Category: Dolphins Gameplan

Dolphins Gameplan: Can the Dolphins upset the Patriots?

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

The New England Patriots have won 10 straight season openers.  That is the third best mark in league history, behind the Dallas Cowboys (17, 1965-1982) and the Miami Dolphins (11, 1992-2002).  They also have spanked the AFC East since 2001, with a 63-17 record and a .788 winning percentage.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

In more recent upsetting news they claimed safety Don Jones and added Marcus Thigpen to their practice squad in anticipation for this critical first week matchup between the dominant team in the division and their strongest challenger, the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots have not only picked up two special team standouts, but they have also gained two experts on what the new look Miami Dolphins will be looking to do this year in order to take this game and make a serious run at the division title.

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Dolphins Gameplan: Just win baby, WIN!!!

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

The game plan for this Sunday’s game is: Just win, baby, win!

Style points do not matter, just the fact that this is the toughest remaining obstacle between the Dolphins and their first playoff appearance in five years.  It would be a big step towards clinching a playoff berth and place the team on the verge of a 10 win season, the baseline number for elite teams, in my opinion.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins. com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins. com

With the current hot streak, I am a firm believer that your Miami Dolphins are an elite team and a Super Bowl contender.  I have voiced an almost undying faith in the 2013 Dolphins that has made me sound like an irrational homer, but I never picked against the Dolphins all season and they only made me look like a fool once, against the New Orleans Saints, when they lost their first game of the season and got into a tail spin that was equal parts bad luck, bad performance and bad coaching.

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Dolphins Gameplan: Attack Tom Brady

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

This week the Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots in another must win game.  While the possibility exists that Baltimore could lose two or three of their remaining games, Miami is already dependent on at least one loss from the defending Super Bowl champion in order to secure the 6th spot in the AFC playoffs.  Surprisingly, should Miami win this game, two more New England losses could allow the Dolphins to jump all the way into the second spot in the AFC, which is accompanied by a first round bye and at least one home play off game.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The point is that the stakes are high and the best thing the team can do is win out, which looks doable.

The Patriots have just lost star tight end Rob Gronkowski for the season, which drops them down a peg.  Miami has had an excellent pass defense and has given up only one touchdown to a receiver all season long if you throw out last week’s three touchdowns against Pittsburgh.  Those TDs  seemed to be very much aided by the snow and ice on the field which caused many defenders to be unsure in their running and tackling technique on both teams.

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Dolphins Gameplan: Quick passing attack a key to victory

By Matthew C (Follow me on Twitter @PhinManiacs)

The Miami Dolphins head to Pittsburgh today in a must-win game in order to have a good chance of making the playoffs. The Steelers remind me a lot like the Carolina Panthers. They have a quarterback that is hard to take down and can keep plays alive, a quarterback that can throw the ball deep with accuracy, and a receiving and tight end group that is one of the best in the league. Fortunately, the Steelers defense isn’t nearly as good as the Panthers. If the Dolphins can contain the Steelers on offense, they should be able to walk away from this game with a win.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

When the Dolphins are on defense…

Antonio Brown is one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL as he leads the NFL with 85 receptions. The good news for the Dolphins is that they have a legitimate shutdown corner in Brent Grimes who I assume will shadow him throughout the game, much like he’s done against other number one receivers such as Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson, and so forth. Grimes should have no problems handling Brown throughout the entire game.

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Dolphins Game Plan: Quick passing game will be key

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus)

The Miami Dolphins will be without their best pass blocking running back in Daniel Thomas and it will force them to make adjustments as they prepare to face a heavy blitzing Jets team.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The team did not sign a running back, which is either a sign of apathy or a vote of confidence for the guys in the locker room.  I have to believe that it is the latter because Joe Philbin has some intriguing offensive weapons at his disposal that have yet to be truly unleashed.

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Dolphins Gameplan: Protect Tannehill & make Panthers 1 dimensional

By Cyrus (@cyruslassus)

The Miami Dolphins are facing one of the hottest teams in the NFL this week and will need to play a different brand of football if they are to come away with the win against a Carolina Panthers squad that has won six straight games.

The first thing Miami will want to do is to turn Carolina into a one dimensional attack.

Part of what has helped the Panthers make the leap from 1-3 to 7-3 has been their ability to pick up yards on the ground.

They have a deep group of quality running backs headlined by DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert, but what makes their running game even harder to defend is that their quarterback, Cam Newton, can pick up first downs with his legs seemingly at will as he seemed to be doing against the New England Patriots on Monday night.

