Saturday, October 19, 2013
W2W4: Bills at Dolphins
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins (3-2) return from their bye week to host the Buffalo Bills (2-4). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Here are three things to watch from Miami’s perspective:
1. Questions on offensive line: It’s been a brutal start to the season for Miami’s offensive line. This is the Dolphins’ weakest and most criticized group. Miami has allowed the second-most quarterback sacks (24) in the NFL and is 29th in rushing. The offensive line hasn’t done much to help the running or passing game. Miami has a chance to get back on track against Buffalo. The Bills’ defense is 28th in stopping the run and often gets pushed around. If the Dolphins can’t establish the run against the Bills, they may struggle against any and every team.
2. Protecting home: The Dolphins have one of the NFL’s worst home-field advantages. They are 11-15 at home since 2010, including 1-1 this season. Miami must play better at home this year if the team wants to make a push for the postseason. South Florida fans remain skeptical of the Dolphins and haven’t done a good job showing up in droves for the games. This home contest is particularly important because it is within the division.
3. No excuses for defense: The Dolphins had the look of a top-10 defense during training camp and the preseason. But since the regular season began, Miami’s defense has underachieved. The Dolphins are ranked 25th in total defense and have struggled with injuries and inconsistencies. However, there are no excuses this week. The Dolphins are coming off the bye, and this is as healthy as Miami’s defense has been since Week 1. The Dolphins are facing a quarterback in Thad Lewis who just recently came off the practice squad. This could be the game Miami’s defense finally plays to its potential.