The second matchup of the year between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins is a lot closer at halftime than the first game, with both teams tied 3-3. The Bills’ defense has brought the same pressure as the first meeting, but they’ve given up enough chunk plays to keep Miami moving down the field. Meanwhile, the Bills’ offense can’t get out of its own way, with bad blocking and bad playcalling wrecking any momentum they could’ve had.
DeVante Parker is a real problem for the Bills’ defense, with five catches for 68 yards already. Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t made many plays on his own, but he’s had a lot of help from his reliable receiver. The Bills caught a lucky break when Miami kicker Jason Sanders missed a 36-yard attempt, but he made up the difference from 51 yards out later in the half. One Buffalo standout has been Ed Oliver, with multiple stops and pressures, including a tackle for loss.
On offense, the Bills are playing like they’re battling a Super Bowl titan, not the 1-6 Dolphins. Josh Allen scrambled for a 34-yard gain, and hit Cole Beasley for a 20-yard gain. Their other 15 offensive plays before the two-minute drill of the half totaled 33 yards. The offensive line, replacing Spencer Brown by shuffling around Ike Boettger, Jon Feliciano, and Daryl Williams, keeps giving up pressure and losing ground in the running game. And offensive coordinator Brian Daboll (along with Allen, who executes the check-with-me calls) keeps making bizarre choices, like a QB sweep on 3rd & 9. Buffalo’s only points came from a 57-yard Tyler Bass field goal.
The Bills took over possession with two minutes left in the half, hoping to head into halftime with the lead. Allen’s first three passes, quick hits to Gabriel Davis and Zack Moss, started the drive with a few good gains. But then Allen tried a deep fade to Tommy Sweeney, who was smothered by a defender. A screen play was blown up before it could ever get going, and Allen’s checkdown to Sweeney led to a 4th & 4. Allen tried drawing the defense offsides on fourth down, but they didn’t bite, and instead sacked him in Buffalo territory.
It looked like the Dolphins were on their way to taking the lead at halftime, starting their drive in plus territory, but a tricky play completely backfired in the red zone, with a snap hitting tight end Mike Gesicki in motion. Micah Hyde scooped up the fumble and ran it out of bounds, preventing any points from the drive.
The Bills have a long way to go in asserting dominance over their division rival today. They’ll be kicking off to the Dolphins at the start of the second half. Here’s your discussion thread for the rest of the game. Go Bills!