NFL Preview: Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins

This article is part of a series previewing the 2018-2019 NFL season where we will cover quick notes on all 32 NFL teams, favorite potential storylines, win-loss predictions, the playoff picture, and my picks to compete in Super Bowl LIII.

Buffalo Bills

Bills mafia is now home of the most unpredictable rookie quarterback of the 2018 draft class, Josh Allen.  The Bills traded away reliable QB Tyrod Taylor to the Browns for a 3rd round draft pick after Taylor took the Bills to their first playoff appearance since the music city miracle.  This was a ballsy move for a team that looked like they were trending in the right direction.  Truth be told, the Bills likely plateaued with Taylor at quarterback, and the new regime in Buffalo wanted to have a quarterback they picked running the show.  The Bills brought in former Bengals quarterback, AJ McCarron, to compete for the starting job beside Allen.  The team will be going from a consistent Taylor, to an unknown in Allen or McCarron.  That alone makes me think there will be a slight regression for the Bills this season.

The LeSean McCoy debacle during this offseason was concerning, but as of now, he will be good to play.  This is vital for a young quarterback like Allen to have a safety net to fall into, like the way Dak Presscott was able to lean on Ezekiel Elliott in his first season in Dallas.  Outside of McCoy, the rest of the playmakers on the roster are average at best, with the hope of second year receiver, Zay Jones, could improve upon his rookie season and become a consistent number one option.

The defense in Buffalo continued to add difference makers this offseason, including DL Trent Murphy, DT Star Lotulelei, CB Vonte Davis, and first round draft pick, LB Tremaine Edwards. 2016 first round pick, DL Shaq Lawson, is also beginning camp healthy for the first time since he entered the league and is expected to be a contributor this season.  I fully expect the Bills to be a top ten defense this season, and that is why the regression of the Bills will not be drastic.

Second year head coach, Sean McDermott, and general manager, Brandon Beane, are proving to be a great partnership, and the roster is heading in the right direction.  A lot of this season is going to be determined by the quality of quarterback play, and I am not confident in their options.  My guess is that the defense will win a few games by themselves, and the Bills will end with an average season.

Favorite Potential Storyline:  Josh Allen bust talk, and arm strength GIFs.  Cannot wait for this.

Prediction: 7-9 (2nd in AFC East)

Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill, heading into year seven with the Dolphins (damn, time flies), is finally healthy after two consecutive years of tearing his ACL.  Unfortunately for Tannehill, the pressure will be on for him to perform this season.  There were rumors that the Dolphins had interest in multiple quarterbacks in the 2018 draft, and with Tannehill’s injury history, those same rumors will surface in 2019 if Tannehill fails to live up to his large contract, and gain the trust of the Miami coaching staff and front office.

The Dolphins traded their top receiver, Jarvis Landry, who led the NFL in receptions (112) for a fourth and sixth round pick, and do not have anyone on their current roster that can replace his production.  Their offensive line is not strong, which is not ideal when dealing with a quarterback coming off two ACL surgeries.  A unique mix of RB Kenyon Drake, WR Devante Parker, and rookie TE Mike Gesicki could bode well for Tannehill’s comeback, but that assumption is all built off potential, not previous success.

The defense finished in the middle of the pack (16th) in total yards allowed last season, but lost Pro Bowl DT, Ndamukong Suh, to the Los Angeles Rams in free agency.  First round pick, Minkah Fitzpatrick, should make an impact from game one, but the team was relatively quiet during free agency.

I believe the reason the Dolphins were dormant during this offseason was because they want to see where they are at with Tannehill, and nothing more.  The Dolphins have a weak roster already, and if Tannehill is not the guy this organization wants to move forward with, then their focus will be looking to draft a top quarterback prospect in the 2019 draft and begin to rebuild (they are already in a rebuild, but it is being half-assed at best).  This is a crucial season for all parties involved in Miami, and my bet is that most of the leadership will be out the door by Black Monday 2019.

Favorite Potential Storyline: This is arguably the most boring team in the NFL this year.  We need another insane gas mask bong hit from Laremy Tunsil.  The Dolphins were the first franchise to make a team rule against kneeling for the National Anthem, and it might be because no one would ever talk about them otherwise.  We will go with another Tannehill knee disaster, and the Dolphins end up trading with the Jets to acquire Teddy Bridgewater.

Prediction: 4-12 (3rd in AFC East)

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