The Miami Dolphins came into their Week 7 match-up with the Buffalo Bills a winless group. At halftime they led 14-9, and they appeared to be heading into the end zone on their first drive of the third quarter. However, a tremendous effort from Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White stamped out a would-be scoring drive, and the game was all downhill from there for Miami.
For the second week in a row, one of our players to watch was inactive, as cornerback Xavien Howard missed the game due to a knee injury. The other four players, however, were very good all day.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
For a little over one half of football, Fitzmagic was rolling. Through two quarters, the savvy veteran completed 7-of-9 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. On Miami’s first drive of the second half, Fitzpatrick led the team all the way to Buffalo’s four-yard-line before the wheels fell off. Fitzpatrick completed five of his first seven passes on the drive for 62 yards, and he even added a 12-yard scramble for a first down. After Jordan Phillips blew up a play so badly that they didn’t even credit him with a sack for it, Fitzpatrick tried to squeeze a pass in to Isaiah Ford in the front corner of the end zone. Tre’Davious White drove on the ball beautifully and made the interception. That lone mistake set the tone for the rest of the second half, as Buffalo outscored Miami 22-7 from that point onward. Fitzpatrick was responsible for Miami’s lone second-half points, as he scored on a nifty 11-yard rush to pull the Dolphins within a field goal. Overall, the veteran completed 23-of-35 passes for 282 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and one rushing touchdown.
WR DeVante Parker
Miami’s big wideout did a great job, catching five passes for 55 yards and one touchdown on the afternoon. Parker led the Dolphins in targets, as Fitzpatrick threw ten passes his way. He wasn’t the team’s leading receiver, however—that distinction went to Preston Williams (six catches, 82 yards)—but he caused issues in Buffalo’s secondary all day. Fitzpatrick was comfortable in the pocket, and he was able to find a rhythm in part because of Parker’s ability to find space against Levi Wallace.
LT Jesse Davis
While it seemed like a mismatch coming in for Buffalo, Davis was able to hold his own against the Bills’ defensive ends. The Bills did not sack Fitzpatrick officially, though Jordan Phillips and Jordan Poyer probably should have been credited with sacks on the day. Jerry Hughes came in free for a shot at Fitzpatrick on his touchdown run, but that was when he was on the left side of the defensive line. Bates, playing left tackle, did a nice job against whomever lined up across from him, as Miami was able to keep Fitzpatrick upright for most of the afternoon. The former undrafted free-agent tackle is essentially auditioning for a spot next year, preferably blocking for a certain left-handed quarterback from Alabama, and he acquitted himself well on Sunday.
DE Taco Charlton
The third-year defensive lineman continued his miniature renaissance in Miami, notching his third sack of the year in what was another fairly strong effort. Charlton had four tackles, one sack and one quarterback hit. For a guy who only had 46 tackles and four sacks in 27 career games prior to this season, Charlton’s current pace (43 tackles, eight sacks) would be a fantastic boost and a great find for a rebuilding Dolphins club.