As Chris Berman says, “NOBODY CIRCLES THE WAGON LIKE THE BUFFALO BILLS!!!!” Well, the Dolphins will have that opportunity to try again to circle that wagon and try to get REVENGE on the Bills in Round 2.
Last week, Tannehill and the Dolphins SHREDDED the spots off the Jaguars and won 24-3, while the Bills were TREATED LIKE A RED-HEADED STEPCHILD, and got beat to a pulp 50-17 at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks.
Last week, with the Dolphins at 5-8, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was asked what the team has left to play for this year. He answered that “we know we’re out of the playoffs,” but the Dolphins still desperately wanted to win their final three games.
But Tannehill was a bit premature in closing the door on the Dolphins’ playoff hopes. After last week’s win over Jacksonville improved their record to 6-8, the Dolphins still have a shot at the playoffs – a long-shot, but a shot nonetheless.
“Yeah, I was definitely notified of that,” Tannehill said sheepishly this week. “But it didn’t change anything. I’m still going to go out and play the same way regardless of the situation.” http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/mia/report#notes_quotes
The Dolphins’ have faint playoff hopes, and while they need a miracle, they at least have something to play for in Week 16 against an opponent that stifled Ryan Tannehill back in Week 11.
Here is what needs to happen for Miami to make the playoffs for the 1st time since 2008. From: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/key-matchup-dolphins-qb-ryan-181500078–nfl.html
Miami needs to win out — which would include beating the Patriots in Foxborough in Week 17 — and get both the Steelers and Bengals to finish at 8-8 to make the postseason. Stranger things have happened, but it provides the Dolphins a meaningful late-December game, which is more than the Bills can say.
Miami also needs Cincinnati to close 0-2, Pittsburgh to lose to Cleveland and the New York Jets to lose once. If all of that happens, the Dolphins would end up tied with the Bengals and Steelers and make the playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bills-dolphins-preview-015245750–nfl.html
The last time, the Dolphins and Bills clashed; Week 11, It was Thursday Night PrimeTime!!
Time for Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins to get back to winning games.
Unfortuantely, THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN!!
Turnovers, Questionable calls, and Questionable Play-Calling ended those HOPES; as the Dolphins lost 19-14.
When these two teams met on Thursday night in Week 11, Buffalo put together its best defensive performance of the season, holding the Dolphins to 184 yards of offense. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill completed only 14-of-28 passes and threw two interceptions in the 19-14 loss. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/key-matchup-dolphins-qb-ryan-181500078–nfl.html
The Bills better get prepared for Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has been playing very well since his debacle in Buffalo.
Last 4 games since the loss at Buffalo, Tannehill’s stats: 70-116, 809 yards, 4 TD’s, INT. He also showing his UNBELIEVEABLE ATHLETICISM as out of late. Once, he breaks the pocket, he is gaining yards in bunches. His running stats: 20 carries, 129 yards (6.5 Avg), TD. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/25718
Last week, he had fun and we fans got to see THAT POWER ARM AGAIN, ALONG WITH HIS ATHLETICISM!!!!
Ryan Tannehill is 5-1 this year when he completes at least 60 percent of his passes. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/mia/report#notes_quotes
He did that without Davone Bess. Bess will be out again with a bad back. Unfortuantely in that game, the Dolphins lost Charles Clay and Daniel Thomas to season-ending knee injuries. They also lost Dan Carpenter to a season-ending right groin injury.
To replace Carpenter, the Dolphins signed Nate Keadling.
Kaeding is the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history at 87 percent (180 of 207), and he made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2009. He had been a free agent since he was released from injured reserve by the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 30.
Kaeding made all seven field-goal tries in three games with the Chargers this year before being sidelined by a groin injury.
”He has demonstrated a record of success as a kicker in this league,” Philbin said. ”He’s a hard worker. He’s a true professional, and I’m sure he’ll do a great job for us.” http://sports.yahoo.com/news/k-kaeding-signs-miami-carpenter-170038825–nfl.html
Also, in the win over the Jaguars, Brian Hartline hurt his back in the game. He is questionable for tommorrow’s game. It would be a SHAME, if he couldn’t play. Last week, he reached the 1,000 yard mark for the 1st time in his career.
