Well, after a few days to process the game (and some time to vent), I will now rationally express some of my thoughts (the good, the bad, and the ugly) that came from the Buffalo Bills' 25-16 loss to AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.
Today we will take a look on the bright side of the game by looking at the good things that happened for the Bills (tomorrow will come the more upsetting side, when we take a look at the bad and the ugly).
Big special-teams play from Langston Walker. The monstrous 6’8”, 366-pound offensive tackle broke through the Dolphins' special-teams line and blocked a field goal early in the game. The block came early in the first half on a 46-yard attempt by ‘fins kicker Dan Carpenter. The game was still very close, and the block was a huge momentum changer.
Lee Evans continued his dominance catching the ball and had himself a very strong game against the Dolphins' secondary. Evans had seven receptions for 116 yards. Looks like the new four year, $37.25 million contract isn’t making the wide receiver lazy at all. The guy is a great football player, who leaves it all out on the field each week, and his performance has showed it. Evans has now topped 80 yards in four straight games and hasn't been held under 65 yards all season.
The Bills' top-ranked run defense was on top of its game again. The Bills must have looked at my advice on how to stop the “wildcat” offense, or they just listened to their coaches. Either way, it is fine with me, seeing as the Bills only let up only 59 yards on the ground to running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams (in total, the Dolphins only had 56 yards rushing). That is not exactly an easy task, seeing as the two have averaged a combined total of over 100 yards a game (103.3 yard average through the first half of the season).
The Bills' running backs played well themselves. Running backs Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson combined for 102 yards on 23 attempts (good for 4.4 yards a carry). Not only was their performance as a duo strong on the ground, but they also produced through the air.
Lynch caught five passes for 34 yards, showing that the Bills will try to get their back involved in the passing game (NOTE: Personally I don’t think that the Bills are using their feature back, Lynch, the right way but that will come more in depth in tomorrows article).
The punter and kicker of the Bills' squad also did their part in this one. Kicker Rian Lindell went 3-for-3 on his field-goal attempts (1-for-1 on extra points), while punter Brian Moorman had three punts that went for an average of 40.7 yards. Both of these players are consistent for the Bills, week in and week out, so I didn’t expect that to change this week.
Head Coach Dick Jauron got a contract extension. I will get more into him and his staff tomorrow, but the Bills locked up their man for three more years. It has not yet been confirmed yet by Jauron or the Bills, but it is being reported by multiple sources that it has indeed happened.
How does tied for first place sound? Not sure about some people, but it sure sounds pretty good to me. Even with the loss in the division, the Bills are still tied for first place in the AFC East. That can easily change for the better (or the worse), as the Bills next two opponents are division foes. Not time to panic yet Buffalo!
So, despite the Bills not playing too well in this game, there were still some positives to take from it. Check back on the site tomorrow for a look on the uglier side of the game, as I explain what went wrong and my problems with the gameplan, certain players, etc.