OPINION: Bills at Dolphins: Sal's keys, notes and stats

Both teams will try to remain unbeaten on Sunday in Miami

Miami, Fla. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins will both look to go 3-0 when they face each other in South Florida on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.

If the Bills are to remain unbeaten, here are my three keys for them, as well as notes and stats on the matchup:

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Jaquan Johnson
Orchard Park, N.Y. - Buffalo Bills safety Jaquan Johnson takes the field at Highmark Stadium on Aug. 5, 2022. Photo credit Joshua Bessex - Getty Images

1.) Next man up

It’s a mantra heard throughout every NFL organization and locker room, and this week it really has to hold true for the Bills.

Buffalo is dealing with an usually high number of injuries compared to what we’ve seen from them over the past few years. They are especially banged-up on defense.

Starting safety Micah Hyde is reportedly out of the season. Fellow starting safety Jordan Poyer is questionable to play, but ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler says he's not expected to play. Starting cornerback Dane Jackson is out Sunday, as is starting defensive tackle Ed Oliver and fellow defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. Defensive tackle Tim Settle is questionable to play.

Offensively, wide receiver Gabriel Davis, tight end Dawson Knox, and center Mitch Morse are all questionable to suit up.

All of that against a Dolphins squad that’s also unbeaten through two games, and saw their quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, throw for 469 yards and six touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2, including 361 passing yards and four touchdowns to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Bills backups will be counted on to respond and perform in a big situation.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami, Fla. - Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa reacts after being sacked against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 19, 2021. Photo credit Michael Reaves - Getty Images

2.) Under Pressure

With so many secondary players banged up for the Bills, it will be even more critical to get to Tagovailoa and not allow him to launch the ball downfall to his speedsters.

The Bills have done an excellent job of getting pressure with their front-four this season, and not needing to blitz. That would be the ideal scenario again on Sunday, so they can keep more defenders in coverage.

If they can continue to get home with four, it will go a long way in not allowing as many opportunities for the Dolphins' passing game to get going.

Josh Allen
Miami, Fla. - Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen celebrates after a rushing touchdown by Devin Singletary during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 19, 2021. Photo credit Michael Reaves - Getty Images

3.) No. 17

Josh Allen, simply put, has owned the Dolphins so far in his career.

In eight games as a starting quarterback against Miami, Allen is 7-1, has averaged over 301 total yards of offense per-game (passing and rushing) and accounted for 25 total scores. Outside of his rookie year, in his last six games against them, Allen has thrown or run for a total of 18 touchdowns, while only throwing two interceptions.

Allen may have to continue to be Superman again on Sunday, considering the Bills' injuries, especially if it becomes more of a shootout.

The good news for the Bills and their offense is that so far through two games, the Dolphins defense is last in the NFL in both passing yards allowed per-play (8.66) and overall yards per-play allowed (6.86).

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