This blog has broken down all sorts of statistics and matchups this week as the Dolphins have been preparing for the Saints. Some of the statistics favor Miami as do some of the matchups.
But one matchup has me sort of worried -- well, not really worried because it's not actually my butt on the line, but it has me interested. Yeah, interested is more correct.
Reggie Bush vs. whomever is going to cover him.
We all know that Bush has been the scout team Wildcat triggerman for the Saints this week. We know he's no longer the team's top running back and so he's not the Saints big run threat.
But he still gets his touches and I don't see anyone on the Dolphins defense that matches up too well against him. On passing downs, you're not going to put a cornerback or nickel back on the dude because, well, he's a running back coming out of the backfield.
Most teams deal with RBs coming out of the backfield with an OLB or a safety or with an ILB or some sort of zone coverage featuring all of the above. The Dolphins defer a lot to the zone coverage option because their linebackers typically are very big and not built for running step-for-step with running backs, much less those that run 4.3s as Bush supposedly does.
The problem is teams that think they can play zone successfully against the Saints passing game must also think they can jump in a pool and not get wet. It's not a good idea. Drew Brees carves up zones like they were cake.
So what to do with Bush? Do you let Jason Taylor or Akin Ayodele or Joey Porter or Channing Crowder try to stay with him? Do you enlist free safety Gibril Wilson as his shadow?
I don't know. But the point is which of the above stated possibilities sounds good? I don't think any of them sound too good.
Bush has caught 14 passes so far this year for 121 yards. That's only an 8.6 yard per catch average, with his longest reception stretching 29 yards. So he's done only minimal damage so far.
The interest here is whether the Dolphins can keep that damage from Bush to a minimum. Tell me your thoughts after you watch the video.