-7) stunned the NFL last Sunday after defeating the Indianapolis Colts inside their own Lucas Oil Stadium as an 11-point underdog. Even with Indy quarterback Jacoby Brissett ruled out late Saturday the spread only fell four points. However, Miami picked up the 16-12 win with major defensive and special teams plays. Kicker Jason Sanders found himself the AFC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week with his multiple field goals of 45-plus yards, including the game winner. The Dolphins showed that it’s capable of sacking the QB and intercepted backup QB Brian Hoyer three times, including once in the end zone, to seal the victory.
Who’s stepping up during the rebuild?
It’s safe to say Miami was never truly tanking the season away and the talent surrounding Brian Flores just wasn’t playing up to its potential as it needed time to develop. For the Dolphins, they’re going in with their 31st ranked offense, that is clearly struggling with the suspension of running back Mark Walton and the torn ACL of wide receiver Preston Williams. While recent weeks haven’t offered much for fans, something fans can look forward to is the contract extension of WR Allen Hurns. Although listed as the No. 4 on the depth chart, he has stepped up to be the team’s No. 2 WR in recent weeks, with the absence of Williams, and is finally getting pay-dirt from it.
What has worked for the Dolphins during their two-game win streak has been the defense, which has caused a total of four turnovers, as well as getting contributions from unlikely heroes in both games. Miami will need to see Hurns and No. 1 WR DeVante Parker step up, with the help of tight end Mike Gesicki, and non-existent WRs Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant, if it wants a chance at the victory. RB Kalen Ballage continues to struggle mightily so getting the receiving game going, along with the stout defense, is how the Dolphins can extend their win streak to three games.
“I think as the season progresses, I think every team has a better understanding and feel for the players and what they do well, what they don’t do well, who plays well together, who communicates well, what groupings fit best, what o-line, d-line, nickel-dime, ends, what combination – I mean there’s 11 guys on the field. There’s a few different combinations you can have,” Flores said.
Buffalo needs Allen, Singletary to step up if it wants to win
For the Bills (6-3) they aren’t bringing in a much better offense. They’re walking into Miami with the 23rd ranked offense, but what’s working for them is their 3rd ranked defense.
In order for Buffalo to keep the Miami defense on its heels, they’ll need QB Josh Allen to have a complete game. That doesn’t mean that Allen has to be perfect, but he needs needs to connect with his WRs, that has been a weak spot, and not turn the ball over.
With the emergence of RB Devin Singletary, the Bills could gain some rushing yards on the Dolphins. Despite being out for a majority of the season, Singletary has made the most out of minimal production. He did only have seven rushes for 26 yards in the team’s first meeting, his worst game of the season, but he’s now the team’s sole starter.
The downside for Buffalo is that it’s only forced 11 turnovers this season. It has just six interceptions, but five fumbles, so forcing turnovers against a depleted Dolphins team will pay dividends.
Whatever team can showcase the good parts of their team tomorrow, with the struggles around them, will pull out the victory in what is likely to be a low scoring game. Kickoff between the two teams is at 1 p.m. inside Hard Rock Stadium.
Kayla Morton contributed to this article.