The Buffalo Bills will face off with the Miami Dolphins this Sunday at Sun Life Stadium for the first of their two match-ups this season. The Bills and Dolphins rivalry dates back to 1960 when both teams were part of the new AFL. The rivalry was fiercest in the early-to-mid 1990s when Hall of Fame QBs Jim Kelly and Dan Marino were manning the huddles for their respective teams. The rivalry has waned since both men retired really because neither team has put together a consistent winner since their retirements.
Both teams have cast their lot with a first round QB who may be able to bring them to the next level. The Dolphins drafted Ryan Tannehill with the 8th pick in the draft two years ago and the Bills nabbed E.J. Manuel with the 16th pick in this past draft. Both teams thought they were set up for the future and by extension created a rivalry between both QBs for years to come. While the rivalry will likely start at some point it won’t be this weekend as Manuel is on the shelf.
Instead the story is of an obscure QB who has gotten a chance to play and will be coming home. Fourth year player Thad Lewis will get his second straight start for the Bills. It will be a special game for Lewis who grew up just miles away from Sun Life Stadium in Hialeah, FL. It will be an exciting day for Lewis as he looks to build on his solid first start last week.
It will be a tough game for the Bills, going in to a division rival’s stadium while they are coming off a bye. The Dolphins feel they are on an upswing, and this is the type of game that a team on the rise needs to win. On the flip side, the Bills have lost a game to the other two teams in the division already, and they simply can’t lose their first three.
If nothing else these inter-divisional games tend to be exciting, and with Lewis coming home that should give him an extra jolt. For many older fans the match-up will bring back memories of better times for both squads and a hope for better times to come.