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Bills expect confidence to meet confidence as they prepare to face Dolphins


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Jake Kumerow is prepared for his team to face a confident opponent this weekend. Kumerow is also prepared for the Bills to counter confidence with their own sort of swagger, one that comes with being 2-0 after a prime-time rout.

Coming off a 41-7 victory Monday night against the Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium, the Bills now pivot to face their first AFC East opponent at 1 p.m. Sunday when they face the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

They know the Dolphins will likely be on an emotional soar after a 42-38 comeback win Sunday at Baltimore.

“You see the confidence we’re going to have, coming in,” Kumerow, a wide receiver for the Bills, said with a grin. “We’re not worried about it. It’s about us. They’ve got to play us.”

The Bills aren’t daunted by the Dolphins, a sudden upstart following the hire of first-year coach Mike McDaniel in February, the addition of wide receiver Tyreek Hill and their first 2-0 start since the 2018 season.

Sunday against the Ravens, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns, and the Dolphins erased a 35-14 deficit to became the first team since 2010 to come back from 21 points behind in the fourth quarter. 

Tagovailoa’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle with 19 seconds left in regulation won the game.

“We’re going to dial it in,” Bills defensive end A.J. Epenesa said. “We’re going to figure out what they love to do, what they hate to do. They’ve got a new team, they’ve got a new style, a new coach, so it’s going to be about film study, repetition, seeing what they do and preparation. Preparation breeds excellence, so we’ve got to prepare as much as we can, so we can be ready to attack the challenge that’s coming.”

There’s also a certain rhythm that comes with facing a new opponent each week.

“That’s just how football is,” Epenesa said. “We spent all week preparing for today. For Monday. But tomorrow, we forgot about today. We’re already thinking about the next week. Football is all preparation, if you think about it. You prepare all week for one day, and after that day is over, you start the next week and you prepare all week for the next team.”

The Bills also have created plenty of momentum in their first two games. They’ve outscored the Los Angeles Rams and the Titans a combined 72-17. Against the Titans, the Bills got all-world production from the tandem of quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Allen threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns on 26-of-38 passing, and Diggs caught 12 passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

The defense continued to be stout, allowing just 80 rushing yards to the Titans. The Bills held Titans running back Derrick Henry to 25 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and limited quarterback Ryan Tannehill to 117 yards on 11-for-20 passing.

Yet while the gaudy early season numbers have been nice, the Bills know the success is a small sample size in a regular season that will stretch into January.

“We keep preparing like we haven’t accomplished anything yet,” said fullback Reggie Gilliam, who scored a touchdown Monday against the Titans. “That’s what we do, every week. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. We’re going to prepare to the best of our ability. We’re not to take anybody lightly, or we’re not going to blow up a game and say, ‘this is a huge game.’ We’re going to treat every game the same.”

“We go into every game with the same mindset: Must win,” Gilliam said. “We want to win every game. That’s what every team wants. It’s the same preparation.”

The Bills have won their last seven meetings against Miami and nine of the last 10, largely behind dominant performances from Allen. The Bills opened as a 4.5-point favorite. 

“What better for the Miami Dolphins, a young team that’s really invested and very eager to play football? What better opportunity than playing the best and seeing where you are at? You don’t hide from it," McDaniel told reporters in South Florida on Monday. “You embrace the fact they’re a good football team. There’s one way to be put in the category of good football teams: You beat good football teams.”

Unlike the 11-day break between the Bills’ season opener, a 31-10 win Sept. 8 in Los Angeles, and the win Monday against the Titans, the Bills now have only six days between games, a stretch that includes travel to Miami later this week.

The Bills also are facing injuries in the secondary to Dane Jackson and Micah Hyde as they prepare to face a Dolphins team with Hill and Waddle that leads the NFL with 739 passing yards in two games. 

The first part of preparation for the Dolphins?

“Rest, for sure,” Kumerow said. “Get the boys right. Business as usual. You go through the week, and you might have one day shorter (in the week), but it’s not going to change much. We’ve got to really prepare and hit the books for this upcoming week. It’s going to be a mental week. You can’t really go and grind on the field, like normal.”

The fact that the Bills face their first AFC East opponent makes it a little more valuable at first glance, but Gilliam isn’t about to assign priority to one opponent over another.

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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Worried about all the injuries. No Jackson means 2 rookies starting and no Hyde to cover up for their possible errors spells doom vs Hill. DL up front also banged up. 

All those little injuries have been mostly avoided in season's past. Lets hope none of them are serious. Otherwise things can get bad. Fish will enter the game confident as ever. 

Bills fan for life!! ................

I love beer, rum, scotch and women !! :rockon:

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