Another tough outing for Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins led to a 26-11 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Josh Allen led his team in passing and rushing and scored all three Buffalo touchdowns.
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The Bills worked hard to lighten Josh Allen’s shoulders, but Sunday looked a lot more like the start of the 2021 season. Allen not only took 46 retreats, but he finished tied for the team’s lead in ground attempts with eight. He also led the team in rushing yards gained with 55.
|Player||Dropbacks + Rush||Passes + Precipitation course||Passes + Precipitation 1st Downs|
Devin Singletary and Zack Moss combined 15 carries and 47 yards, falling short of Allen’s production in double the number of tries. Buffalo continues to struggle to open up avenues for their full backs before contact.
Wide receivers / tight ends
Teams that specialize in many tall single blankets open the door to a slot machine receiver like Cole Beasley to find the creases between the seams and the sideline. Beasley led all receivers with just under 3.0 yards per run. Only one of his targets was contested at the point of capture.
The lack of any kind of primary or secondary sleight of hand for Miami has allowed Buffalo’s offensive line to keep Allen comfortable for almost any of his setbacks. Jon Feliciano was the only offensive lineman to allow the pressure that day, which was a major factor in Buffalo’s control of the game.
Jerry Hughes was a threat for Miami to block throughout the game, with six pushes. One was a QB hit and another converted to a sack. Rookie Gregory Rousseau added four of his own, and his length and first step have always intrigued me with his potential to become a problem as a secondary passer.
Tremaine Edmunds is still a middle linebacker, but playing against an offensive line that can’t reach second tier allows him to show off all of his best traits as an explosive runner. He finished Sunday with three defensive saves against the run.
Jordan Poyer is one of my favorite securities to watch out for. He uses his explosive athleticism to run through and cover the seams or midfield. Poyer had an interception today and allowed just eight yards of coverage. His superstar teammate Tre’Davious White allowed just three catches on 11 targets. Both receivers muffled inside and out.
The passersby rating is often devoid of playing context, but Tua Tagovailoa’s 53.8 in Sunday’s action seemed to be an accurate representation of his outing. Aside from a few tight shots on the RPO slopes, the quarterback always struggles to open up players and anticipate windows on the pitch.
Myles Gaskin saw more blue on the Buffalo jersey than on the green turf on Sunday, averaging just three yards per carry. He only moved the chains twice in his 12 rushing attempts. Gaskin also isn’t the full back to create his own offense, with no forced missed tackles, and his best play of the day being a 22-yard grab into space.
Wide receivers / tight ends
DeVante Parker is a wide receiver that I have had my eyes on for years, sure a breakout will come. I think that day is closer to tomorrow than ever, but there are real concerns about whether the offense is structured in a way that allows players to develop their skills. Parker was an extension of the running game through the RPO game, and his 12 targets only returned 85 yards.
Austin Jackson looked like a promising tackle for the first time this season, taking all 43 losses without losing a rep or conceding pressure. Holes in the protection were found this time at Liam Eichenberg and Jesse Davis, allowing 11 combined pressures including two converted into bags.
Brian Flores tried to emulate New England’s approach of going through the committee quickly, but against a quarterback who can extend the game like Allen, having some real pressure would have made a real difference. Using safeties and linebackers to create unique looks and pressure packages has value in itself, but it has to be paired with an ability to affect the quarterback up front.
Miami’s linebacker body is still a major hole in that defense, with Duke Riley the only second-tier player to record a defensive save against the run. Position is needed to prevent a quarterback like Allen from pulling the ball down and creating an attack with his legs, and neither of the dolphins were up to the task.
Byron Jones and Xavien Howard have returned to gravel this season, but Sunday’s Cover 3 schedule helped them avoid allowing an explosive attack on the sidelines. The pair caught 10 of 16 covering targets, but gave up just 64 yards and three first downs.