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Breaking down Bills WR Cole Beasley vs. the Dolphins

The slot receiver has been efficient and effective against the Dolphins in his career with Buffalo

The Buffalo Bills have continued to add reinforcements as they keep building for a deep playoff run. Cole Beasley, coming out of retirement, has been welcomed back by his teammates with open arms, and seems to be happy with his decision. He posted on his Instagram story an awesome mural a fan painted saying “That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. No place like (B)uffalo.”

With a huge AFC East show down Saturday night, I wanted to see how Beasley has preformed in his previous matchups against the Dolphins. Usually, we talk about how dominant quarterback Josh Allen is against the Miami Dolphins, but Beasley has been a benefactor of Allen’s success as well. He’s played in five previous matchups, and has been efficient and effective in all of them.

His 26 receptions on 33 targets for 270 yards and a touchdown are the sort of quality numbers Bills Mafia is used to seeing from him. Halloween 2021 was a special performance, as he went over 100 yards on the day. As I rewatched the film of that game, two plays stuck out as vintage Bealey. Check out this 3rd & 14 conversion over the middle. Allen stepped up away from the pressure to find Beasley open alone just shy of the first-down marker. Beasley did what he did best, and flung himself forward to pick up the first down.

The second completion is a quick-hitter to the flat. It was second down, and Beasley picked up more than enough yardage for the first down.

The play is designed for Beasley from the start. Allen motions Beasley to the slot, the blocking holds up, and Beasley is able to use his legs to motor for more yards. Plays like this make the offense look effortless — something that has been lacking this season. Giving Allen easy looks like this should be a priority for offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, as the offense seeks to round into form come playoff time.

Cole crossers

One thing we saw often during Beasley’s prior tenure in Buffalo was crossing routes against man coverage. Beasley is a talented route runner, and when matched up against man coverage, he can easily get open. This 25-yard connection against the Dolphins in Week 2 of 2021 showed this exact concept. Beasley had one-on-one coverage, started streaking down the field until he planted his foot, and broke his route to the left toward the sideline. Allen put the ball where only Beasley could get it, and moved the offense into the red zone.

The route running was beautiful, and the throw by Allen showcased his strength, touch, and accuracy. If Beasley can bring this type of skill set back in his return to Buffalo, he might help unlock the true potential of the team’s offense.

How do you think Beasley will do in his return to the Bills? Will we see vintage Beasley catching balls and falling for first downs? Will he need a ramp-up period, given the fact he was signed off the street and needs to get in shape? What are your expectations for him?