Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Miami Dolphins on August 21, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP
A classic AFC East rivalry is spiced up this week, after to unexpected results on opening weekend. When the Steelers shocked the Bills, the division champion Buffalo found its way to the Super Bowl in a rut. The East’s top spot was occupied by the Miami Dolphins, who won a surprise victory over the New England Patriots.
Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, September 19, 2021 – 1:00 PM ET at Hard Rock Stadium
Bills-Dolphins is a classic AFC East rivalry that goes back to the days of Jim Kelly vs. Dan Marino. The Week Two showdown got spiced up a little more this week after the surprising opening weekend results for both teams.
The Bills’ trip back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the Kelly days hit an unexpected pothole when Buffalo was upset at home by the Steelers. Expecting to have a rebuilding season, Miami went to Foxboro to knock off the New England Patriots and take sole possession of the division’s first place.
Buffalo will look to set things right this week and take a step toward defending its AFC East title, while the Dolphins will try to show that last week wasn’t a fluke.
Oh No, Buffalo
After last season’s breakout performance, Josh Allen was considered a potential MVP candidate entering this year. The Steelers were able keep Allen and the explosive Buffalo offense at bay, however. Pittsburgh sacked Allen three more times, while Buffalo was held to 16 points.
Allen was uncomfortable for much of the game, as Pittsburgh added defenders to its coverage. Despite this, the Bills still managed to put up impressive offensive numbers. They beat the Steelers by 120 yards and held the ball for six more minutes. The Bills also had more first downs. They just couldn’t translate that into points. The Bills were able to get the ball twice to begin drives in Pittsburgh territory. They managed to score just one field goal.
Josh Allen #17 of Buffalo Bills. Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images/AFP
The Bills’ defense was solid, allowing just 253 yards to the Steelers. The line stepped up, despite missing Star Lotulelei, who missed the opener with a calf injury—his status for this week is still up in the air. As the Steelers struggled with the ground game, the Steelers’ line sacked Ben Roethlisberger one time, hit him three more times and had two tackles to lose on running backs.
“I thought our entire D-line did what we were hoping would happen, and that was control the line of scrimmage,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
Miami used its first draft pick on Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle, reuniting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with his college teammate. Based on the results of the opener, the move appeared to work. Waddle’s first NFL snap was a 17-yard completion from Tagovailoa, and the quarterback had a 157 passer rating when targeting the rookie. Waddle had four catches and a touchdown, as well as 61 yards. He showed a great ability to break away from defensive backs which is an area that Miami receivers struggled with last year.
The Dolphins didn’t come out of the opener unscathed. In the first quarter, Raekwon Davis, defensive tackle, was hurt in his knee. He received a brace and was allowed to return to the sidelines, but Brian Flores chose not to take him back onto the field.
“We held him out; that’s the decision we made,” Flores confirmed the statement. “We’re running tests now. Nothing is more important than the health of the player.”
Davis’ status still hasn’t been determined for this week.
Tua Tagovailoa #1, Miami Dolphins, Miami Gardens. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP
“I’ll have more information later on today and the coming days,” Flores said. “Raekwon is a tough kid. He’s eager to get back out there. We’ll take it one day at a time.”
On offense, the team is anticipating the return of left tackle Austin Jackson, who was cleared from the COVID list before the opener but sat out the game, since he hadn’t practiced. Rookie Liam Eichenberg looked good in his place, but Flores is still planning to return Jackson to the lineup when he’s ready.
Will Fuller, a receiver who was suspended by the NFL for missing the opener, will be back. Flores wasn’t sure how much time Fuller would get, however, as he works his way back into the flow of the offense.
The Buffalo Bills. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP
Josh Allen may not be on his way to an MVP award, but that doesn’t mean last year was a fluke. Your NFL picks should be based on the Bills’ offense rebounding this week and the Buffalo defense making life difficult for a young pool of Miami skill-position players.
NFL Pick: Bills -3.5 (-105) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.
Source * www.sportsbookreview.com – * Source link