Allen on Tua: "He's done a good job"
Bills QB Josh Allen understands what it's like to face criticism early in your career, having to overcome struggles of his own in his first couple seasons after being picked 7th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The QB he's going up against this upcoming weekend, Tua Tagovailoa, was picked two years later in 2020 and two picks earlier, and he is going through a similar situation of trying to turn skeptics into believers.
The Dolphins QB is coming off his best career game — and one of the best performances by an NFL QB in recent memory — after throwing for 469 yards and 6 TDs against the Ravens. With Allen having two additional years of NFL experience on Tagovailoa, his advice to the Miami QB was to just weather the storm as he looks for consistency.
"He's done a good job with that and you're seeing the success starting to happen," Allen said. "I'm happy for him, not just as a person but as a human. The competitive side of me, you know he's our rival, and that comes second."
Since joining the NFL, Allen has spent some time with Tagovailoa off the field, most recently at the Formula 1 race in Miami this summer. Allen shared that he has nothing but praise for Tua, both as a player and as a person.
"It's tough to do when you've got so many people down talking and naysaying, but it's tough sometimes to quiet it out," Allen said. "But he's done a good job with that and he's paying dividends right now."
Allen also noted that the Bills' defense needs to be prepared to go up against Tagovailoa and the rest of Miami's offense. Outside linebacker Von Miller shared that he's been a fan of Tua for a long time, even going back to when he would watch him in his college football days at Alabama, so he's well aware of what he's capable of doing when the football is in his hands.
"Tua was the player of the week last week, rightfully so," Miller said. "He's a great player. He has everything you need to be a great quarterback in his league. He's shifty. He can move just like Kyler (Murray), he can extend the pocket, and do all the things that all other great quarterbacks do from Kyler to Patrick Mahomes. It's going to be a hell of a challenge."
What to expect in the AFC East showdown
Heading into Sunday afternoon, both the Bills and the Dolphins are 2-0. With the heightened importance to win this divisional game, it's expected that both sidelines are going to play their best football.
"You have to win your division games," Allen said. "We know that, but they're also feeling that way. They know that they got to win these games as well. So, it's going to come down to whoever plays better on Sunday afternoon."
After watching what the Dolphins have accomplished in the first two weeks of the season, the Bills are aware of the pressure they bring on both sides of the ball. Miller shared that this Miami team is different from other teams with the fast wide receivers they have in Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, and the high-power players throughout their defense.
"They built this team up and they have a really good squad," Miller said. "I think it's led by Tua and their head coach (Mike McDaniel). Just by seeing his interviews and seeing the way he interacts with the team, it's a lot of energy over there. Definitely going be a tough challenge for us and we definitely want to take it one play at a time and see where we get."
Allen shared that the Bills defense needs to be prepared for Miami's offense, which has been explosive early on and put up 42 points on the Ravens last weekend. But Miller has confidence in their defense and the coaching staff in getting the job done.
"We got a great room and I just love going to work with these guys," Miller said. "Lot of high energy guys, lot of great characters in our locker room led by coach (Eric) Washington, and we just go out there and we just try to do our job. Whether that's rushing forward or blitzing, whatever we got to do to help this team win. That's what we're all about."
The Dolphins are coming off a fourth-quarter comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens, proving that no lead is safe after seeing how fast this Miami team can get back into a game.
"Those teams with real good defenses, you feel like you can stop them, and it should feel like the game should be over," Diggs said. "It's all part of the game plan for us. Since I've been here, we've been an offense that coach (Sean) McDermott says, 'Score until I say stop'. We're not going to take the foot off the gas or anything like that.
"They make a lot of plays on defense, and they try to go get your quarterback," Diggs added. "It's our job to have a plan for it. And as a receiver, always be in communication with your quarterback."
That QB is quite familiar with the Dolphins. Allen shared that the Dolphins will throw in a different wrinkle that they haven't shown on film yet to break up some tendencies during these division games, which is something the Bills need to be ready for.
"We've had a good week on the short week, trying to put together a really good game plan, guys are actually getting back to health," Allen said. "We're going to have to have guys step up and play next man up football, and that's the nature of this business. We trust the guys in this building, but we have to go out there and execute."
Davis believes that he'll play on Sunday
After missing Monday night's game against the Tennessee Titans due to an ankle injury, wide receiver Gabe Davis returned to practice today in limited capacity.
When asked following practice how optimistic he is to play against the Dolphins on Sunday, Davis responded with, "100%."
"It's been feeling good, real good," Davis said. "I was out there running today and it felt good, so excited it's progressing and getting better."
Being sidelined against the Titans was frustrating for the wide receiver who was a standout in the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams with four receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown, but he's looking forward to picking up where he left off when he's cleared for game action.
"Just it being so close to the game and not having enough time to recover was a bummer, but the guys went out there and did their job and it was real successful," Davis said. "I was happy to go out there and watch the guys do what they do."