A matchup with the Buffalo Bills‘ porous run defense might help, though Miami has to contend with one of the NFL’s top pass rushes.
Coming off a bye week following consecutive losses, the Dolphins hope they’ve fixed some of their issues as they look for their best 6-game start in 10 years Sunday against the visiting Bills.
Miami got off to a 3-0 start before losing 38-17 at New Orleans Saints on Sept. 30 and 26-23 to the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 6. A win in their AFC East opener will put the Dolphins at 4-2 for the first time since 2003.
After completing 66.4 percent of his passes for 827 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions during the winning streak, Tannehill has connected on just 57.3 percent of his passes for 556 yards with 2 scores and 3 picks in his last 2 games. Tannehill looks to turn things around against the Bills secondary that has been victimized quite often by opposing quarterbacks, as they have allowed multiple touchdowns to 5 of 6 Quarterbacks. Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Geno Smith, Cam Newton and Tom Brady have all been able to record multiple touchdowns.
The second-year signal-caller, however, has been under constant duress and been sacked an NFL-high 24 times. The Dolphins are on pace to break the team record for sacks by the 9th game and the NFL record of 76 by the end of the season.
Now he’s facing a Buffalo team that ranks third in the league with 21 sacks. Defensive end Mario Williams has been particularly tough on opposing quarterbacks, ranking 3rd in the NFL with 8 sacks.
The Bills (2-4) sacked Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton 3 times and rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit before losing their 2nd straight game, 27-24 in overtime last Sunday. After failing to get off to a fast start despite a home-heavy schedule, Buffalo hopes to snap a 6-game road losing streak. The Bills are expected to have leading rusher C.J. Spiller and hope WR Stevie Johnson is available, while QB Thad Lewis is set to make his second start despite the signing of Matt Flynn on Monday.
With rookie QB EJ Manuel out at least another four weeks because of a sprained right knee, Lewis looks to build on a solid debut after he connected on 19 of 32 attempts for 216 yards with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Bills’ rally last week.
Though Spiller did not practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury, he is expected to play after being limited to 18 carries over the past 2 games. He’s rushed for 320 yards while averaging 5.7 per carry in his last 3 meetings with the Dolphins. Fred Jackson continues to be a productive play as he has produced 50-plus yards rushing in 4 of 6 games and has recorded atleast 4 receptions in 5 of 6 games with 4 rushing touchdowns so far.
Johnson has just 3 receptions for 18 yards on 9 targets in the past 2 games while dealing with a back injury. He also has been limited this week but could play in a potentially tough matchup against Miami CB Brent Grimes.
The Bills have lost 4 of the last 5 games in Miami and have lost 26 of the last 32 games against AFC East teams since 2008.
Week 7 Score Prediction : Miami Dolphins 27 – Buffalo Bills 24