The Buffalo Bills head into the 2022 NFL Playoffs as the feel-good story of the NFL. With the tragic events of that Monday Night game and the miraculous recovery of Damar Hamlin following, the Bills seem almost destined for a huge playoff run, on their way to the Super Bowl.
But the adversity of the season didn’t start there, the Buffalo Bills and their fans have been through hell and back the past eight months, starting with the Tops Supermarket shooting on May 14, 2022. This team has since then suffered several injuries throughout the season, including season-ending injuries to Von Miller and what we initially thought would include Micah Hyde as well.
The team has endured schedule changes and moves, along with two historical snowstorms, that resulted in the loss of life! All these events affected not just the team, but the communities involved, Bills Mafia, and the whole world. I said at the beginning of the season, something felt different about this season, something special but certainly never imagined the events that would take place throughout the last eight months.
Now it’s time for the NFL playoffs and the Bills, while they were the pre-season favorite to reach the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorite, according to Cynthia Frelund’s odds. But none of that matters at this point, what matters is taking care of business this weekend by eliminating the Miami Dolphins first.
First and probably the biggest development this weekend was the announcement that Tua Tagovailoa is out and seventh-round rookie quarterback, Skylar Thompson will start. Teddy Bridgewater is listed as the backup. With Tua out, regardless of your opinion of him as a quarterback, there is no question he’s the best option the Dolphins have, so this is a massive loss for this team.
In addition to Tua, the Dolphins’ injury list is very long, with a number of significant injuries to the offensive line, with Terron Armstead, Liam Eichenberg, Kendall Lamm, Brandon Shell, and Greg Little. Only Little was able to practice this week, but their line is missing starters, and depth could be an issue as well.
In addition to those above, Jaylen Waddle was also listed as limited with an ankle injury and running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, were on the list as well. Not only is the offense hurting but the defense is as well, with Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips listed as limited.
As far as Buffalo goes, the injury list might be the shortest it’s been since Week One of the pre-season. This bodes well for the team going forward. Of note, both Isaiah McKenzie and Jordan Phillips were listed as DNP as of today, Friday. Phillips has played despite his shoulder injury, so I expect him to be out there come Sunday. McKenzie is a new addition to the list this week and could be why Cole Beasley was activated to the 53-man roster.
With the Dolphins in such bad shape, I don’t see how they can keep up in this game. Miami is ranked 18th on defense. Their run defense isn’t the issue, as they are ranked fourth in the NFL but 27th against the pass. Josh Allen is a pretty good quarterback with some pretty good weapons around him. This could be another playoff gem from Allen. He’s already the highest rated passer in NFL playoff history and we’ve seen playoff Allen be absolutely unstoppable.
Buffalo’s defense is sixth in the league, facing a Dolphins offense ranked the same; however, the injuries to the Dolphins’ offense, their ranking is irrelevant in this case.
As I mentioned previously, I just don’t see how the Dolphins can be compete in the opening round of the NFL Playoffs. I know they’ve played the Bills close the previous two games, but as I mentioned, the injuries to the Dolphins change everything, plus playoff Josh Allen is a thing. Buffalo will run away with this one.
Buffalo wins big, 34 – 13.