If neither plays, quarterback Ryan Tannehill‘s options at wide receiver will be Marlon Moore, rookie Rishard Matthews, newcomer Armon Binns (claimed off waivers from the Bengals, 12 days ago) and converted running back Marcus Thigpen. The foursome has combined for 13 catches with the Dolphins this year. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/dolphins-wrs-hartline-bess-both-222330558–nfl.html
Last week in Bess’s absence, Tannehill connected with 8 different receivers. Fasano, Matthews, Thigpen all stepped up big-time for the Dolphins. They will need to do it again, if the stars are out.
The last two games against the 49ers and Jaguars, Tannehill has found a new target in Anthony Fasano.
One player quietly having a solid season is tight end Anthony Fasano. He only has 36 catches for 289 yards in all 14 games this year, but he leads the team with five receiving touchdowns, including one in each of the past two weeks.
Fasano isn’t a flashy player, but has won over the new coaching staff with his toughness, intelligence and skill as an all-around tight end.
“Fasano is consistently giving you great effort,” Sherman said. “He is very well prepared. Very seldom does he make a mental mistake. He has a lot of versatility and we’ve done a lot of things with him. When we lost Charles Clay, he moved to another position that he hadn’t played all year and he knew exactly what he had to do as we moved the tight end group around. It’s just good to go out there with him because he is a cagy veteran, knows exactly what to do and how to do it, and has a very good skill level.” http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/mia/report#notes_quotes
I always say I believe and that will NEVER EVER CHANGE and his OC Mike Sherman feels the same way, as he echoed that statement:
“I think (Sunday) was a good indication of what he is capable of doing, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said. “You have to understand, he hasn’t played that position as much as maybe some other quarterbacks have at a very high level. So, he’s learning on the job and I think he processes things and tries not to make the same mistake twice. We put an awful lot on him. He’s throwing the ball vertically down the field, medium routes, short routes, moving the pocket; there’s not a whole lot of things we don’t ask him to do. As I said, we put an awful lot on him, so I think he has an excellent future, and he will just continue to get better.” http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/mia/report#notes_quotes
Now onto Round 2 and my keys to the game:
1) The 5 R’s = RUN REGGIE, RUN REGGIE RUN!! Give him the ball, and TURN HIM LOOSE!!! Last week, Bush was AWESOME. 21 carries, 104 yards. The Bills are UTTERLY PATHETIC against the run. They are getting better lately and now give up 144.1 yards a game (which ranks 30th in the league). http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/buf/buffalo-bills
The last time, they played; Bush had 10 carries for only 2o yards. A big reason for the Bills’ success in that game was the front seven’s ability to contain Dolphins RB Reggie Bush, keeping him from bouncing outside and holding Miami to 60 rushing yards on 24 carries (2.5 avg.). That often put Tannehill in 3rd-and-long situations. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/key-matchup-dolphins-qb-ryan-181500078–nfl.html.
Bush is 105 yards from reaching the century mark for the 2nd straight season. On the year, he has: 200 carries, 895 yards, 5 TD’s; 29 catches, 227 yards. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/mia/stats?sort=0&season=2012
2) Take shots downfield. The Bills’ defense have been covering the opposition a lot better lately. The pass defense has improved and now only give up 225.4 yards a game (which ranks 15th in the league). http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/buf/buffalo-bills
The Bills are giving up 28.7 points per game – tied for the most in the NFL. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bills-dolphins-preview-015245750–nfl.html
3) Protection, Protection, Protection. Got to keep Tannehill upright. Mario Williams is a force to be reckon with.
If the Dolphins can keep Tannehill protected, then it falls on his decision making and accuracy to make plays. He is adept at throwing on the run, and the Bills struggled against another mobile quarterback last week in Russell Wilson. Going against a depleted Bills cornerback group, Tannehill could find success moving the pocket and making strong throws downfield. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/key-matchup-dolphins-qb-ryan-181500078–nfl.html
4) No Turnovers. Tannehill is limiting his turnovers as of late. No Interceptions since Week 12 against the Seahawks.
“I wouldn’t say I’m on a roll. I try to get better every game. I think that I’m obviously more comfortable now than I was five games ago. Every game, I settle in a little bit more. I think everyone around is obviously settling in more too as well, just being in the offense for 14 games now going on 15. I think, as a unit, we’re settling in and finally got some third-down conversions last game and got a little bit of a roll there. So hopefully we can continue and build on that.”
