NFL

Receivers look to shine again as perfect Bills and Dolphins face off

By Sports Desk September 23, 2022

A huge divisional rivalry takes centre stage in the NFL on Sunday, as the Buffalo Bills travel to Florida to face the Miami Dolphins.

Both sides boast a 2-0 record after the opening two weeks of the campaign, though the story of their triumphs has been vastly different.

The Bills have lived up to their pre-season Super Bowl favourites tag after beating the Los Angeles Rams on opening night and sweeping aside the Tennessee Titans last weekend.

Outscoring their opponents 72-17 resulted in a +55 point differential for the Bills that stands as their second-best in franchise history at this stage of a season (+63 points after the first two games in 1981).

Miami, meanwhile, rallied against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday to incredibly overcome a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to win.

It marked only the sixth occasion since 1925 in the NFL where a team has overturned such a margin in the fourth quarter.

Sunday's match-up will see the top-three players for receiving yards take to the field, with Tyreek Hill leading the way with 284 ahead of the Bills' Stefon Diggs (270) and team-mate Jaylen Waddle (240).

Hill's 19 receptions have included two touchdowns, while Diggs' 20 receptions have resulted in four TDs – more than any other NFL player.

Both teams will certainly feel comfortable in targeting those players, with Tua Tagovailoa throwing six TDs last week, including four in the fourth quarter.

Josh Allen, meanwhile, has thrown at least two TD passes in each of his eight career appearances against the Dolphins. That is the longest such streak against a single team in Bills history.

Such an array of offensive talent may flip the pressure onto the defenses, though the Bills will feel confident of putting pressure on Tagovailoa having secured nine sacks in the opening two matches – the second-highest in the NFL behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10).

The Bills also hold the historical edge, boasting seven straight wins against the Dolphins which represents their best-ever sequence against Miami.

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    Not much was expected from the West Indies in this series but they can take some heart from their gallant defeat in Perth, although it leaves them 1-0 down in the two-game Test series.

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    The West Indies resumed at 192-3 chasing the improbable target of 498 and pushed Australia beyond drinks in the second session before Lyon claimed the final two wickets in successive balls.

    Australia skipper Pat Cummins was on the field throughout the final day but did not bowl, due to a quad injury which has him in doubt for the second Test starting in Adelaide on Thursday. Cummins' absence from the attack heaped more pressure on Lyon who shouldered that burden.

    Lyon finished with 6-128 from 42.5 overs in the fourth innings, getting the key breakthrough of captain Kraigg Braithwaite, after having Kyle Mayers caught at first slip by Steve Smith in the first session. Braithwaite, who reached his century late on day four, was bowled by Lyon for 110.

    Jason Holder was brilliantly caught by Smith at first slip off Travis Head before Joshua De Silva edged to Usman Khawaja off Josh Hazlewood, with the tourists' resistance appearing set to wither at 233-7.

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    Marnus Labuschagne was named Player of the Match after his scores of 204 and 104* earlier in the contest.

    Lyon brings it home for Australia

    Australia's all-time most productive off-spinner Lyon finished the job for the hosts with four final-day wickets and six for the fourth innings, having taken two late on the fourth day.

    Lyon's five-wicket haul was the 21st of his Test career, but also his fifth in the fourth innings of a Test match, with only one of those coming before 2019.

    Positives for West Indies

    Not much was expected from the West Indies in this series but they can take some heart from their gallant defeat in Perth, although it leaves them 1-0 down in the two-game Test series.

    The West Indies bowling left a bit to be desired but their opening batsmen did well, with Braithwaite scoring 64 and 110, while debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed with 51 and 45.

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    The West Indies resumed at 192-3 chasing the improbable target of 498 and pushed Australia beyond drinks in the second session before Lyon claimed the final two wickets in successive balls.

    Australia skipper Pat Cummins was on the field throughout the final day but did not bowl, due to a quad injury which has him in doubt for the second Test starting in Adelaide on Thursday. Cummins' absence from the attack heaped more pressure on Lyon who shouldered that burden.

    Lyon finished with 6-128 from 42.5 overs in the fourth innings, getting the key breakthrough of captain Kraigg Braithwaite, after having Kyle Mayers caught at first slip by Steve Smith in the first session. Braithwaite, who reached his century late on day four, was bowled by Lyon for 110.

    Jason Holder was brilliantly caught by Smith at first slip off Travis Head before Joshua De Silva edged to Usman Khawaja off Josh Hazlewood, with the tourists' resistance appearing set to wither at 233-7.

    But Alzarri Joseph and Roston Chase put together a stubborn 82-run eighth-wicket partnership which ensured Australia were made to work for their victory. 

    Head clean bowled Joseph, who belted three sixes in his 43, on the delivery after wicketkeeper Alex Carey dropped a tough chance, before Lyon dismissed Chase for 55 and Kemar Roach in successive balls.

    Marnus Labuschagne was named Player of the Match after his scores of 204 and 104* earlier in the contest.

    Lyon brings it home for Australia

    Australia's all-time most productive off-spinner Lyon finished the job for the hosts with four final-day wickets and six for the fourth innings, having taken two late on the fourth day.

    Lyon's five-wicket haul was the 21st of his Test career, but also his fifth in the fourth innings of a Test match, with only one of those coming before 2019.

    Positives for West Indies

    Not much was expected from the West Indies in this series but they can take some heart from their gallant defeat in Perth, although it leaves them 1-0 down in the two-game Test series.

    The West Indies bowling left a bit to be desired but their opening batsmen did well, with Braithwaite scoring 64 and 110, while debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed with 51 and 45.

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