In last weeks column I asked; what is a Thad Lewis? And during last weekend’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Mr. Lewis answered that question. Lewis is a kind of good football player! Without Buffalo Bills top receiver Stevie Johnson, Lewis went 19-of-32 for 216 yards with two touchdown passes and a touchdown rushing. Those impressive statistics all came against one of the leagues best defenses that held Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to zero touchdowns the week prior. Not only that, but Lewis did all if this with a week’s notice. Unfortunately, after leading the Bills on a late game comeback and into overtime, Lewis wasn’t able to finish with a victory. So I guess over-all… Lewis had a Thadisfactory showing.
This week, Lewis leads the Bills southward as the team flies to Miami to take on the Dolphins. Stevie Johnson will return to the lineup to help rookie wide receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin who struggled against the Bengals until the miraculous fourth quarter. Look for Johnson to take some pressure off the rookies Sunday.
The Dolphins offensive line is their one major weak spot this season. The Bills will look to keep Miami one-dimensional by stopping the running game. Shutting down the Dolphins rushing attack will put the weight of the game on quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s shoulders. Buffalo will also attempt to create as much pressure on Tannehill as possible. Pressure on Tannehill has proven to take away the threat of Mike Wallace on deep routes. Mario Williams is hungry, and the only thing that can satisfy his appetite is a sack-sandwich! And this has to be Williams’s most favourable match-up of the year.
Jairus Byrd returned to the field for the first time this season last weekend against Cincinnati. The Byrd-man was mostly silent in his comeback other than an open field tackle and a pass breakup. Byrd had a smaller workload than usual to make sure he was one hundred percent healthy. Buffalo will look for a big day from Byrd in a heightened role this week.
So what reasons could I possibly have to believe the Dolphins are going to win on Sunday? The Bills are flying down to Miami to try to upset a Dolphins team coming off their bye week. If the Dolphins were hurting after their last game, they’ve had an entire week longer than the Bills to mend their wounds.
The Bills have been playing extremely well at home, but how do the Bills play away from home? Buffalo hasn’t won a game away from Ralph Wilson Stadium since October 14, 2012. That’s almost an entire year without an away win! I understand the NFL season doesn’t run all year long… but still! Over the last three seasons, the Bills are 3-15 on the road. This is their best opportunity to win an away game in October, but I just don’t see it happening.
If Thad can do it again, then we might want to consider giving him Ryan Fitzpatrick’s old 60 million dollar, six year contract and start him every game through 2017… but Thad won’t do it again. Tannehill will outplay “Bad” Lewis and the Bills will fall into mediocrity at 2-5. Hopefully Buffalo will keep the game entertaining and lose in the final minutes, because… Buffalo Bills football.