Dolphins fumble away opportunity to make statement, fall to Bills 35-0

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If it could have possibly gone wrong in Week 2 of the 2021 regular season, it probably did for the Miami Dolphins. Second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got blasted by free runners in the pass rush in the team’s first two possessions before bruised ribs knocked him from the game. The Dolphins suffered fumbles and interceptions and sacks and uncharacteristic personal foul penalties. And then there were the drops by Miami’s overhauled receiving corps — with Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson and Preston Williams all contributing. So, too, did RB Salvon Ahmed on the team’s final possession on 4th down for what could have set up a score. Eventually, mercifully, the game ended. And the Dolphins fell to the Buffalo Bills by a final score of 35-0.

The Bills’ ownership of the Miami Dolphins continues; with the Bills having won the last six in the series and eight of the last nine. This one comes to the tune of the biggest shut out victory for Buffalo since 1966 — a win that also came at the expense of the Miami Dolphins.

Head coach Brian Flores must look at his team and ask them some hard questions — they’re now due to head west for a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders for the team’s only west coast road trip of the season. The Raiders are 2-0 on the year with wins over the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.

For as much as the Dolphins would probably like to put this game behind them, there are an alarming amount of issues that need to be resolved. Buffalo manufactured far too many free runners in the pass protection; overwhelming Miami at just about every turn on offense. There was far too many instances of Buffalo’s zone defense sitting on Miami’s underneath routes — with the Dolphins having no ways to create vertical threats to help loosen up the coverage.

Miami closed the game with just 216 yards of offense; one week after failing to eclipse 300 yards of offense against the New England Patriots in the team’s 17-16 victory to open the season. Dolphins quarterbacks were sacked six times and hit countless others. And the team’s best performance in defending Bills QB Josh Allen (5.4 yards per attempt with a 75.2 passer rating) was all for not.

And until there’s clarity on what is happening with Tagovailoa’s health, predicting what the next days and weeks will bring for Miami as a team is going to be hard to project. But until the Dolphins adjust to the pressure looks that the team was exposed to against Buffalo, they can certainly expect to see a lot more of it. The Dolphins need answers, fast. And Sunday brought them none — only more questions.