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Rapid Reaction: Miami Dolphins

9/14/2014



ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- A few thoughts on the Miami Dolphins' 29-10 loss at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

What it means: The Dolphins (1-1) continue their struggles against the Bills (2-0), who have been Miami’s biggest nemesis of late. The Dolphins fell to 1-4 against the Bills in their past five meetings. Buffalo swept Miami last season and is halfway toward doing so again in 2014. The Bills won this game Sunday the same way it won most of the others. Their defensive line pounded Miami's offensive line and at times rattled quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was sacked four times.

Stock Watch: There are several candidates trending down for Miami after this game, but the two biggest culprits are the Dolphins’ offensive line and special teams. Miami's O-line boasts five new starters this year, but it was the same result trying to run and protect the quarterback against the Bills' defensive line. Miami's defense held the Bills to field goals in the first half, but Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller scored the first touchdown of the game with a 102-yard kickoff return in the third quarter to help seal the win. Even Miami Pro Bowl punter Brandon Fields had a tough day. He had one punt blocked and shanked two punts that helped the Bills with field position.

Oh no, Moreno: The Dolphins lost running back Knowshon Moreno in the first quarter with an elbow injury and he didn't return. Moreno fell awkwardly after his first carry, and his left arm bent the wrong way. The injury wasn't pretty, and it makes you wonder if Moreno could miss multiple games going forward. Moreno proved to be the engine of Miami’s offense early this season. He rushed for 134 yards in a Week 1 win over the New England Patriots. The Dolphins' running game isn’t the same without him in the lineup.

Game ball: Miami's game ball goes to linebacker Jelani Jenkins. The second-year backup got the start in place of the injured Dannell Ellerbe, who went on injured reserve this week. Jenkins was active and had the best game of his career. He finished with a career-high 14 tackles against the Bills.

What’s next: The Dolphins will return home to face the Kansas City Chiefs in another important AFC game. Kansas City made the playoffs last year as a wild-card team.