Five Story Lines Heading Into Dolphins Vs. Bills in NFL Week 3

It’s not often that a Week 3 game in the NFL can be considered massive, but the significance of the matchup between the undefeated Miami Dolphins and the undefeated Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium this Sunday cannot be overstated. Much more than a record or early stranglehold on first place in the AFC East is at stake.

A Maimi win over Buffalo – perhaps the best team in the NFL right now and the absolute favorite to win the Super Bowl – would create a seismic shift in how the Dolphins are perceived and give a clear indication of the team’s surprising start to the season under the new head coach Mike McDaniel is no accident.

In short: This game is huge for the Dolphins, a team looking to shake off the ghosts of decades of disappointment. So let’s go over a few big storylines heading into one of the biggest Dolphins games since Dan Marino retired in 1999.

Tua Takeover

All-Pro Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa enter their Week 3 matchup with seven touchdowns and two interceptions apiece on the year. Both lead the league or are near the top in passing yards, completion percentage and just plain awesomeness through two games. Both quarterbacks have been incredible this season. But Tua enters the game with more to prove.

If Tua outplays Josh Allen on Sunday — in other words, if he defeats a media darling and bona fide NFL superstar — the league will be on notice that he’s arrived, and the cluster of questions surrounding his NFL ceiling will be set to rest. .

Sunday is a big game for the Miami Dolphins, but it’s a game that could affect Tua Tagovalioa’s career.

Mike McDaniel for coach of the year

You certainly can’t win Coach of the Year in September in the NFL, but first-year Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel is doing his best to try. Through two games, Las Vegas picks McDaniel as the favorite to win the honor. Adding a win over a Super Bowl favorite like the Bills — who have steamrolled the competition through two games — would cushion what is already a lead.

The Dolphins finally seem to have found their version of the Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra. Sunday will largely show us how far he has already moved.

Team chemistry

There is no league in sports with more parity than the NFL. The difference between 5-12 and 12-5 can sometimes just be an injury to a key player or a tight locker room that fits in well.

The Dolphins have been on both ends of that spectrum, but more often than not have lacked a team that felt motivated and strong enough to endure what a long season has in store for them. A win Sunday would catapult the Dolphins to the top of the NFL power rankings and instill confidence in what Mike McDaniel has brought to the franchise — and, perhaps most importantly, in what the players believe they can accomplish on the field.

Penguin/Cheetah vs. Diggs

Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are the undisputed best wide receiver duo in the NFL right now. The Dolphins’ top two playmakers both rank in the Top 5 of nearly every major wide receiver statistic.

On the other side of the ball is Buffalo’s Stephon Diggs — possibly one of the only wide receivers in the NFL a team would take one of the Dolphins’ duo. This Sunday is sure to bring offensive fireworks on both sides of the ball, many of which will inevitably involve the NFL’s top three wideouts.

Playoff football

Miami Dolphins fans know this next statistic as the last four digits of their social security numbers: Miami’s last playoff win came in December 2000 when Dave Wannstedt led the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and beat the Indianapolis Colts in OT in the Wild . Short round, only to be shut out by the Oakland Raiders a week later. What followed has been two decades of pain and suffering with few moments of happiness sprinkled in.

A win on Sunday against the Bills would move Miami to 3-0 in what is clearly the toughest stretch of the team’s schedule and put them in a perfect position to make a run for a playoff spot. It’s really all Dolphins fans want. Especially those college-age Miami fans who have never experienced a weekend that featured a Dolphins playoff win.

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