Vontae Davis and Cameron Wake celebrate one of many defensive stops for the Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have won their road opener for the first time in six years. Isn't that exciting, Dolfans? I know, it's just the Bills (who actually proved to be a formidable foe) but the this was a great way to start off the season and especially considering the upcoming schedule this was really a must win.
The Dolphins next four games are at Minnesota, vs. the Jets, vs. New England and after a bye week at Green Bay. An extremely tough schedule if I do say so myself. This Dolphins team has shown that they will not beat themselves.
At the very start of the game it was apparent that the Dolphin's defense is what would lead them to victory as Trent Edwards first three pass attempts resulted in two being batted down right in front of him and a violent blindside sack courtesy of Karlos Dansby. The Bills would go on to have five three and outs in their first seven possessions.
The special teams unit helped the Dolphins defense towards the end of the game where a Brandon Field's punt was downed inside the one yard line. Following a three and out, the Bills intentionally snapped the ball through the endzone for a safety, expanding the Dolphin's lead to 15-10. A questionable call I know, but Chan Gailey's thinking must have been that it gave them a better chance to get the ball in a position to score a touchdown quickly for a late lead. The strategy failed however as the final score would be 15-10.
Miami missed a couple of opportunities that could have put the game away a lot earlier. A missed field goal by Dan Carpenter before halftime loomed large at the end of the game as Buffalo got within three points of tying the game after a long no huddle touchdown drive. The other missed opportunity was Benny Sapp dropping a sure pick six in the third quarter which would have given the Dolphins an extra seven points to add to their lead. Jason Allen also dropped a pick six later when Buffalo's offense was backed up by their own goal line.
The offense did not live up to my expectations. With the addition of Brandon Marshall this offense is supposed to be stellar, especially when playing against a lower tier team like the Buffalo Bills. Not that Brandon Marshall didn't play well, in fact he played a pretty good game at wide out. It was the pass protection and the lack of production from guys like Brian Hartline in the second half.
Next week the Dolphins better bring their "A" game to Minnesota as the Vikings are one tough team. One side of the ball can't do in on their own, the offense and defense both need to step up in week 2. I wouldn't be too confident in pulling a win out of Minnesota if the game goes the way it did today. To end on a positive note though, our Dolphins are 1-0, be happy Dolfans we're tied for first.