Newton is one of the most talented football players you will ever see, but he is still inconsistent and can be fooled into mistakes.

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Dolphins Gameplan: Win and stay alive

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus)

In order for the Miami Dolphins to win this game against the San Diego Chargers, they will have to contain Phillip Rivers, who is on track to set a new NFL single-season record for completion percentage.

He is completing 71.6 % of his throws for 2,691 yards with 18 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, compiling an impressive career-high 105.9 passer rating.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The two hardest players for Miami to cover will be scatback Danny Woodhead and tight end Antonio Gates.

Woodhead leads the team, and all NFL running backs with 53 receptions, while Gates has 52 receptions and a team leading 612 yards.  Antonio is 67 yards away from 9,000 career yards and will be the fastest in getting to that mark in terms of games played.

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Dolphins Gameplan: Limit mistakes and run the football!

The Miami Dolphins only have one game left before entering their much needed bye week.  After a sloppy performance on Monday Night, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins need to clean things up on offense and get back to basics on defense.   Tannehill will need a strong bounce-back performance after his 4 turnover game against the Saints and he’ll do so against the Ravens 15th ranked pass defense.  The Dolphins defense will need to have a better showing than they had on Monday, when they allowed 38 points and allowed Drew Brees to throw for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

So how can the Dolphins fix all of their problems with only a short week to prepare?  How can they beat the defending Super Bowl Champions?  They can get back to basics, something I believe the coaches will stress this week and for the next two weeks during the bye.  The Dolphins must remember how to protect their quarterback….their quarterback must remember how to protect the football….and their defense needs to remember how to cover opposing receivers and tight ends.  Here’s a look at our gameplan for the Dolphins this week against the Ravens:

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Dolphins Gameplan: Protect Tannehill and control the clock

The Miami Dolphins have an extra day to prepare (and heal) before traveling to New Orleans to take on the 3-0 Saints.  The Dolphins coaching staff had better come up with a solid game plan because this game will not be an easy one.  Heading to New Orleans is never easy because they have Drew Brees and the #6 offense in the NFL.  What’s worse?  The Saints also have the #4 defense in the NFL, thanks to Rob Ryan.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

That’s right, Rob Ryan (The foot fondler’s brother), has the Saints defense playing really well.  The Dolphins are currently 5.5 point underdogs because the game is being played in the Superdome and because the Dolphins have a lot of injury questions.  Want some good news?  Paul Soliai and Cameron Wake both practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday.  We’ll see how much they participate on Friday, but the fact that they’re both practicing is a good sign.

So what do the Dolphins have to do to come away with a win and improve to 4-0?  First, they need to protect Ryan Tannehill.  Then, they need to run the ball to control the pace of the game……they need to create pressure on Drew Brees…..and they need to figure out how to contain Jimmy Graham.

Protect Tannehill

This is getting ridiculous.  It seems like every week, I’m typing the same key to the game.  The problem is that the Dolphins offensive line isn’t getting better.  After allowing 9 sacks through 2 game, the Dolphins yielded another 5 sacks last week against the Falcons.  I’ve heard a lot of people say that Tannehill is simply holding the ball too long.  BUT, as Chris Kouffman points out here, Tannehill gets rid of the ball quicker thank most other QBs in the NFL.

Last week, the Dolphins did a better job of using scheme to help protect Tannehill, but it still wasn’t good enough. The Saints have 8 sacks through 3 games, so they’re averaging just under 3 per game.  The line is important and must improve, but the Dolphins receivers also must find a way to get open more quickly.  Tannehill is not going to last the entire season if he keeps getting hit/sacked like he has for the first 3 weeks.  PROTECT HIM!  (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)

Dolphins Gameplan: Run the ball & protect Ryan Tannehill

The Miami Dolphins are currently 1-0 and after watching the Thursday Night Football game, they have to think that the AFC East is wide open.  The Jets have their issues on offense, but their defense held Tom Brady and the misfits to just 13 points.  Maybe this is the year the Pats take a step back?  Or maybe they are just so depleted that it’s an illusion.  That’s why this week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts is important.  First, it gives the Dolphins a chance to keep pace with the Patriots.  Second, it gives them a chance to make a statement on the road against a good quarterback and a playoff team from last season.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Remember, the Dolphins next 3 games after the Colts are home versus the Falcons, at the Saints, and at home against the Ravens.  That is 3 tough games.  It would be nice to see the running game show up on Sunday and the defense continue to play well, before heading into that even tougher stretch.  If the Dolphins can find a way to get through these first 5 games at 3-2 or better, you’d have to be happy with that.

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