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Dolphins in New Orleans PLUS keys to the game

NEW ORLEANS -- The Dolphins are in town and, as I reported on my twitter account, both Cameron Wake and Paul Soliai traveled with the Dolphins today.

 

Both remain pregame decisions and although I have been told it is unlikely Soliai plays, the possibility that he is active is 50-50. Wake? That's going to be close.

I believe he will try to play. We'll see.

Meanwhile, let me share the keys to the game with you:

When the Dolphins pass the football: If the Dolphins can resolve their issue with sacks, the passing game would border on elite. Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 14 times this year, which is more than any other NFL quarterback. Some of that is the offensive line, some of that is poor blocking by backs and tight ends, some of that is Tannehill holding the ball too long. Tannehill is spreading the football around – completing passes to nine different receivers last week. Miami has speed on the outside and a physical presence from Brandon Gibson in the slot. Add Charles Clay, who is finally emerging, and the passing game is borderline dynamic. The Saints have been equally dynamic stopping the pass. They’re No. 4 against the pass, they’re sixth in interception percentage. Cameron Jordan is emerging as an excellent pass rusher. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Dolphins run the football: The Dolphins running game came around a bit last week, as Miami rushed for 90 yards on 15 carries – a 6-yard a carry average. But the Dolphins need to actually run more often against the Saints so that they can improve the time of possession and limit the amount of time Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense is on the field. This would be a good strategy because the Saints aren’t exceptional against the run. And by not exceptional, read terrible. New Orleans is 31st in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt allowed and 20th in rushing yards allowed per game. They are vulnerable. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins.

When the Saints run the football: Pierre Thomas remains the most effective running threat for New Orleans despite the fact the team invested a first-round pick in Mark Ingram two years ago. Thomas is averaging a 4-yards per rush but his longest run of the season is 11 yards. He is not breakaway threat. Darren Sproles is actually New Orleans’ change-of-pace back while Ingram has been something of a disappointment, averaging only 2.6 yards per run. The Dolphins missed 11 tackles last week against the Falcons. Six of those were on linebacker Phillip Wheeler. The Dolphins struggled with average running team Atlanta perhaps, in part, because defensive tackle Paul Soliai didn’t play. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins.

When the Saints pass the football: The Saints are scary good when they throw the ball but not infallible. Yes, Drew Brees is among the NFL’s acknowledged elite QBs but he has thrown four interceptions to go with his six TD passes. And while Jimmy Graham is a match up nightmare, the Saints are an intermediate passing team. The Dolphins must pressure Brees. He has been sacked 10 times in three games so there is vulnerability there. But if Miami is without defensive end Cameron Wake aside from the loss of cornerback Dimitri Patterson, the defense against the pass will be great diminished. The Saints lead the NFL in yards after the catch since 2006. ADVANTAGE: Saints.

Special teams: Brandon Fields and Caleb Sturgis are arguably the most consistent players on the Miami roster. Sturgis has not missed this season and is even 2-for-2 on FGs of 50 yards or more. Fields is third in the NFL in net punting average and fourth in overall average. The Saints have a threat in Darren Sproles on both kickoff return and punt returns. But this is mostly about reputation. Sproles is averaging only 7.3 yards per return. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Coaching: The Miami coaching staff is good at correcting issues that pop up in previous weeks. Look for defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle to address the issues with stopping the run and missing tackles, which showed up against Atlanta. The Saints, terrible on defense a year ago, have completely turned around under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. The Saints allowed 3.1 TDs per game last season. They are allowing 1.3 TDs per game this season. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Intangibles: The Superdome is a difficult place to play even when the Saints are mediocre.  It can get unbearable when New Orleans is good and on a roll. It is loud. The crowd seems to feed the home team with momentum and vice versa. OVERALL ADVANTAGE: Saints.

Comments

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MONDAYYYYYY NIGHTTTTTTT FOOTBALLLLLLL. Pressure Brees. Knock their WRs off the line. Tackle. Effective offense. and for God's sake, PROTECT TANNEHILL.

Playing a SB caliber team on MNF. Need to create turnovers and not turn it over otherwise will be a long night.

Pay attention to Tonight's NE-Atl Game. The result might represent us winning the Division or not.

Russell Wilson appears like, ahh, umm, well...a good QB.

The Dolphins can not get off to a slow start like they have. They need to come out and have their best game ready to go. I am not worried as others are about the lack of Soliai and Wake. I would rather they be 100% after the bye then taking a chance on extended injury. I said I would be ecstatic if we were 3-2 after the first 5. We are 3-0 and I believe Baltimore is beatable. My biggest concern is this game is sandwiched between to huge home games and New Orleans is home on a Monday Night Game. Not as confident in this game as the last 3. We shall see

You can see now that the rookie CB crop for this year was deep and great. Amerson, Truffant, Milliner, others

If the Dolphins win this one, this will be a clear sign that not only will they be going to the playoffs (more than likely at this point, as teams that start 3-0 go to the playoffs 75% of the time), but that they will be primed to make a deep run into the postseason.

