This Sunday’s 1pm matchup between the Denver Broncos (1-4) and Miami Dolphins (0-5) will be the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins all year. Because cause it might be there best chance at winning a game this season? No. Because a loss might spell the end to Tony Sparano’s tenure as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach? No. Then why is it the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins? Three syllables: Tim Tebow.
What to Watch For:
Broncos’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:
The Denver Bronco’s offense trots into Miami being near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to offense. They are ranked 22th in rushing and 27th in passing. This has led the Broncos to finally succumb to the fan’s cries (and billboards) to let Tebow play. How great did that play out for the Dolphin owners? To setup, what I’m calling, “Gator Day” and have Tebow make his first start. I wonder how many high-fives went around the office when the announcement of Tebow starting was delivered. I feel that you have to throw out the Broncos’ previous offensive performances with this change of QB. I like the variables that Tebow adds to this offense, with extending plays and running. A bad team can benefit from this type of QB and the Dolphins do have trouble stopping running QBs (Sanchez TD last week). He might have to do this with his best WR, Brandon Lloyd, being traded to the Rams this week. Then again, this Dolphins D has not pressured a soul all year. This Dolphin D and the supporting crowd should provide Timmy a chance to get off on the right foot.
As previously mentioned, the Broncos run game is nothing special as Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee have struggled. In their last game, week 5 against the Chargers, McGahee received all of the Broncos’ RB carries (16 for 125 yards). That performance compiled with the addition of Tebow’s rushes and their bye week leads me to believe their rush game will improve. Although, the Dolphins are coming off a good, at least for us, defensive performance against the Jets. On Monday, the Dolphins held the Jets to under 300 total yards and only 104 total rushing yards. Is this the return of the strong Miami Dolphins D or the struggles of a weak Jet offense? I’m not sure, but I would bet on the ladder of the two.
Dolphin Offense vs. Broncos’ Defense:
The Bronco defense enters with numbers just as bad as their offense. They are rated 22nd against the pass and 23rd against the run. This should be good news for the Dolphins, but there have been reports that Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall have been limited in practice. I’m not sure, no matter how bad the defense, this offense will do anything. I was at the game this past Monday and it was hard to watch (it didn’t help having all the Jets fans there). Thomas had a poor game, but I have to credit that to the garbage play calling. They are so predictable, once a play works once, they think they can run it over-and-over again. The phins have no chance in the redzone and should just consider kneeling down three time and kick the FG. Matt Moore was bad, as expected. Marshall DID have a good game (6rec for 109 yards), but then fades in the redzone. O yeah, WTF was he doing on the play he ran out-of-bounds?! I almost lost my mind in the stands. I could not believe what I witnessed. I can’t talk about them anymore. The Broncos D is bad, SHOULD be a chance for the Dolphin offense to score, but they probably won’t.
Two Minute Drill:
Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Fill the Stadium. Let’s be honest, the only thing the organization cares about this week is filling the seats. So a win for the Dolphins came with having no blackout of the game this weekend. Want an actual key to the game? Score a TD.
Broncos’ Key to the Game: Feed the Tebow. Broncos need to use the great atmosphere for Tebow’s benefit. Get him going with some high percentage passes and give him the option to run. Establish confidence, then build off of it.
Dolphins’ Player to Watch: Umm? Karlos Dansby. Not because I think he’s going to break out, but see if he can quite those Suck for Luckers. SPOILER ALERT: He won’t
Broncos’ Player to Watch: Left Guard Zane Beadles. You buy that? Didn’t think so. Obviously it’s Tebow. I think he plays well (not great). Throws for a buck-eighty a Td and runs for one.
How it plays out: Same old, same old. This game could be a horrid game to watch with two bad teams going at it. Both teams struggle to do much of anything, but the Bronco’s bye week, “Gator Day,” and the Tebow boost the Broncos to make a few big plays against this Dolphin D.
Prediction: 24-16 Broncos. I can’t believe I’m saying the Dolphins will score 16 points, but I feel the poor Bronco defense will allow them an opportunity to at least put on TD on the board, by accident. Regardless, this game is a toss-up and one of the Dolphins very few opportunities to win.
As always, PhinsUp! -John
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