Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-3, 42 o/u)
In the “what have you done for me lately?” world that is the NFL, the Miami Dolphins (1-1, 0-0 Home) resume isn’t stellar. Following a pair of unimpressive performances, the team returns to Miami to open its home schedule against the division-rival Buffalo Bills (1-1, 0-0 Away) this Sunday (4:25 PM Eastern).
The Dolphins won a tight 17-10 affair in Washington before getting upset in Jacksonville, 23-20. But in both games, little was working for the Phins outside of Ryan Tannehill in the passing game. Miami has yet to establish any consistent run game with Lamar Miller and this has led to the Dolphins losing the time of possession battle in both games.
That lack of balance has held their offense back through the first two games, but the real disappointment has to be the defensive line and Ndamukong Suh. With Suh apparently ignoring play calls, the line has only generated one sack on the year and is yielding 142 yards per game on the ground. If Joe Philbin can’t get his team under control, the Phins will be shredded by a versatile Buffalo run game that ranks second in the league, thanks to the ability of quarterback Tyrod Taylor to take off.
Taylor led the Bills to a Week 1 upset of Indianapolis and followed that up with a strong second half against New England before an interception killed Buffalo’s rally. The Bills vaunted pass defense was no match for Tom Brady on that day, but they should be able to get after Tannehill this week: he’s attempted 78 passes on the year and been hit 22 times.
If there is a common thread between these teams early, it’s a lack of discipline. The two have combined for over 400 yards in penalties through two games (253 for Buffalo, 151 for Miami).
Still, the Bills have played tough with a pair of potential Super Bowl contenders, while Miami has struggled with teams that figure to finish around the bottom of the league.
This will be Buffalo’s first game away from Ralph Wilson Stadium, but they did go 5-3 against the spread on the road last year, while Miami was 3-5 ATS at home. Roll with the team that has shown something this year, and which has taken four of the last six matchups.
Pick: Buffalo +3.
(Photo Credit: June Rivera (Flickr: MIA_vs_OAK_004) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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