The feel of this season is different. We're winning games that a few years ago we would have lost because they never finished off an opponent.

The team is not playing great football but are winning games and outplaying all opponents in the 4th QTR...they need to put a complete game together and put someone away...monday night Saints??? Well...I will just take another win...but the next step is putting it on a good team...then the Patriots...Bills and Dolphins rising to the top of the division...

Interesting. It's in the best interest of Atl that we beat NO tomorrow.

No matter what it is still VERY early...ask the 2012 4-0 Cardinals how they feel about their chances of making the playoffs...5-11 called... it wants its 80% chance back...

Whoa...

Hmm...

JOE PHILBIN IS THE GUY THAT GOT RID OF REGGIE BUSH..NOT IRELAND...BUSH HAD A LOT OF POWER IN THE LOCKER ROOM,,,,REMEMBER VS. THE TITANS..AFTER HE FUMBLED AND GOT BENCHED THE TEAM WENT IN A FUNK FOR THE REST OF THAT GAME.ALSO MIKE WALLACE WITH BUSH..NOT GONNA WORK..I DO BELIEVE BUSH WILL HAVE A CHANCE AT THE MVP AT THE END OF THE YEAR..I LOOK FOR LAMAR MILLER TO LEAD US WITH 700 YARDS RUSHING..WE'RE A PASSING TEAM NOW...BUT BUSH IS GONNA GO DOWN SOON..BUT HE WILL WHEN HE PLAYS HAVE A MVP YEAR..STILL HASN'T REALY MADE HIS MARK IN THE LEAGUE YET.GO FINS PUT ON A SHOW TOMOROW VERSUS THE SAINTS .WHO AREN'T THAT GOOD..FINS4LIFE!

Pattern I've noticed with Matt Ryan over the years is he goes hot and cold. It's like he's stuck at the very edge of very good. But can't seem to break into true category of qb elites.

We speak of Ryan vs Long, so far Ryan hasn't shown 1st overall worthy. He should be elite by now, instead of just very good.

NE O looks at best middle of the pack.

Totally agree Armando - the Dolphins MUST run the football tomorrow night. Eat some clock, take the crowd out of it, settle the whole team down, rest the defense.

So... run the football tomorrow night please.

One more thing - I think Daniel Thomas is a STUD. I don't think anyone likes him except me and Jeff Ireland.

Some of the intra-division games went well for us today.

The Browns beating the Bengals, The Steelers losing to everyone. The Jets LOSING-LOL! Houston losing was big and the Ravens too. I think the Ravens losing was great even if it was Buffalo, because I think Buffalo are pretenders and we also have two losses we can hang on them ourselves.

We're going to be in good shape record-wise, REGARDLESS.

But putting New Orelans away is going to be Ginormous. We'll be 4-0, at the top looking down. With tons of potential still to be realized!

PS: The Falcon's have their backs to the wall. This is about as close to a "Must Win" game as there is. Time for them to take it ALL OUT on the Patriots-LOL.

I predict that Tommy and all his youngsters come crashing back down to earth. Look for a really odd looking LOSS for the Pats!

Well uhhhh Tannehill is a much better QB than Wilson,Luck&RGIII! We're gonna go down to tha Baueau in New Orleans and show em their So-called home field advantage is for nothing! We're awesome on the Road and Monday Night will b no different,Our Offense will run the ball with Authority and throw the football at will,our Oline is due for a breakout game and by that I mean Tannehill doesn't get sacked, not even once! Our D minus Soliai,Wake and Patterson will still dominate,lookout for Shelby and Jordan to make an impact,even though I feel like Wake is still gonna do everything in his power to play,our LBs and Secondary will have to play lights out especially against Saints TE,which I have no doubt they will,it's our time and everyone will officially b on the Phinz bandwagon starting Tuesday mourning!

Good things seem to be happening to us. Wilfork out.

You can see now that the rookie CB crop for this year was deep and great. Amerson, Truffant, Milliner, others

Posted by: oscar canosa | September 29, 2013 at 08:20 PM
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After only 3 games your labeling these CB's great already? What are you drinking?

Excellent point!

Look at who the Pats have beaten. A nobody, another Nobody and a quitter, BENCHED Nobody!

The Pats are always going to be dangerous with Brady playing at.......well, Brady's level.

But they've lost too much. They've peaked.

They have a real opponent tonight and it's going to show!

Pats will win this game.

My fault, 4 games. I had a few beer myself.

No, no ,Bob, the crop, the crop. Please pay attention to what you read.

Those trap blocks is what we need. Good blocking by NE. They might win the Game.

Sam,

Stop It! You don't really believe that do you?

I don't know why the Falcons didn't open it up more against us last week. But they're going too tonight.

And you know what? The Pats aren't going to be able to hang with White, Jones, Gonzalez and especially Harry Douglas(Is that their speedsters name?). Anyway, watch him get a deep TD or TWO Tonight!

Oscar,

It took a minute for Nate Soldier(Sp. ?)to get up to speed last year. But the Pats have had a good O-Line for quite a while.

