Dolphins Game Plan: Quick passing game will be key
The passes were mostly down the field, but there was a small mix of screens and underneath passes. Brilliantly, the team still managed to run the ball 25 times and was able to use the playaction pass as well, and what I liked most was that the ball was out of Dalton’s hand quickly on those as well. Andy Dalton threw 5 touchdowns against 1 interception and took only one sack. Ryan Tannehill could shred these Jets if he follows Dan Marino’s motto of “pick a guy and let it fly”. The occasional run by the quarterback can be a good thing, but going through lengthy progressions is a no-no.
This was the obvious difference between the Bengals 49-9 victory and the Saints 26-20 loss in New York. Even Drew Brees had trouble with the pressure that New York was bringing and while he was able to pass for 382 yards and two touchdowns, he had two interceptions, two sacks and was hit six more times. The only major positive that the Saints had going for them was Jimmy Graham, who caught 9 balls for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He was able to run to a spot in the front of the end zone, turn around, box out his defender and jump up for a football for one of the easiest long touchdown passes I had ever seen and it reminded me once more how important it is for a quarterback to have a guy like that, if only the Dolphins had a guy who could do that for Ryan Tannehill.
It is about time the Miami Dolphins find out if Dion Jordan can be that guy for their offense, because he is barely breaking a sweat on defense and Tannehill has already lost two of his top free agent acquisitions that were supposed to help this offense become elite. The tight end mismatch in the middle of the field has not been there for Tannehill, because as good as Charles Clay is, he is not 6’6″, 260 lbs like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Dion Jordan, who we all know can play the position because that was his position when he first arrived at the Oregon campus.
The defense against the Jets does not require much of a game plan. Put eight on the box and stop their running game early on often. Continue to bring pressure on the quarterback and force him to scramble. While Geno Smith is also a fast quarterback, he should not be any more elusive than Cam Newton, who the team was able to keep relatively in check in last week’s demoralizing last minute loss.
The important thing this week is for the offense to finally break the 27 point barrier as they are the only NFL team not to have done it. The New York Jets should not be able to keep up if their running game led by Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell is kept under their 127 yard average. My prediction: Dolphins 27 – Jets 23