Miami Dolphins

Keys to the Miami Dolphins’ 41-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) on the bench late in the fourth quarter as Miami loses 41-14. The Miami Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills in the home opener at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 27, 2015.
Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) on the bench late in the fourth quarter as Miami loses 41-14. The Miami Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills in the home opener at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 27, 2015. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Dolphins secondary vs. Bills wide receivers

Who won: Bills.

Impact: From Charles Clay finding open space and scoring on the Bills’ opening touchdown drive to a busted coverage on Chris Hogan’s 38-yard touchdown to open the fourth quarter, the Dolphins secondary exemplified the team’s poor outing Sunday. Cornerback Brice McCain was beaten several times downfield and on underneath routes and finally benched in favor of Jamar Taylor in the third quarter. Safety Walt Aikens ran into the punter keeping a Bills drive alive that eventually ended with Aikens having a miscommunication with Taylor and allowing Chris Hogan to come free and haul in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor.

Dolphins offensive line vs. Bills run defense

Who won: Bills.

Impact: The Dolphins once again were unable to establish any sort of consistent running game. Miami finished with only 19 rushing yards during a dismal first half and had 46 by the time Bills’ running back Karlos Williams was rumbling to the end zone for a 41-yard touchdown to give Buffalo a 41-14 lead in the fourth. Last week against Jacksonville, the Dolphins ran for 42 yards and passed for 344. While it abandoned the run for the most part in the second half trailing 27-0, their inability to run early in the game contributed to the Bills turning the game into a rout by halftime as the Dolphins’ offense once again was one-dimensional. The Dolphins didn’t even try to run the ball near the goal line early in the fourth quarter on a first and goal from the 2-yard line instead choosing to throw four consecutive times and failing to score.

Dolphins coaching vs. Bills coaching

Who won: Bills.

Impact: The Bills brilliantly exploited the Dolphins’ defensive deficiencies and moved the ball effectively both on the ground and through the air. Former Dolphins such as Charles Clay and Chris Hogan made huge plays in the passing game as Bills’ receivers outplayed the Dolphins secondary from the outset. Even though the outcome was no longer in doubt, the Dolphins’ play calling came into question early in the fourth quarter when they could not convert a first and goal at the 2-yard line. The Dolphins threw four passes – all incomplete – and did not try to run the ball once resulting in a loss on downs.

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