We had a chance to talk with Brian Miller at PhinPhanatic to get the Miami Dolphins perspective heading into their Week 17 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are entering Week 17 with very different objectives as the Bills have locked up a playoff spot but are fighting for seeding. Meanwhile the Dolphins are trying to get into the playoffs with a win.
I had a chance to talk with Brian Miller, site expert at PhinPhanatic, to get some insight on the Dolphins entering this weekend’s game.
Question 1: With the news of Ryan Fitzpatrick being out after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, how confident are you in Tua Tagovailoa being able to lead this team to a win without the option of the veteran replacing him if he struggles?
Brian Miller: I think this will be a great opportunity for Tua Tagovailoa. He will know this is his game and that his team needs him. I’m actually excited that he will be forced into the role of leader on his own. If he falters I think he will learn from it but this is a big game for him and win or lose he is going to grow.
Question 2: It looks like the Dolphins are going to be without Jakeem Grant on offense and Elandon Roberts on defense. How big do you think their absences are going to be in this game?
Biran Miller: Grant is a really good returner but he struggles in the passing game. He is inconsistent with catching the ball and frankly, the Dolphins don’t use his speed to their benefit. While Grant is good, he isn’t a player that can’t be replaced, and Lynn Bowden, Jr. and Malcolm Perry have similar skill sets.
As for Roberts, he has been strong against the run in the 2nd half of the season after struggling a bit early. Miami has some decent backups that will help replace him but it does hurt. Just not sure how much it will hurt.
Question 3: Who is one player that Bills fans might not much about but should watch for this week?
Brian Miller: Andrew Van Ginkel will be replacing Roberts and he is really fun to watch. He has a lot of burst from the defense and disguises his blitzes well. He plays tough all game long and has a non-stop motor.
Question 4: What do you think is the deciding factor this week and do you have a prediction on the winner?
Brian Miller: I really think this will be a matter of whether or not the Dolphins really want this game or not. They are playing great on defense but the offense struggles at times. They can put up 30 points on one day and then 14 the next.
The biggest issue Miami has dealt with recently is the fact the offense is slow to get going. This has been a problem for quite a while now. They come alive in the second half but can’t generate anything in the first.