Dolphins Week 2 Instant Reaction
The Miami Dolphins looked much better in their Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills than they did in their opener, even if the result was a second loss in two weeks, this time by a final score of 31-28.
The Dolphins had a chance to win this game after taking their only lead of the day at 20-17 on Jordan Howard's 2-yard run, but they quickly gave up the lead after Bills QB Josh Allen started the next drive with a a 47-yard completion to Stefon Diggs.
Diggs used a stutter step to get past rookie first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene, who saw extension action after Byron Jones left the game in the first quarter with an injury.
The Dolphins had their hands full with Diggs all game, though most of his damage came against Igbinoghene and not Xavien Howard, who pretty much shut down John Brown — until the end of the game when Brown scored on a 46-yard pass, though it looked as though Howard was expecting deep help from safety Bobby McCain, who was late to get deep.
If the run defense struggled in the opener, it was the pass defense that was the problem against Buffalo.
Then again, given the fact Josh Allen always has success against Miami, maybe we should have seen it coming.
Allen followed his first career 300-yard passing game with a 417-yard performance against the Dolphins.
The Dolphins defense had enough problems in the first half that it was a bit of a miracle the team was down only 17-10 at halftime.
The Dolphins controlled play in the second half, though things went downhill after they took the lead.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a solid performance in Week 2, though he was helped by his receivers getting open much more consistently.
The Dolphins had a lot of success with crossing routes and deep slants, with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki making themselves factors.
Gesicki made a nice catch while stretching over the middle, the second straight game he made a tough catch. He later made the catch of the day when he reached out with one hand to catch a ball thrown behind him and then scored the final touchdown with another tough catch in traffic.
Parker's presence was huge for the passing game, though it was Preston Williams who set up the first touchdown when he beat All-Pro Tre'Davious White with a quick outside move and then made a contested catch after White lost sight of the ball.
Myles Gaskin getting the bulk of the work at running back clearly wasn't just a one-time thing because he again was the feature back against the Bills.
While Gaskin continues to produce, it's impossible to overlook the fact he's still playing ahead of the two players the Dolphins got in the offseason, Jordan Howard and Matt Breida.
Howard clearly is the short-yardage back, and he showed a nice effort on his 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Dolphins a 20-17 lead.
Because they ended up scoring after forcing a punt, we shouldn't overplay the failure to score after getting a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, though it was ugly nonetheless.
On first down, tackle Austin Jackson just got beat by Ed Oliver, who brought down Jordan Howard for no gain. The second-down play was a keeper by Ryan Fitzpatrick that didn't fake the Bills at all. The third-down fade to Mike Gesicki nearly was intercepted by safety Micah Hyde and that set the stage for the fourth-down play, where Fitzpatrick threw a quick slant to Preston Williams. The pass was a tad behind Williams at the goal line, but he still should have made the catch.
No, this loss was on the defense.
The pass rush doesn't look much better than it did last year when it was completely unacceptable and the coverage isn't good enough to compensate.
The Dolphins did show a lot of fight in this game, but the bottom line is it was a second loss in two weeks.