Tue, 28 Nov 2023

High-octane Dolphins bid for statement win vs. Bills

Field Level Media
28 Sep 2023, 07:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Following an offensive performance for the ages, the Miami Dolphins are well aware that they can't take their foot off the gas when they face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Miami (3-0) put itself in the history books during last weekend's 70-20 rout of the Denver Broncos, recording the second-most points and total yards (726) in a game in NFL history.

Only Washington has scored more points in a game, posting 72 in a win over the New York Giants in 1966. The Los Angeles Rams are the lone team to outgain the Dolphins, racking up 735 yards while beating the New York Yankees back in 1951.

While Miami obviously was pleased with the 10-touchdown showing, it realizes the time for celebration already has passed with the reigning AFC East champions on deck.

"A good win, obviously, and we were able to enjoy it and just have a good win as a team which was important," Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said. "But now it's important ... (to) turn the page quickly, and on to Buffalo."

And Miami coach Mike McDaniel still realizes there is work to be done.

"We had a lot of really good results (against Denver), but it doesn't mean that from a technique standpoint you let off the gas ... if you want a feeling of success that you start to get used to," McDaniel said. "There's no shortcuts."

The Dolphins did the majority of their damage on the ground, as rookie De'Von Achane rushed for 203 yards and Raheem Mostert went for 82. That duo also totaled eight touchdowns (five rushing, three receiving), with Achane coming away with AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Buffalo coach Sean McDermott knows his team will have its hands full as it tries to slow Miami's rushing attack.

"It's clear that they stress that, they emphasize that," McDermott said of the Dolphins' running game. "They do a really good job of schematically putting the players in position with their blocking schemes.

"... You give them a crease and they're gonna be gone like they've been this year and in particular last week."

Slowing Miami could be especially tough if the Bills are without safeties Micah Hyde (hamstring) and Jordan Poyer (knee) and defensive end Leonard Floyd (ankle), who were all among those who didn't practice on Wednesday.

Cornerback Taron Johnson was limited with a hip injury.

Containing the Dolphins is just half the battle, though. Buffalo (2-1) also will be looking to keep its offense rolling after last Sunday's 37-3 victory over the Washington Commanders.

The Bills scored 37 unanswered points before the Commanders got on the board thanks to a field goal with 46 seconds left in the game.

A.J. Epenesa had a 32-yard pick-six but Buffalo's offense did the rest of the work. Josh Allen threw and rushed for a touchdown, Latavius Murray found the end zone on the ground and Tyler Bass kicked three field goals.

However, the Bills did face third down 15 times, and although Buffalo had nine conversions, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey is hoping the team is able to move the ball a bit quicker versus Miami.

"Obviously that first-down production and second-down production is important," Dorsey said. "Either skip third down or stay and get to a third and more manageable situation."

Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips missed practice on Wednesday due to an oblique injury, while safety DeShon Elliott was a limited participant.

On the offensive side, receivers River Cracraft (shoulder) and Erik Ezukanma (neck) missed Miami's practice on Wednesday, but Jaylen Waddle (concussion) participated in full. Offensive linemen Terron Armstead (back/ankle/knee) and Connor Williams (groin) were also out.

--Field Level Media

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