Three Keys

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Three Keys | John Congemi Previews Bills vs. Dolphins

1) Parker, Gesicki and Who?

Losing rookie wide receiver Preston Williams is a significant loss in terms of consistent production and the potential of explosive plays down field. DeVante Parker has had his best season as a pro in terms of staying healthy and being consistently available in the passing game. The big unknown is who in this offense other than tight end Mike Gesicki will step up and be counted on this Sunday versus the Bills. My guess is Jakeem Grant might get his number called more against Buffalo because of his ability to provide run-after-catch chances, using his speed and quick twitch ability to avoid open field tackles. It would also help quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick out if Albert Wilson appeared more frequently in the Dolphins passing attack. Both Grant and Wilson have been slowed this season by injury and this could be the week they provide an extra spark to this offense.

2) Keep Winning Turnover Margin

One solid statistic you can usually count on is if a team wins is the turnover margin. It usually enhances there chances of having a winning outcome. The Dolphins have been solid over the past two games, forcing three interceptions last week against Colts quarterback Brian Hoyer and getting one off of Jets quarterback Sam Darnold two weeks ago. Those two game aren’t enough to erase the season totals of minus 12 in turnover ratio, but show what can happen if you’re on the correct side of that margin. Protecting the football, using special teams to flip the field and staying away from the mental mistakes of pre-snap penalties all should play a part in getting another win against Buffalo this Sunday. But the biggest part still might be taking advantage of the accuracy issues Bills quarterback Josh Allen has shown. He missed wildly in the first meeting between these two teams, but Miami’s defense didn’t get a takeaway. The big play that turned that game around was a pick thrown by Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins were poised to score and take a 21-9 lead in the third quarter. The Bills drove 98 yards and with a score, completely changed the momentum of the game. That sequence needs to reverse this Sunday and hopefully jump start the Dolphins in the second half, where they’ve struggled to score points all season long.

3) Finish In Second Half

Speaking of the second half, that is where this football team needs to find more consistency and explosive plays that lead to points. The Dolphins started the season sleepwalking in the second half of games, not scoring a single point through their first four games. Since then they have turned that trend around a bit, finding second half points in four of their last five games, and that change has helped lead to back to back wins over the last two weeks. Finding rhythm on offense is key coming out of the locker room to start the third quarter of games, and it’s something that is a team issue, not just an offensive obstacle. The defense needs to get a three and out or simply get off the field without allowing a long drive that leads to points. But the main goal would be for the Miami offense to get that first possession of the second half, take some time off of the clock, and punch it in the end zone. If that can happen this week, it gives this team a chance heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.

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