It's safe to say that Bills fans were happy with what they saw from Josh Allen in Buffalo's season-opening win over the Jets. Allen, the Bills' third-year quarterback, completed 72% of his passes for 312 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also led the Bills in rushing, rumbling for 57 yards and a score on 14 carries.
On Sunday, Allen and his teammates will face a second consecutive AFC East foe in Miami, who hung around in New England before ultimately falling, 21-11. The Dolphins' defense, a unit that held Cam Newton to just 155 yards passing, was anchored by third-year linebacker Jerome Baker, who racked up a whopping 16 tackles to go with a sack and a forced fumble.
Before we break down Sunday's game, here's how you can follow the action in real time.
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Sunday's game will feature two talented defenses. Buffalo's defense is anchored by All-Pro cornerback Tre'Davious White and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who is currently day-to-day after sustaining a shoulder injury against the Jets. Edmunds is just one of several Bills linebackers dealing with injuries. Backup Tyrel Dodson has missed practice time after sustaining a neck injury on Sunday. Del'Shawn Phillips, who is also a key special teams contributor, has also missed practice time after sustaining a quad injury.
"It definitely gets a little hairy when you lose three guys the way we did," said Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, via Matt Parrino of Syracuse.com. "Our players, they didn't blink, they continued to play and play hard. The guys that had to step up, A.J. Klein did a really good job. Tyrel stepped in and did a really good job for us as well. That's what you need. When you have a situation like we had, you want great attitudes."
The Bills' defense will face an old teammate on Sunday. Defensive end Shaq Lawson, who finished second on the Bills in sacks and tied for first in tackles for loss last season, signed a three-year deal with the Dolphins this past offseason. Lawson was one of several notable defensive players the Dolphins signed this offseason. Miami also came to terms with cornerback Byron Jones, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.
"We got our old buddy Shaq down there," Allen said this week, via the team's official website. "It will be fun to play against him, he was a really good guy in the locker room last year. We hated to see him go. But, you know, it's a team that added a lot this offseason, especially the secondary so we've got to make sure we're good with decision-making. They've got some guys that can go make some plays, a couple ballhawks out there."
Buffalo also made some key additions this offseason, none bigger than Stefon Diggs, a 1,000-yard receiver during his last two seasons with the Vikings. Diggs, who caught eight of nine targets for 86 yards in his debut with the Bills, knows what he's up against as it relates to going against Jones and fellow cornerback Xavien Howard.
"They're an athletic group, fast group," Diggs said. "You're going to see press man-to-man. I went against Byron Jones a little bit in Dallas but in this kind of system, they're going to play a lot of man. If you're going to beat man-to-man coverage, you've got to beat man-to-man coverage. You've got to just execute at a high level as far as doing everything you need to do to get open."
The familiarity between the teams is also present at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who spent four seasons as Buffalo's quarterback, will look to rebound after throwing three interceptions in last Sunday's loss to New England. Fitzpatrick's running game didn't offer him much support, as the Dolphins rushed for just 87 yards last Sunday while averaging 3.2 yards per carry.
Buffalo's running back duo of Devin Singletary and rookie Zack Moss combined to rush for just 41 yards on 18 carries last Sunday. Expect those numbers to rise significantly on Sunday against a Miami run defense that gave up 217 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in New England.
Score: Bills 21, Dolphins 16