Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
In the glory days of Jim Kelly and Dan Marino, the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills have been embittered in a bitter rivalry. Over the past few years though, that rivalry has faded due to the fact that both teams have been mediocre, although the Bills have been much worse than the Dolphins. Nonetheless, it’s never easy to travel to Buffalo and play up there and this Sunday will no exception, especially with the fans energized about the recent sale of the team and the guarantee that the team will stay in Buffalo. Head coach Joe Philbin has struggled up there ever since taking over the team two years ago. As such, he knows how hard it is.
“They’ve played well the two times we’ve gone up there that I’ve been the head coach, so we have to play better. We just have to play better, and I think our two games last year, we had five giveaways and they had two giveaways. They beat us in both of those, and that’s not a good starting point. It’s tough, it’s an uphill battle. They are a good football team. They are a good football team wherever you play them. We have to play better. We clearly have to play better to win than we have in the past, without a doubt.”
Olivier Vernon and Jelani Jenkins say that the team will try to start fast out the gates in an effort to control the crowd and set the tempo.
“A few games last year, we had to pretty much catch up and we want to start fast. We want to set the tempo on both sides of the ball,” Vernon said. Jenkins added, “You know you definitely want to come out fast. I think when you come out and start it off with great momentum like last week (when) we had a blocked punt there, which created a lot of momentum for us. When you can do that and put teams on their toes early, it makes it really difficult for them. We always want to try to start off fast and come out ready to play.”
One advantage the Dolphins do have is the fact that they will be playing in Buffalo the second week of the season, which is just about as good as you can do when traveling to a state in the Northeast.
“I don’t like the cold weather,” Vernon said. “Being from Miami, I’d rather play early, get it out now. Going up there, there should be more sunny days, it’s going to be 68 (degrees) from what I’ve heard. It’s not going to be as cold as it is normally going up there. It should be fine.”
The series record stands at 25-25 when the two teams play each in Buffalo. The Dolphins will look to take the advantage in that series when they kick off tomorrow.
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