ORCHARD PARK – The Buffalo Bills’ 41-7 thrashing of the Tennessee Titans Monday night makes for a juicy Week 3 matchup Sunday in smooth South Florida against AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.
Both teams go into the game 2-0, so first place is on the line, but Buffalo could face some setbacks when it comes to Hard Rock Stadium.
The win over the Titans took a heavy toll on Bills’ roster as they came into play minus three starters — defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Tim Settle, plus wide receiver Gabe Davis — then lost four more in the game.
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The most serious turned out to be the neck injury that cornerback Dane Jackson sustained, which saw him taken off the pitch at Highmark Stadium by ambulance and taken to a local hospital. The good news Tuesday morning is that the team announced that Jackson has been released from the hospital and is back home after escaping serious damage.
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Buffalo also lost safety Micah Hyde (neck), defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (hamstring) and linebacker Matt Milano (stinger), and it is uncertain what the status of any of these players will be before the Miami showdown. Sean McDermott had no updates on Tuesday.
Not ideal for the Bills as they will be facing a markedly improved Miami team who also have a lot of motivation given that Buffalo has owned this series for the past few years and won seven games in a row.
Top players for Miami Dolphins in attack, defense
QB Tua Tagovailoa: Well, I didn’t think I’d type Tua’s name in this space, but after what he did last week, how could I not? He completed 36 of 50 passes for 469 yards and six TDs and overcame a 35-14 deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Ravens 42-38. Yes, the Ravens choked, and yes, they got beat up in high school, but holy cow, I really didn’t think Tua had such a game in him. This new attack in Miami under coach Mike McDaniel seems to suit him well.
WR Tyrek Hill: As if the Bills haven’t seen enough of this man, they now have to face him twice a year in the AFC East. Oh, and he doesn’t seem to miss Patrick Mahomes. He had 11 catches for 190 yards and two TDs, and he looks just as dangerous on offense in Miami as he does in Kansas City.
WR Jaylen Waddle: He gives the Dolphins one of the best 1-2 WR combos in the competition. He had 11 catches for 171 yards and two TDs in Baltimore, meaning Hill and Waddle together caught 34 passes for 524 yards and five TDs in the first two games of the season. This was already going to be a very tough match-up for the secondary Bills, trying to get these two speed burners under control, and now they can be without Jackson and Hyde, and may need their two rookie CBs, Christian Benford and Kaiir Elm, play. the whole game.
DT Christian Wilkins: The pick for the first round of 2019 is a beast in the middle of the Dolphins line, a hard-to-control player in the form of Jeffery Simmons that the Bills just faced. Last week in Baltimore, he even led Miami in tackles that are generally unheard of at a DT. He had eight, including two for lost distance.
THE Melvin Ingram: He’s no longer the pass-rushing power he was during his nine years with the Chargers, and he’s bounced from the Steelers to the Chiefs to the Dolphins this season. Still, he’s someone the Bills need to reckon with. In Week 1, he scooped and scored on a Mac Jones fumble enforced by speedy safety Brandon Jones.
DE Jaelan PhillipsMiami’s 2021 first-round pick, a teammate of Buffalo’s Greg Rousseau at the University of Miami, could be a tough match-up on the brink due to his athleticism. He had 8.5 sacks as a rookie last year.
CB Xavien Howard: He has been one of the top cover corners in the NFL for several years now. In five career games against Buffalo, he has defended four interceptions and nine passes.
What the game means to Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins
There are only three teams unbeaten after two weeks in the AFC and two of them are playing in this match (Kansas City being the other). It’s already been a weird start to the season with the defending AFC champion Bengals sitting 0-2, the same as the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed last year, the Titans.
So the winner of this game not only takes a one-game lead in the AFC East, but they add another AFC win to the ledger, which is always vital for the tiebreakers at the end of the year.
What is the bet line for Bills vs Dolphins?
The Bills opened as a 5.5 point favorite according to Tipico Sportsbook. The money line is Bills minus-220 (bet $220 to win $100) and Dolphins plus-180 (bet $100 to win $180). The over-under for the game is 52.5.
So far, both teams are 2-0 against the spread this season as the Bills cover easily as a favorite over the Rams and Titans, while the Dolphins are a favorite over the Patriots and an underdog against the Ravens.
What time is the Bills vs Dolphins game?
Kick-off is at 1:00 PM at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Bills vs Dolphins: how to watch and listen to the game
Cable/Network: CBS with announcers Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), Melanie Collins (side reporter). The game will be available locally through the following stations: WROC (Channel 8, Rochester), WIVB (Buffalo area), WTVH (Syracuse area), WKTV (Utica area), WENY (Elmira area), WRGB (Albany area), and WBNG (Binghamton area).
Online streaming services: NFL.com and the NFL Mobile App. Also, the NFL has a new streaming service called NFL+ that replaces NFL Game Pass, although you can’t cast the games to your TV – you have to watch on your phone or tablet. The cost is $5 per month or $30 for the season, and a premium tier costs $10/$80, which includes all 22 coaches movie and condensed and full replays of the game. It allows you to watch every local game on Sunday and the national games on Monday and Thursday nights, as well as the playoffs and the Super Bowl. You can also stream if you subscribe to DirecTV, fuboTV, NFL+, Sling, Vidgo, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and Paramount+.
How to listen: The Bills Radio Network has stations throughout the state. They include Rochester (WCMF 96.5 and WROC 950 AM), Buffalo (WGR550, 550 AM), Syracuse (WTKW 99.5/WTKV 105.5), Binghamton (WDRE 100.5FM), Ithaca (WIII 99.9/100.3 FM), Bath (WVIN 98.3 FM ), Newark (WACK 1420 AM), Dansville (WDNY 93.9 FM), Elmira (WNGZ 1490 AM), Auburn (WAUB 98.1 FM/1590 AM), and Geneva (WGVA 95.9 FM, 1240 AM). You can also listen on SiriusXM satellite radio on channel 225 (Bills) and channel 226 (Dolphins).
Sal Maiorana can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana. Follow this link to subscribe to Sal’s new twice weekly newsletter, Bills Blast: https://profile.democratandchronicle.com/newsletters/bills-blast
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Who do the Bills next? AFC East rival in week 3