First let’s get the obvious out of the way; this a BIG Game, one that will alter the directions of both teams this season. About a week ago, prior to the Dolphins-Ravens game, Steve “Mooch” Mariucci stole my bold prediction by claiming that the Bills were destined for an undefeated season. Looking at the Bills’ schedule, it’s only the Dolphins and the Chiefs that stand in their way. Our home game here in September in the 90 degree plus field heat is our best chance to beat them and preserve our legacy. It has got to happen on Sunday.
Another obvious observation: we are destined for a lot of offense on both sides. The 4th quarter comeback in Baltimore was a portent to what can happen all season. WR Tyreek Hill is a BEAST, and WR Jaylen Waddle a very close second (I actually think that Hill is making Waddle better). Our TE corps, lead by Mike Gesicki, is also on fire as the attention on the Cheetah and Penguin allow these guys to beat the single coverage on them. QB Tua Tagovailoa has shown amazing progress and growth in the first two weeks and will only get better.
On the other side, the defense has been in a "bend not break" mode. The long run of 79 yards by Lamar Jackson last week and the 75 yard TD pass to the Ravens’ Bateman was disturbing. We need to see the Defense that we saw against the Patriots in Week 1, more turnovers and hopefully a few more "3 and out" sequences against the Bills. But they face their biggest test of the season against QB Josh Allen, wide receivers Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis(back from an ankle injury), Isaiah McKenzie and the running tandem of Devin Singletary and Zach Moss.
Howard, Holland, Baker, Needham, Jones, Wilkins, Ogbah, Ingram, Phillips, Roberts, and Baker: Assemble!
The one thing on my mind this week was last year’s home contest against Buffalo. We were embarrassed 35-0, and they knocked Tua out with a vicious sack in the first quarter. It was so demoralizing that I truly believe it affected the rest of the season. No matter what this Sunday, we need to keep our key players healthy. The line on bothe sides needs to win the "push".
There is a new sheriff in town with Mike McDaniel. Living in South Florida, I always run into people with opinions about our Dolphins. I was amazed to hear a lot of people who felt uncomfortable with our new coach before the season even started. "too casual", or "too geeky", or "untested" were the man things I heard. Those opinions are fading fast.
I will only say this once: "There will NEVER be another Don Shula!". Let's give our new coach our support all the way!
Mike has his own style, and the players love him. So far, so good, beating Belichick in Week 1 and Harbaugh in Week 2. This season could be the one that is historical, one that Finatics will be talking about for years to come. We just need to come out horses galloping and arrows flying and win Week 3.
If you are in town, come by and say hello at the Finatics tailgate. We are on the East Side Orange lot nearby the Southeast corner of the stadium. Have a great Sunday and let’s bring this one home!