The Buffalo Bills (2-1) are looking to keep the momentum going following their 37-3 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 3, however, the undefeated Miami Dolphins (3-0) will be a huge test for the franchise.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, September 27, Bills head coach and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott delivered a no-frills response when asked how the team will prepare to battle against the Dolphins, a team that just crushed the Denver Broncos in a historic 70-20 win in Week 3. No NFL has scored that many points since 1966.
McDermott needs every one of his players on their A-game because Miami will take advantage of their weak spots. “They’ve exposed people in a lot of ways, like I said with the run and the pass.” Against the Broncos, Tua Tagovailoa only played one snap in the fourth quarter due to Miami’s insurmountable lead but still tallied 309 yards and four touchdowns.
With No. 2 wide receiver Jaylen Waddle sidelined with a concussion, Dolphins superstar Tyreek Hill recorded nine receptions for 157 yards and one touchdown. Running back Raheem Mostert rushed for 142 yards and four touchdowns while rookie De’Von Achane recorded 233 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
“They’re very good. They’re as advertised. They’re explosive,” McDermott said. “Anybody that touches the ball can score. A 2-yard run turns into a crease and a gash. Same thing with the passing game. Coach (Mike) McDaniel does a great job moving guys around, creating different styles of offense. It’s a handful.”
McDaniel was also complimentary of Buffalo during a press conference on Wednesday, noting how the Bills defense recording nine sacks and forced five turnovers against the Commanders isn’t getting talked about enough. However, he brushed off calling the upcoming showdown a “revenge” match.
“If you need to be motivated for a game like this, check your pulse,” McDaniel said. “Or maybe consider a career adjustment… [Buffalo has] earned the right to be a division champ for several years and continue to play at a high level. I think it’s a very, very difficult challenge that I think our players are pumped for. You sign up to play the best and I think they fit that.”
Tua Tagovailoa Has Only Been Sacked Once This Season
McDermott called the Dolphins offense “a catalyst” to propel their defense to play their best football. Throughout the first three weeks of the season, Tagovailoa has only been sacked once. In addition to having a stellar backfield, Tagovailoa has two of the fastest receivers in the NFL with Waddle and Hill.
While McDermott joked the scout team could use a “couple of Usain Bolts” to prepare the defense for how fast they get the ball out, he’s confident if his team plays good, clean football, they can win.
“You try be fundamentally sound in you we do,” McDermott said. “I think that’s the biggest thing, making sure you’re getting off blocks, make sure you’re tackling – emphasize the things that always come into play and that’s the fundamentals.”
When a reporter suggested they stretch out the offense and keep quarterback Josh Allen on the field as long as possible, McDermott suggested a one-dimensional approach won’t be enough against such an explosive team.
“You have to play a complementary game,” McDermott admitted, but “all three phases have to play and work together, and it will certainly take all of those to get it done.”
Home Field Advantage Gives Buffalo a Boost vs. Dolphins
The Bills’ divisional matchup against the Dolphins is arguably the must-watch game of Week 4. Miami will be fighting to remain undefeated while Buffalo fights to stay atop the AFC East. The Bills also need a divisional win following their frustrating Week 1 loss to New York Jets.
WROC-TV’s Thad Brown posted, “DraftKings has the #Bills installed as a 2.5 point favorite at home for the showdown with the #Dolphins… That’s essentially what home field is worth these days. Vegas sees the two teams as equals.”
Buffalo plays better in Orchard Park, especially against the Dolphins. USA Today‘s Skip Snow pointed out, “The Bills have won 9 of the last 10 meetings and 7 in a row played in Buffalo.”