Bills-Dolphins: Buffalo falters against Miami, 25-16

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Bills-Dolphins: Buffalo falters against Miami, 25-16

Entering Week eight of the 2008 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills were riding high on the previous week's win over the San Diego Chargers.

Unfortunately Buffalo were unable to ride that win to victory in Miami.

Hobbled by injuries in the secondary, the Bills were unable to shut down the Dolphins passing game, including a 175-yard performance by Ted Ginn, Jr.

Ginn was matched up on Terrence McGee most of the afternoon, who had not recovered fully from a sprained knee. McGee was late getting to Ginn most of the afternoon and did not appear to be making quick moves off his knee.

Was McGee's injury the only cause of the Bills' woes? Certainly not.

Although the Bills were able to take a slim 9-7 lead into the half, and came out of the tunnel to score a touchdown and go up 16-7, things would fall apart.

So where did it go wrong?

On the following Miami drive, the Dolphins were able to drive down the field courtesy of a long Ginn reception and score a touchdown, sucking the momentum right out of the Bills.

Buffalo still held the lead, though, but why didn't the Bills score again?

Turnovers!

For some unknown reason, the Bills went to a passing game that allowed the Dolphins to force turnovers, including a safety. Lynch barely saw the ball in his hands the rest of the game.

Quite simply, it appears that Turk Schonert panicked. He had his offense clicking on the first drive after halftime. Yet he barely called any run plays for the rest of the game. On a first-and-ten from inside the Bills' own 5-yard line, Schonert called no run plays. End result was a safety and Dolphins' ball.

This loss was a double loss to the Bills because it was a divisional game. However, the next two games are also divisional games, so there is a chance for the Bills to still do damage to the other teams in the division and hold the lead.

Unfortunately, the injury to Josh Reed means the Bills have lost one of their most important offensive weapons for an unknown period. This injury could hurt the Bills a lot since he has been so consistent. Much of the Bills fan base has been praising him this season for his uncanny ability to make first downs.

Are there any good points to be taken away from this loss? Yes, including one that comes out of the Reed injury.

As a consequence of the injury to WR Reed, James Hardy saw more time at wide receiver. Against the Dolphins, he showed flashes of a consistent big possession receiver. He made plays and looked like a true NFL wide receiver, not a rookie in-over his head.

Also, even with the loss, the Bills are still 5-2 and tied for the AFC East lead. The sky is not falling. There appeared to be some panicking in the fan base after the loss, but rest assured, the Bills are too good to let one game kill them.

After all, if they did let a single loss kill them, the Cardinals' game would have been more than enough to crush the morale and spirit of the team. Under Dick Jauron, the Bills are too well coached and mentally disciplined to let one loss cripple them.

The Bills will be back, even with a loss like this. Count on it.

 

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