Dolphins run defense vs. Buffalo run offense
Who won: Bills
Impact: Sometimes, figures can lie. But when an NFL team sees not only two 100-yard rushers, but those rushers average 7.0 (LeSean McCoy) and 12.2 (Karlos Williams) per carry, the numbers speak like they’ve got a truth serum IV. Buffalo ran the shifty McCoy inside early and ran the power back, Williams, to the edges later. Throw in quarterback Tyrod Taylor as a threat to run a bootleg or a straight out quarterback sweep and they turned the Dolphins into 11 guys just waiting to see how they’d be moved out of the way.
Bills WR Watkins vs. Dolphins CB Grimes
Who won: Watkins
Impact: Let’s be clear – dealing with Sammy Watkins (eight catches for 168 yards, one touchdown) wasn’t Grimes’ exclusive responsibility. And Grimes, as far as physical health, isn’t the Grimes of 2013 or 2014. But there was Grimes stride for stride with Watkins, then stumbling behind as Watkins triple-clutched a 63-yard bomb. And, there, behind Watkins’ catching a 44-yard bomb for a touchdown is Grimes flailing helplessly. And there’s Watkins, separated from Grimes like a fool and his money, making chain moving catches on slants and outs.
Dolphins coach Campbell vs. Inexperience
Who won: Father Time
Impact: Every rookie endures a game in which his lack of been-there-before shows up. Sunday was Dan Campbell’s. Not using the final timeout after a completion to the Buffalo 3 deprived the Dolphins of more snaps inside the Buffalo 5 at the end of the first half. On the 1, with one play, Campbell eschewed the field goal even with the Dolphins getting the ball to start the second half. The Dolphins trusted the pass instead of the run. And failed. Later, Campbell took a holding penalty that gave Buffalo a second shot at third down. Second shot, shot to the heart -- a bomb to Sammy Watkins for a 44-yard touchdown and 26-14 Buffalo lead.