The Miami Dolphins are reeling after losing their last 2 games against two of the best teams in the NFL. This week, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins welcome in one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Dolphins playoffs hopes are essentially dead, but the team still wants to finish at 8-8 and finish strong. They are welcoming in a team that ranks #31 in the league on both offense and defense….so the Jags are equally bad on both sides of the football.
Aside from trying to win, the key for the remaining 3 games of the season will be for the Dolphins to evaluate the players currently on the roster. There are big decisions to make this offseason and it’s important the coaches have a full understanding of the areas that need fixing. The Dolphins have a number of players that are about to become free agents, including Jake Long, Sean Smith, Reggie Bush, Brian Hartline, Anthony Fasano, and Randy Starks. While the Dolphins are projected to have a ton of cap room, they must use these last 3 games to help determine if there are players on the roster that can replace some of these free agents.
As for the game, the Dolphins are welcoming in an old
robot friend. Yes, Chad Henne, will make his triumphant return to Sun Life Stadium on Sunday. You remember the Robot, right? He was the last guy to fail to become the Dolphins franchise quarterback. Henne will likely be determined to prove this coaching staff wrong, since they were the ones that decided to move on from him and draft Ryan Tannehill. Henne will try to pull a ‘Culpepper’ and stick it to the Dolphins in his return. We’re hoping he short circuits. Here’s our gameplan for a Dolphins victory:
Run the Football!
The Dolphins running game has been sputtering for weeks. Earlier this week, we suggested that the Dolphins make Lamar Miller their featured running back. We hope they do for many reasons. Most notably, it doesn’t appear that Reggie Bush will be back, so why not see what the kid can do with an increased role. Miller brings an element of speed, which the Dolphins offense is lacking badly. He has the potential to break a run for a touchdown every time he touches the ball. The Dolphins offensive line needs to win the line of scrimmage to create at least some holes for their running backs. The Jaguars are giving up over 145 yards rushing per game, so the Dolphins should be able to establish their ground game. This will open up things for Ryan Tannehill, as the Jags will eventually bring down an 8th man into the box. Run the ball, control the clock, and help your rookie QB.
Make the Robot Beat You
The Jaguars rushing attack is terrible. They rank #30 in the NFL, averaging just over 82 yards per game on the ground. Terrible. The Dolphins rush defense has been spotty this season, but should return to form against this weak Jacksonville rushing attack. If the Dolphins shut down the run up front, they will force the Robot to beat them with his arm…..something we saw he was incapable of doing in Miami. The Jags average just over 200 passing yards per game, ranking them #24 in the NFL. Even though I don’t trust the Dolphins secondary, they should match up favorably with the Jags receivers. I expect Sean Smith to shadow Justin Blackmon for most of the game.
Henne had a few good performances in Miami, including throwing for over 400 yards last year against the Patriots. Seems like longer than that, doesn’t it?! Henne gets flustered when the pocket breaks down. Yes, he has a strong arm, but he isn’t always on target. If the Dolphins pass rush can get in Henne’s face and make him uncomfortable, he’ll miss on throws and there will be chances for interceptions by the secondary. The Dolphins defense needs to start creating some turnovers, something they have been dreadful at the past 5 games. Make Chad Henne beat you. Need we say more on this topic….it’s Chad Henne! (cont’d on page 2, click below)