Sun. Sep 25th, 2022
The Buffalo Bills (2-0) have the first divisional matchup against the Miami Dolphins (2-0) on Sunday, September 25, and the defense has the huge take of shutting down quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and his top two wide receivers, Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill.

While Tagovailoa and Waddle are used to getting defeated by their AFC East rival, Buffalo has beaten Miami during their last seven consecutive matchups, Hill, who recently joined the Dolphins after six seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, has a very different perspective on the Bills.

The six-time Pro Bowler, who’s tallied 20 receptions for 322 yards against Buffalo during the Chiefs’ past two postseason matchups against Buffalo, sent a strong message to his team on Friday, September 23, as reported by Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman.

“I wouldn’t say they fear the Bills, probably a little more out of respect,” Hill said of his teammates’ vibe toward Buffalo on Friday. “For me, my message to them is, ‘It’s just another football game. Let’s just go out there, do what we’ve been doing our whole entire lives and just play ball. Let’s have fun with it, do what we’re coached to do, and just play fast.”

“The best is supposed to want to play the best,” Hill continued. “You shouldn’t run from no challenge… We just got to go out there with the same mentality that we’ve been having. Dominate, conquer and be as deliberate as you can each and every possession that we touch the ball.”

The 28-year-old receiver also must’ve seen the Bills’ lengthy injury report on Friday, which listed cornerback Dane Jackson, safety Micah Hyde, along with defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips as out. While Pro Bowler Tre’Davious is still out recovering from an ACL tear, Jordan Poyer was listed as questionable, as were Tim Settle and Mitch Morse.

“The absence of Tre’Davious, really, I feel like slows them down, but those guys over there, [Bills head coach] Sean McDermott, he has the mentality of next man up, next cornerback,” Hill said. “Those guys are filling in well for that defense.”

Bills Head Coach Called Hill ‘A Once-in-a-Lifetime Player’

Sean McDermott

GettyHead coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills runs on the field before a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Highmark Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.

McDermott knows the Bills face a big challenge going up against Hill. Thus far this season, he’s caught 19 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns, while Waddle has recorded 15 catches for three touchdowns.

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player with his speed and his ability to go up for the contested catches and everything,” McDermott said of Hill during a press conference. “They’ve got tremendous speed on offense, they put up a lot of points… It will be a big challenge for us,” and as Hill predicted, “We believe in the next man up.”

The Bills likely have to rely on rookie cornerback Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam, along with several backups and elevated members from the practice squad to step up on defense in Week 3. In the meantime, Hill, who signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Dolphins this offseason, is looking to capitalize where he can.

“One thing that NFL defenses fear is speed, so let’s just be us,” Hill said. “Control what we can control.”

Von Miller Is ‘Excited’ to Face Miami

While the Bills’ defense won’t be at full strength, they still have eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller leading the squad and he’s ready for battle against their explosive offense.

“I’ve been a fan of Tua for a long time,” Miller said on Thursday. “He has everything you need to be a great quarterback in this league.” As for stopping the Dolphins receivers, “It’s going to be a hell of a challenge, man. I’m excited to go play these guys, they’re on fire right now.”

And as for Hill, “He is one of the best receivers in the league. He’s the fastest, hands down,” Miller said.

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