Dave Hyde: It’s Dolphins versus Bills after years, even many years, within the ready


Pull up a chair and sit on the sting of it, people. This one may very well be well worth the wait — and, due to everybody from Cam Cameron to Steve Ross, it’s been fairly a wait.

The Miami Dolphins play the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in either the biggest game of the NFL weekend or the biggest game at Hard Rock Stadium since it was known as Dolphin Stadium three title modifications in the past.

Take your pick for how big this game is. And spherical up the youngsters whilst you’re deciding. It’s time this subsequent technology knew. This is what Dolphins weekend as soon as had been all the time about, in the event you can keep in mind again to yesteryear when Dan Marino was a participant and never a advisor or the Seventies was an period and never a sit-com.

Big video games. Big rivals. Big hoo-hahs. Big penalties, too.

The horse is admittedly forward of the cart of consequence. It’s simply Game 3 in, as linebacker Jerome Baker says, “a marathon of a season” — although the marathon is a dash in the event you’ve watched the Dolphins run.

But there’s been a generational void of consequence involving the Dolphins. And these Dolphins need in. They don’t wish to be the subsequent version with their nostril pressed towards the glass. One of first-year coach Mike McDaniel’s pet phrases to his gamers is, “We know we’re going to be special,” and that may match a timeline of this Sunday or subsequent season.

“It’s something we’re believing,” defensive sort out John Jenkins says. “You can see it coming together.”

Winning is the magnet in that regard, not simply bringing the locker room collectively however followers keen to imagine once more, too. A 2-0 begin with a ho-hummer towards rival New England and an epic comeback at Baltimore have modified some minds.

Now comes Buffalo and no season will be conclusively made or broken Sunday. So what? You’re allowed some overhype contemplating you need to return to Jan. 4, 2009 towards Baltimore for the reason that Dolphins performed as huge a house recreation. That was a playoff recreation, too (and it wasn’t fairly).

For a regular-season dwelling recreation of this intrigue, you need to shuffle by historical past to … Jimmy Johnson’s 1999 Dolphins going 7-1 in November after beating Tennessee … Shula’s 1993 Dolphins entered 9-2 towards the New York Giants in December?

The level is, forgive the overhype, however there’s numerous unused hype for a few many years. Something can be discovered concerning the Dolphins, and the apparent query is whether or not the Dolphins have closed the continental stretch of distance between them and the Super-Bowl-trending Bills.

Las Vegas doesn’t suppose so. You can see why. Buffalo got here inside 13 mismanaged seconds of a second-straight AFC Championship Game final season. It started this season beating the defending Super Bowl champ Los Angeles Rams and No. 1 AFC seed Tennessee by a mixed rating of 72-17.

That’s one purpose why Buffalo is a whopping six-point favourite even within the September warmth of South Florida. The different purpose is that they’ve crushed the Dolphins seven straight instances. It’s not been shut, both, with a median margin of 16.3 factors. Only two video games have been in single digits.

That underscores a bigger level right here. If Buffalo is enjoying with Vegas’ cash, the Dolphins are enjoying with home cash. This is a uncommon occasion the place a win says extra about them than a loss. A win says they’re able to contend in a way they haven’t in many years.

And a loss? It says they’ve work to do. The problem could be how a lot.

“It’s a big game,” Baker says, “because it’s the next game. It’s the only one we’re looking at. But at the same time we know there’s a long way to go.”

The Dolphins have spent three years of a perplexing rebuild attending to an vital recreation once more. Or they’ve spent 14 years wandering the wilderness attending to a house recreation prefer it. Either manner, pull up a seat Sunday and let’s hope you’re on the sting of it.



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