Friday, November 16, 2012

THURSDAY NIGHT T&R


MIAMI @ BUFFALO
Any reference to the Dolphins as a playoff-caliber team might have been rendered too soon.  The Miami pass defense that was a liability made tolerable by the their third ranked rush defense just a few weeks ago, now looks like a doomsday scenario as their ability to stop the run has gone South.  No, the Dolphins didn’t relinquish a touchdown the entire night, but they couldn’t get a Buffalo offense still ranked in second third off the field.  Even with the Bills committing 11 costly penalties and succeeding just two of twelve times on third down, the Bills held the ball for over 35 minutes and simply pushed forward at will until they got into the red zone.  Since their loss to Indianapolis, Miami has turned the ball over seven times in two games. 
Joe Philbin did involve his running game for 23 attempts, but the result against Buffalo’s lowly front seven left a lot to be desired.  Reggie Bush managed 20 yards on 10 carries.  Daniel Thomas fared only slightly better averaging 2.8 yards per carry, and the Achilles Heel of the Bills defense eleven weeks into the season was bolstered by the front four that was supposed to give opposing offensive coordinators nightmares.

The Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick, who while he didn’t succeed in getting his team into the end zone, played error-free football, perhaps casting the critical light where it should have been a good part of the season, on the defense.  The Bills get the Colts next, and that game won’t test their rushing defense as much as their pass rush, but it will be a litmus test to see if this was a one-time performance.  With Leodis McKelvin showing how dangerous he can be, it would be smart to note that their defense faces all bottom third offensive units after the Colts next week.  If you have a gap in that area of your fantasy lineup, next week’s contest will give you an idea if you should scoop them up down the stretch.