It's not sexy or exciting to read about, but since the Mayans were absolutely wrong and the world goes on and the NFL season continues this weekend, I want to discuss perhaps the most unsung issue facing the Dolphins and Bills this weekend.
It's the issue that will likely decide this game.
It's the issue that a majority of NFL coaches believe decides most NFL games.
The Dolphins are terrible at causing them or benefitting from them. They have. for example, recovered only three fumbles this year. Only Kansas City and Philadelphia are worse with two recovered fumbles.
The Dolphins total take-away number this year is 12. That's nine interceptions and three recovered fumbles.
The Patriots, by contrast, have 20 recovered fumbles this year and 16 more interceptions. In fact, 10 teams have recovered more fumbles than the Dolphins have total take-aways so far. It's baffling to defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.
“We’ve done everything and then some, and we’re going to continue to do it," Coyle said. "Really, I say this to you guys, I don’t think there is a team in the league that works harder, not just as a result of what’s been happening this season, but from April when Coach Philbin came here, it’s been a
point of emphasis in every practice."
The good news for the Dolphins is the Bills pose a threat to their vast inability to come up with take-aways because Buffalo is among the most philanthropic teams with the football in the NFL. The Bills have given the football up 29 this season.
Only five teams have given it up more.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has 15 interceptions. He's fumbled seven times and lost five. The man is a machine!
C.J. Spiller has lost both his fumbles this year and the Dolphins are probably bemoaning the fact Fred Jackson, he of the four lost fumbles, is not playing Sunday.
The point is while the Dolphins are terrible at taking the ball away, the Bills are almost equally terrible at keeping the ball safe.
It is the moveable force against the resistable object.