1) Allowing Too Many Explosive Plays
The Dolphins defense was looking to bounce back against a bigger challenge this week facing Bills quarterback Josh Allen and a very talented receiving corps. They started the Buffalo game the way a defense wants too, by getting the football back for the Miami offense after just four plays! Unfortunately, that was the high water mark for the group, because the Bills offense generated 17 first half points on 342 total yards. Third-year quarterback Josh Allen consistently scanned the Miami secondary and found open receivers, with plenty of room for run-after-catch opportunities. The Buffalo offense generated more than 500 total yards of offense, with Allen throwing for 424 yards and four touchdowns. Eight passing plays of at least 11 yards or more made life easy for Allen and company in the first half, and the Bills offense totaled 18 plays of 10 yards or more in the game. The lack of a consistent pass rush gave Allen and his talented receiving group too much time and space against the Miami secondary. That pressure kept the Dolphins defense on their heels for most of the game.
2) Young Team Showing Grit
Coming up short against the Bills at home wasn't the outcome Dolphins fans wanted to witness on Sunday afternoon. But one thing that they should be excited about is the way this team kept finding ways to crawl back into the game, even taking the lead 20-17 early in the fourth quarter. One team example of this grit was evident after a missed fourth and goal chance late in the third quarter. The Bills defense turned back Miami four times at the one-yard line, but the Dolphin defense was there to bail out the offense. They turned a negative into a positive and got the ball back for the offense in great field position. As a result of that, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick engineered a short 44 yard drive, by first finding Isaiah Ford for an 11-yard reception. After two Matt Breida runs, Fitz found Ford again to move the chains. Then it was second-year running back Myles Gaskin's turn to run it twice to advance the ball inside the Bills 10 yard line. Jordan Howard finished off the scoring drive with a two-yard touchdown that gave the Dolphins a three point lead. One other individual that played with toughness against the Bills was tight end Mike Gesicki. The third-year pro is gaining confidence with every reception. His eight catch for 130 yards was showcased by a one-handed, climb the ladder type of snag. It showcased the confidence he is playing with early this season, and hopefully it will continue throughout the year.
3) Jones Injury Proves Costly
One of the reasons the Dolphins went out and signed Byron Jones in the off-season was to cover wide outs with the caliber of the Bills receiving core. Jones left the game on Sunday playing only four defensive snaps, injuring his groin after colliding into a cluster of players on a third down stop. The Miami secondary couldn't find a way to slow down Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley. They combined for 17 of Josh Allen's 25 completions, working to a large extent against rookie Noah Igbinaghene. The first round draft choice tried to challenge Diggs all afternoon, but the lack of a consistent pass rush allowed Allen plenty of time to scan the secondary, and find explosive plays in the passing game. Igbinaghene never backed down from the challenge on Sunday, and will probably get the chance to bounce back as early as this Thursday night against the Jaguars. My guess is Noah will continue to challenge opposing wide receivers and will continue to grow as a young defender.