There was a point when the Bills were one of the most pleasant surprises of the season while the Dolphins were in the running for the worst record in the league.
That wasn’t all that long ago, although you’d think otherwise if you watched the first half of Sunday’s game between the AFC East rivals. After a Buffalo field goal on the opening drive of the game, the Dolphins have thumped the Bills every which way and have a 28-6 lead to show for their efforts.
The problems for Buffalo are the same ones that have plagued them in each of their last two losses. The offense has none of the big play ability they flashed earlier in the season and the defense has shown no ability to stop the opposition without picking up a turnover. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions, giving him seven in the last three weeks, and injuries to center Eric Wood and safety George Wilson have left big holes on both sides of the field. They’ve been outscored 56-13 in the last two first halves.
Injuries have opened more holes in the first 30 minutes of this game. Brad Smith injured his ribs — he returned just before the half — and wide receiver Donald Jones was carted off after suffering a nasty looking ankle injury. Wide receiver David Nelson also went down with an injury on Yeremiah Bell’s interception just before the two-minute warning and cornerback Terrence McGee got banged up on Davone Bess’s ensuing touchdown. All the losses are going to make it harder for the Bills to recapture their early season magic.
Miami is also following their script of the last few weeks. Matt Moore has continued his strong recent play with three touchdown passes, rookie Charles Clay has exploited matchups for a pair of big catches and the offense has picked up 191 yards. The Dolphins defense, for their part, hasn’t allowed a touchdown since their Week Eight loss to the Giants and has totally stifled the Buffalo attack.
Both teams look like their recent play has created momentum. The Dolphins are confident and moving forward on every play while the Bills look lost on both sides of the ball as they try to figure out how to win games with so many injured players.