—QB Ryan Tannehill, who hasn’t thrown an interception in 111 pass attempts. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/mia/report#notes_quotes
He’ll need to be aware of ball-hawking Bills FS Jairus Byrd, whose diving interception in the fourth quarter of the teams’ last meeting stopped a drive. LB Bryan Scott got the game-sealing interception. Byrd, who is tied for the AFC lead in interceptions, is having a very good season, and Tannehill would be best served looking him off before making any long throws. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/key-matchup-dolphins-qb-ryan-181500078–nfl.html
1) Get to Fitzpatrick!! The front-seven needs to make Fitzpatrick uncomfortable in the pocket, so that way turnovers can be forced. Fitzpatrick stats: 274-444, 2935 yards, 22 TD’s and 15 INT’s. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/buf/stats
The DEFENSE has been playing very well as of late. The defense is LED, by the SACKMASTER CAMERON WAKE, who as of 2 weeks ago against the 49ers, TIED HIS CAREER-HIGH IN SACKS OF 14
Since the Dolphins players returned for offseason workouts last April, new coach Joe Philbin and his defensive coaches have continually stressed one thing: Creating turnovers.
Yet despite their attention to it, the Dolphins’ defense simply hasn’t created many this year. The current defense hasn’t been good at creating takeaways – in 2010, they set a franchise record for fewest takeaways in a season (19), and tied it again last year.
This year, the Dolphins’ inability to create takeaways is reaching new heights, with just 12 in 14 games (nine interceptions, three fumble recoveries). Only Indianapolis has created fewer takeaways this season (10).
The Dolphins’ defense has just one takeaway in its last seven games – a Reshad Jones interception of Tom Brady, of all people.
The Dolphins’ defense is doing well in many key spots – sixth in points allowed (19.9 per game), fifth on third down (35.1 percent) and first in red-zone defense (touchdowns on 38.8 percent of opportunities) – but their inability to create turnovers has confounded new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.
“We’ve done everything – and then some,” Coyle said. “I don’t think there is a team in the league that works harder, yet we’ve got to make more impacting plays on defense. We’re not creating field position like great defenses do and ultimately that’s what we want to be.”
The Dolphins’ nine interceptions this year are tied for 26th most in the NFL – the team record for fewest is eight, set in 2006.
The Dolphins are doing a decent job of knocking the ball loose, though. They have forced 36 fumbles in the last two seasons, including 19 this year. But they’re rate of recovery is shockingly bad – just 3-of-17 fumbles last year, and 3-of-19 this season. That’s only 16.7 percent of fumbles that they’ve been able to recover the past two seasons. And the Dolphins are getting to the quarterback
- tied for fifth in the NFL with 39 sacks this year.
2) CB’s (ESPECIALLY SEAN SMITH), need to not give up big plays. The Bills have a SOLID RECEIVING CORPS led by Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones and TE Scott Chandler.
Johnson’s stats: 69 catches, 891 yards, 6 TD’s. Chandler’s stats: 42 catches, 546 yards, 6 TD’s. Jones’s stats: 41 catches, 443 yards, 4 TD’s. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/buf/stats
3) STOP C.J. SPILLER. Spiller is an INCREDIBLE runner, and the FRONT-SEVEN better step up and tackle him. Spiller is having a BREAKOUT SEASON: 161 carries, 1047 yards, 6 TD’s; 37 catches, 352 yards, TD. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/buf/stats
Spiller, in the 1st matchup: had 22 carries, 91 yards; 3 catches, 39 yards.
On Special Teams:
1) Punter Brandon Fields needs to pin the Bills deep in their endzone.
2) Kicker Nate Keadling needs to prove he can make his field goals.
3) Marcus Thigpen has to the give the Dolphins’ good field position.
SERIES HISTORY: 94th regular season meeting. Miami leads series, 55-37-1, although Buffalo holds a 2-1 advantage in the postseason. The Bills won the previous meeting, 19-14 in Week 11, and have swept the season series 11 times, most recently in 2007. The Dolphins swept the season series last year. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/mia/report#notes_quotes
As always I predict, the Dolphins will win: 28-14!!!
I believe Tannehill will have a MONSTER GAME!!!
Tannehill goes 22-30, 275 yards, 3TD’s, 0INT’s; 7 carries, 40 yards. Bush goes for 20 carries, 100 yards, TD; 6 catches, 60 yards.
About the Author
Written by Daniel Saviuk
My name is Daniel. I love the Miami Dolphins (been a fan since I was 10)...