From The Other Side, Part 1

To find out more about the Dolphins' opponent this week, the Buffalo Bills, we checked in with BuffaloFootballReport.com Publisher Tyler Dunne. In Part 1 of this three-part series, we take a look at the Bills offense.

Q: Is there really any difference between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards at quarterback?

Tyler Dunne: Actually, yes. Neither is an elite quarterback by any stretch of the imagination. I'd fully expect the Bills to clean house at quarterback in the offseason. But for now, it's clear that Fitzpatrick is willing to throw the ball downfield, unlike Edwards. In his three starts, Fitzpatrick has targeted Terrell Owens and Lee Evans a combined 44 times — a direct contrast to Edwards. Whereas Edwards is far too quick to dump the ball down to running backs, at least Fitzpatrick will air it out. Last week against Jacksonville, Fitzpatrick brought life to a dormant passing game with nearly 300 yards. With the line in shambles and the running game struggling, Buffalo will need more big games from the Harvard grad.

Q: With two more O-linemen going down last week, word is the Bills began the week with five healthy offensive linemen; just how bad will the group lining up Sunday be?

TD: Signing veteran Kendall Simmons helps. But, really, that's like strapping a Band-Aid onto a 10-inch wound. Ravaged by injury, this line is an absolute mess. The group was already thin before the season. Now, they're simply trying to field five players, as you mentioned. You have to feel extra bad for rookie Eric Wood, who suffered a Rated-R gruesome knee injury at Jacksonville. CBS wouldn't even replay it. The verdict's still out on whether Wood could even play next year.

As for this week's five? We'll see. For now, they may stick with Jonathan Scott, Andy Levitre, Geoff Hangartner, Kirk Chambers and Jamon Meredith. Not exactly an all-star panel. Miami should bring the house all day. Sure, this front five only surrendered two sacks. But the Jaguars' pass rush isn't close to Miami's.

Q: Speaking of the offensive line, how much of a beating are the Bills taking in Buffalo for not adequately replacing Jason Peters after they traded him in the offseason?

TD: You could say how the Bills dealt with Jason Peters' vacancy was a big reason Dick Jauron was eventually fired. The Bills haphazardly flipped overweight tackle Langston Walker from the right side to the left. He was devoured in the preseason and the team cut him five days before the regular season opener. In other words, a recipe for disaster. Seventh-rounder Demetrius Bell — a love child of Karl Malone — is far too raw still. As a result, Edwards and Fitzpatrick have been under heavy pressure all year. The Bills are definitely taking heat for this still. Teams lock up left tackles instinctively in today's game. With pass rushers as fast as running backs, it's imperative. Yet for some reckless, bizarre reason, Buffalo figured it could promote from within to fill Peters' void. Bad move. Through 10 games, the Bills have allowed 27 sacks and the rushing game has been pathetic.

Q: Would you expect Marshawn Lynch to play Sunday; and why hasn't he been more effective since returning from his suspension?

TD: The team is listing Lynch as "day-to-day" as of now, so there's a reasonable chance he'll see some time Sunday. Still, don't expect much. He is barely averaging more than 3 yards per carry. While the maligned line in front of him is an obvious scapegoat, a lot of blame must be placed on Lynch himself. He often makes runs more difficult than they need to be, fighting for extra yardage horizontally. Fred Jackson is much more instinctive and hits holes with more authority. I'd expect Perry Fewell to give Jackson 17-25 carries this weekend. It's time Buffalo re-committed to Jackson. While Lynch was suspended, Jackson ranked near the top of the league in rushing.

Q: OK, we have to get to T.O.. He finally put up big numbers last week; was that an aberration or do you expect him to be more of a factor down the stretch?

TD: Aberration. Jacksonville was without cornerback Rashean Mathis and Terrell Owens took full advantage. Simple as that. Owens isn't gaining separation like he used to — his speed is fading fast. In addition to this, he is throwing more and more tantrums on the sideline. With the Bills out of the playoff picture, I'd only expect this marriage to worsen. T.O. is playing for one final contract and he knows he won't be in Buffalo next season. While Fitzpatrick does look to him more often than Edwards, Owens is not the elite receiver he once was. He's still dropping balls. And now, he isn't the overwhelming physical freak of years past.


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