In a slightly belated recap due to the events of University freshers week, I recap the action of the Dolphins divisional game vs the Patriots and the Bills game against the Giants in New Jersey. Even in Week 2 it’s already visible which teams are heavy playoff contenders and which most definitely are not. With both ends of the spectrum seen within the AFC East division.
Week 2: Miami Dolphins – From Zero to Zero…
In what looked like a Pre-season game, Ryan Fitzmagic lost his spellbook against the reigning Super Bowl champions. Despite attempting 21 passes, only 11 found their targets and each one only for a miniscule gain. Coupled with Fitzpatrick’s 3 interceptions and 0 touchdowns, it was a game and a statline to forget for the journeyman QB. For the second straight week, Brian Flores turned to his backup in the troubled Josh Rosen. This back-up didn’t provide much cover fire as Rosen too had a poor game. Going 7/18 with another INT. However Rosen did manage to beat his starting QB’s yardage. However this isn’t saying much as combined, Miami’s QB pair threw for nearly 100 yards less than New England vet Tom Brady. To add insult to injury, there was also no Dolphins rushing game. With Kenyan Drake the top rusher (only 19 yards) of the team.
Furthermore, the now depleted Miami young defensive core got absolutely steamrolled, not managing to get to Brady at all for a sack. All while conceding 43 points in the process. In the aftermath of the game, 2018 first round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick was traded to Pittsburgh. Making an already ice thin (in terms of talent) defence even thinner. After much digging through footage and stats, the only upsides I can think of for the Dolphins is at least they only have to play the Pats once more, and possibly a 39 yard kick return for Jakeem Grant against a tough New England Special Teams. Other than that there isn’t much to be positive about for this season as a Dolphins fan after getting smashed twice in a row, staring at the long lost horizons of Marino’s success in the rear-view. Getting shut out in Week 2 virtually ends the season before it had even began, if it was even going to begin in the first place. Tank for Tua is formidably underway.
Week 2: Buffalo Bills – The Giant killers
Giants by name only, the MetLife stadium residents fell to a Bills team now 2-0 for the first time in years. Two trips to the same stadium in a row gave two wins to Josh Allen and co. Leading analysts such as Colin Cowherd to backtrack their previous cynicism about the young QB. The sophomore under center kept the turnovers under wraps this week, throwing for 253 yards and a TD while not allowing any picks, and rushing for 21 yards and a further TD. Veteran Frank Gore saw more action than previously, getting 19 carries for 68 yards and another TD to add to his bank. Additionally, standout rookie Devin Singletary impressed again on limited snaps, carrying the ball 6 times for 57 yards and his first pro touchdown. However Singletary picked up an injury that could see him sidelined for a little while, a blow to the Bills who play the Bengals this upcoming Sunday.
Furthermore, new WR combo Cole Beasley and John Brown had a fairly successful Week 2, racking up 155 yards between them despite not grabbing a TD reception. The only TD reception of the game fell to fringe player Isaiah McKenzie, who had looked good through pre season coming into the campaign.
In recent times, defence has been the best part of the Bills team. Week 2 was no exception. The Bills stopped the Giants in their tracks as they went just 3 of 12 on third downs. Including 21 unanswered first half points. This meant they were able to successfully suppress Saquon Barkley’s talent. Harrison Phillips grabbed his first career sack in a split with Lorenzo Alexander, while Jordan Poyer snagged an INT that shows his class as a pro bowl calibre safety. This Buffalo D who previously played Sam Darnold and the Jets, now played Eli Manning and the Giants, and both of those QBs are now out of action either ill or benched. Watch out Andy Dalton?
Next week in the AFC East:
- The Bills take on the Bengals in the home opener at New Era Field, looking to make a memorable start to the season at 3-0, which would give their wildcard hopes a huge boost.
- In a Nautical themed matchup, the Dolphins look to bounce back vs the Buccaneers who are fresh off a victory against Carolina.
- The Jets and Antonio Brownless Patriots take on one another in yet another AFC East brawl, the Jets hoping for their first win of the season while the Pats look to avoid their first defeat. A third divisional matchup in 3 weeks, enhancing the rivalry as everyone look for a way to defeat Brady and Belichick and access that #1 divisional spot for the first time in over a decade.
(image courtesy of miamiherald.com)