Dolphins Gameplan: Back to basics for Dolphins

STOP THE RUN

I’ve capitalized establishing the run and stopping the run for good reason.  The Dolphins were very good earlier this season at stopping the opponents running game and running effectively themselves.  They must do this on a consistent basis if they want to have success.  The Dolphins pass defense is too shaky to allow teams to be multi-dimensional.  The Dolphins must contain CJ Spiller tonight and limit the big plays.  This means winning at the line of scrimmage and making plays in the backfield.  The Dolphins also must be wary of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ability to take off and run.

Get off the field

Earlier this season, the Dolphins were among the NFL’s best in defensive 3rd down conversion rate.  In recent weeks, they’ve tumbled in that ranking.  The Dolphins pass defense is to blame because they seems to continually give up 3rd and longs.  Whether it’s a 12 yard catch on 3rd and 11 or an opposing QB making a run to pick up a 3rd down, the Dolphins defense has disappointed on 3rd down.

Stopping the run, as mentioned above, will help create those 3rd and long situations.  The key, however, is that the Dolphins must capitalize on those 3rd and longs by pressuring Fitzpatrick and locking up the Bills receivers.  This probably means giving help to Jimmy Wilson, who has struggled mightily in pass coverage.  Opposing quarterbacks have a QB rating over 100 when throwing at the man Wilson is covering.  With Richard Marshall out, Wilson will be on the field, so he must improve or get help from his friends in the defensive backfield.

Prediction

Traveling to an opposing city on a short week is historically a tough task and considering how badly the Dolphins played on Sunday, it’s going to be that much harder.  I wish I had a better prediction for all of us, but I think the Bills are going to win this game.  The Bills played the Patriots tough on Sunday, so they aren’t as bad as their record indicates.  The Bills passing attack isn’t great, but they might look like it against the Dolphins secondary.  I’m also concerned about CJ Spiller because he’s the same type of cutback, take it to the house, runner that the Dolphins had problems with just 4 days ago (Chris Johnson).  Because of all of this, I’m going to pick the Bills and give up the 3 points.  Bills 24 Dolphins 20  (I hope I’m wrong)

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