The Dolphins say they can play better than they did in last Sunday’s stunning win over the Ravens in Baltimore, when they were down 21 points in the fourth quarter. They will have the opportunity to prove it against the mighty Buffalo Bills in an electrifying clash of undefeated (both 2-0), on Sunday (1 p.m. TV: CBS. Radio: 560 WQAM, KISS 99.9; 1140 AM in Spanish with Roly Martín and Eduardo “Viking” Martell) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Tua Tagovailoa himself, who has just passed for six touchdowns and 469 yards, affirms that the Dolphins must correct mistakes. And defensive star Xavien Howard implies that his squad hasn’t been at its best yet. “I personally feel like the defense didn’t play up to our expectations against the Ravens,” the cornerback said. “I think we can do a little bit better and I’m sure we will.” Even though it’s early in the season — just Game 3 — many see the Bills game as crucial.
Firstly because it is a divisional game and secondly because it can mark the fight for the title of the Eastern Division of the American Conference, despite the fact that there is still a lot of bread to slice.
What the Dolphins demonstrated in Baltimore, where they won for the first time in 25 years, is not only proof that we are facing a very good team, but also that there are individual pieces capable of changing the course of a complicated situation.
Tua, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki shone in attack; and in defense they did Howard, Christian Wilkins and Enlandon Roberts, among others. There is a factor that can be decisive in the game against the Bills. Playing at home in the heat, humidity and the support of the public is something that must be taken very seriously. And that is very clear to Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel.
Proof of this is that the Dolphins have not lost for seven dates at Hard Rock Stadium.
“There are two things that are happening when our team plays at home,” explained the strategist.
“The appreciation of the players for the support of the fans and the commitment and dedication of the crowd with their team.”
McDaniel added that the number 12 fan adds excitement and energy to his players. And that helps the guys a lot more than you could imagine. `They’re just normal kids and they feel the difference when you add that extra juice,’ McDaniel said. “That pushes them to go much further than they would under other circumstances.” This does not mean that you have to rest on your laurels and let the public win the games. Not at all. Fortunately, the Dolphins have shown that they have what it takes to succeed.
And that pair of missiles, Waddle and Hill, are master keys to open the most airtight defensive lock. “Having a partner like Hill forces you to work hard,” Waddle said. “Seeing him make the plays and the way he takes on his profession is like a message that there is no other choice but to improve and live up to him.”
There’s an added factor of having a player like Hill for whom the Dolphins, last March, gave up five NFL Draft picks and extended him a four-year, $120 million contract, $72.2 of which is guaranteed. “When a team has a player as dominant as ‘Chita’ on the pitch, the opponent has to respect him,” Waddle said.
“He opens up a lot of space not only for me but for the other guys, the tight ends and the carry. The rival must always have their eyes on him”.
On Sunday there will be a nice game, no doubt. The Bills have a great group led on offense by quarterback Josh Allen. And the defense is fast and strong. A clash is coming between two of the best teams seen in the NFL so far this season.