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Scouting Report - Bills-Dolphins - Week 3


Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – John Miller vs. Ndamukong Suh –
This is a very big ask for a rookie guard facing the All-Pro defensive tackle. Suh's power will require some help from C Eric Wood to handle Suh, especially on run downs. Suh hasn't been at his best the first two weeks of the season, but that shouldn't be the case for long.

2 – Jerry Hughes vs. Jason Fox –With Miami starting LT Branden Albert struggling with a hamstring injury, Fox is likely to man Ryan Tannehill's blind side. Hughes speed of the edge and surprising power will be a handful for the Dolphins' backup tackle.

3 – Nickell Robey vs. Jarvis Landry –The Dolphins top receiving target works out of the slot a good deal. He uses his big body to wall off smaller DBs in the red zone. Robey is used to handling bigger wideouts, but Landry has a knack for making plays despite tight coverage.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – Pass rush
Buffalo's pass rush has had good success against Miami's offensive front. They've logged 18 sacks in their last four matchups with the Dolphins. With their starting left tackle injured and questionable for Sunday, the Bills edge is even greater than usual.

Best advantage – Receiving corpsThe Dolphins secondary is in a bit of a transition. They lost starting safety Louis Delmas for the season to injury and replaced him with second-year safety Walt Aikens. He and CB Brice McCain were victimized last week against Jacksonville as they gave up three pass plays of 35 yards or more. Buffalo's receiving corps is talented and deep. Miami doesn't have the cornerback depth to neutralize all their weapons.

Bills Number 1 Must
Stay in manageable down and distance
If the Bills can keep penalties to a minimum and stay in manageable down and distance they should be able to sustain drives and finish them with points. Buffalo's offense is one of the more productive attacks on first down averaging 5.9 yards per play, good for 10th in the NFL. Miami's defense ranks 23rd in yards allowed on first downs giving up almost the same yardage on average (5.85).

Scouting Eye
Key injuries
The Dolphins came out of their loss to Jacksonville last week with some key starters nicked up. Left tackle Branden Albert (hamstring), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), RB Lamar Miller (ankle) and DE Cameron Wake (hamstring) all suffered injuries. Albert and Wake look like the biggest question marks for Sunday's game.

O-line strugglesMiami's offensive line hasn't fully jelled just two games into the regular season. Just like Buffalo they're starting a rookie at right guard with fourth-round pick Jamil Douglas. Dallas Thomas, who started nine games last year, has replaced failed Richie Incognito replacement Billy Turner at left guard this season. If Albert can't play Sunday, Jason Fox will again replace him at left tackle. Though they only allowed two sacks and six quarterback hits last Sunday, pass protection was an issue at times and led to penalties. Right tackle Ju'Wuan James committed two of Miami's three holding penalties last week.

Run game woesThe Dolphins made a giant investment in their run defense with the free agent signing of Ndamukong Suh, but through the first two games Miami has had trouble stopping their opponents' run game. It's only been two games, but the Dolphins are giving up better than 140 yards a game on the ground (142).

Conversely, their own run game has been inconsistent. After Miller sustained an ankle injury last week the Dolphins abandoned the run game altogether, but Miami has managed just 58 rushing yards a game through the first two weeks of the regular season. Double movesMiami's secondary was victimized a handful of times last week by Jacksonville's receiving corps. Allen Robinson was particularly effective scoring a pair of touchdowns while rolling up 152 yards receiving on just six receptions. Robinson as well as a couple of other Jaguars receivers used double moves to gain separation and make big plays. Dolphins CB Brice McCain and S Walt Aikens were two of the bigger victims.

MLB platoonFormer Bills draft choice Kelvin Sheppard is Miami's starting middle linebacker, but he hasn't played all the snaps at that position. In Week 1, Sheppard and rookie LB Zach Vigil split reps 50-50 at middle linebacker with each of them getting 19 snaps. This past week Sheppard played 27 snaps to Vigil's five, but head coach Joe Philbin gave indication that the rotation will continue.

Landry producingIt started last season during his rookie year. The chemistry between Jarvis Landry and QB Ryan Tannehill became more and more evident with each passing week. Landry and Tannehill picked up where they left off. The receiver, who is moved into the slot a good deal, but also plays outside, tied his career-high set in Week 1 with eight catches last week for 110 yards and a touchdown. Landry now has a streak of 11 straight games with at least five catches. He has become Tannehill's go-to receiver in the passing game accounting for close to 30 percent of Tannehill's total pass targets.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
"I've just got to play winning football and get the team into the best situation to go out there and be successful whether it's inside the pocket or outside the pocket. It varies on different plays, but it comes down to execution on the offensive side whether it's from the pocket or outside."
--QB Tyrod Taylor

Stat of the weekIn his last four games against the Dolphins, Mario Williams has 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Milestones in reachNigel Bradham needs three tackles for 200 career takedowns.

Dan Carpenter needs four field goals for 200 in his career.

LeSean McCoy needs 78 rushing yards to reach 7,000 for his career.

Final noteIn six meetings with the Bills, Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 23 times and has a completion percentage of 56.5 percent. 

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