Regardless of the higher stakes due to the division standings, the games, within the game, will still make all the difference.
With that, here are three key matchups to watch between the Bills (0-1) and Dolphins (1-0):
Bills receiver Stefon Diggs (Gannett photo)
We promise we won't use Stefon Diggs every week like we did seven days ago ahead of the Bills facing the Steelers... but it's just too hard not to again. Diggs was the NFL's leading receiver in 2020 while cornerback Xavien Howard for the Dolphins is one of the best in the business. The wide receiver winning that battle will be massive for Buffalo. In his two games against Miami last year, Diggs had 19 catches for 278 yards and a touchdown.
Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins . (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
This one is more about Dion Dawkins and the Buffalo offensive line than it is about Jaelan Phillips. Sure, the rookie has first-round talent and had a QB hit last week in his NFL debut, but the Bills played terrible in the trenches. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen had little time to work in the pocket because he was under so much pressure. When he did make plays, penalties on the O-line happened. That's why we're picking out Dawkins. The left tackle had three total penalties. He was mostly facing the Steelers' Melvin Ingram, but there's no excuses for that number of flags. While Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott said Dawkins is back to 100 percent, one has to wonder if Dawkins is still getting back into football shape. During training camp he spent time in the hospital due to COVID-19.
CB Taron Johnson vs. WR Jaylen Waddle
Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
In another NFL debut for the Dolphins last week, Jaylen Waddle stepped up. The Round 1 wide receiver had a touchdown last week and plays out of the slot. Defending the slot comes down to Bills nickel cornerback Taron Johnson. He's going to have to figure out how to contain the speed that Waddle has. He might need a little help.