Armando Salguero

Five things to watch: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore was the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week after throwing four TDs against the Jets.
Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore was the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week after throwing four TDs against the Jets. AP

1. Is Matt Moore more than a one-hit wonder? The Dolphins’ backup quarterback was so good in his first outing as Ryan Tannehill’s replacement, he won the AFC offensive player of the week award. That’s what four TD passes against one interception and a road victory will do. The problem is backup QBs can often stumble onto a nice outing, but give them time and suddenly their warts start to show. They are good in little doses but defenses figure them out and their bodies start to wilt under weekly punishment. So can Moore avoid these problems?

2. Do the Bills love Rex or not? A national report and local report in Buffalo a couple of weeks ago said firing Rex Ryan was on the table after the season and players and Ryan alike have been answering questions on the topic for weeks since then. Several players have come out in defense of Ryan but the question remains whether those players will play hard for a coach on the proverbial ropes or whether they’d rather see a chance and will play at such a level as to make that firing more probable..

3. Can the Dolphins stop Shady? The heart and soul of the Buffalo offense is running back LeSean McCoy, known as Shady to his friends and fans, and so stopping him becomes Job One for Miami. The problem is the Dolphins haven’t done much to stop any running game of late. The Dolphins are 30th in the NFL against the run. Part of the problem is linebackers are injured and that continues this week with Jelani Jenkins likely sitting the game out and middle linebacker Kiko Alonso still battling a stubborn hamstring injury.

4. The Dolphins should be trying to do some running of their own: Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said running back Jay Ajayi is actually playing better now than when he had those back-to-back 200-yard games. That’s stunning considering Ajayi is mired in a streak of six consecutive game in which he’s failed to reach 100 yards rushing. Ajayi has been under three-yards per carry in three out of four games so the idea he’s playing well could definitely use a game in which what Christensen thinks and what the statistics say seem somewhat related.

5. What’s the cornerback situation like for the Dolphins? Last week, starter Byron Maxwell was injured on the eighth play of the day and Xavien Howard stepped in after not playing for over two months. And Howard played as if he had never been away. Maxwell is not 100 percent this week so Howard is expected to start. The problem is he won’t be facing an inexperienced quarterback and injured receiver corps as he was last week. This time the Bills will attack with Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods at receiver -- both of whom missed the first meeting between the team. And Tyrod Taylor rarely makes mistakes at quarterback as his six interceptions against 14 TD passes shows.

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