Almost NOBODY gets to stand back there and survey the field like Brady! Their O-Line definitely isn't a problem for them.

I know, odin(is Solder back in the Game?). But I'm afraid they are going to try to run on ATl and keep the ball from Matt Ryan hands.

A Mulligan?

How did the defender miss that? Fvcking ridiculous! I know Shula's cursing at the screen right about now.

Brady CANNOT keep getting this **LUCKY**.

Yeah, THAT was ALL Luck! I don't know what happened to the defender on that, but ALoco could have made that play.

The Pats SUCK!!!!

Oscar,

That would be a good strategy. I'll bet both teams are thinking along the same lines in this regard.

Oscar, I thought I saw Solder in that last drive. I'm not positive, but I think so.

Just look for the 6'-8" Behemoth looking Lurch-LOL!

Well, Atl has to score on this drive, otherwise they might be looking at another 6-7 min without the ball.

The homer(s) who claims Lamar Miller is anywhere near Reggie Bush is a total imbecile. One is a great playmaker and one isnt.

Broder!

Wow!

And that's been Matt Ryan's legacy so far in a nut shell.

He plays just good enough to get you knocking on the door. Whether it be the goal line or the playoffs.

As I said, Pats will win this game. Matt Ryan is no elite.

That's one Player I miss, not so much for his great talent but for his ethic and leadership qualities.

Matt Ryan has his suck knob set to 11.

More I see of Matt Ryan, happier I am we didn't make him 1st overall pick. Not overly thrilled with Long as the pick neither.

I think Matt Ryan hit his ceiling last year. This year begins his slow decline.

Matt Ryan = Dan Marino

Saints going down on MNF! NFL in shock...

I don't even want to talk about Bush anymore.

He is GREAT! But, he wants to be the FEATURE Guy.

That's all fine and dandy, but he really just does not fir Philbin and Sherman's system IMHO.

Now Detroit......? That's a different story(and system). I think Bush fits Detroits system and offense PERFECTLY! That is, **IF** he can stay healthy!

Look at Bush(and how Detroit did)in week 1. Then again today. He's an excellent compliment to Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Then look at the Lions while Bush was injured.

The way we use running backs, Bush just couldn't cut it. I'm not sure he'll be able to make it in Detroit, HEALTH-WISE! But TALENT-WISE, Bush is in the perfect offense in Detroit.

Having said all that, I like Lamar Miller and I think he'll quickly surpass Bush in effectiveness, once we fix our O-Line Problems.

Dan actually made it to the Super Bowl.

Marino > Ryan

Come on man!

More I see of Matt Ryan, happier I am we didn't make him 1st overall pick. Not overly thrilled with Long as the pick neither.

Posted by: Sam I Am | September 29, 2013 at 09:34 PM
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Thinking the same thing during that last drive.

Maybe he just needs a laxitive. There's an old saying I remember from my youth:

Shyt or get off the pot!

Matt Ryan needs to do one or the other!

A FG will not do it.

I love my phins till the day I die, but you guys keep forgetting tom Brady one of the greatest QB that will go down on history, enough said. With no WR no TE new players still has his team 3.0 and will be 4-0 after tonite.. Falcons can you say overrated this year?
To many injury to over come. I respect Tom Brady he is dam good! Payton and Brady than Bree's. Best in my book, than comes the rest starting with Rodgers

That's more like it. Looks like it will be a good Game.

Matt Ryan and Dan Marino do have a lot of similarities. Very good QB's that cant get over the top. Ryan has 10-11 years left though.

I like Jaquiz Rogers too. I think he had a pretty good game against us. But I wouldn't want him as my feature back. You can tell he just couldn't hold up.

Bush is very similar. Great change of pace guy, Feature Back......? Not so much.

Bush has had all of ONE SINGLE seaon where he managed to avoid injury. That's ONE!

He was injured GAME TWO this year. That means he made ONE GAME!

Bush is aging fast, in dog years and running back years. I see the injuries and the dings, bings and bangs becoming more and more of an issue.

I think Bush plays a big part in getting the Lions to the playoffs this year. But I doubt very much that he'll be healthy enough to actually PLAY in the Playoffs. FWIW - That's my take on Bush.

(Above I said I didn't want to talk about him, yet....)

Gonzalez is like old Fred was, he catches the ball strictly with hands on those long arms. Uff!

Reggie is a great player. The Lions are thrilled to have him. Trust me!!!

Reggie Bush, Fasano, Richard Marshall, Long, Dansby, water under the bridge.

Buffalo beat the Ravens by 3. But it took 5 int's from the 100 million dollar man.

Buffalo is a pretender, but I love the win.

Is KC 4-0?

Looks like that LB Kiko from Buff is going to be a good one. Went under my radar as I thought the rookie LBs this year sukkked.

Reggie is a great player. The Lions are thrilled to have him. Trust me!!!

Posted by: CadillacDeVille | September 29, 2013 at 09:57 PM
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I live up here in Michigan. Thrilled is an UNDERstatement. TRUST ME!

My Kids, Brother In Law, Nephews, all Gigantic Lions fans and they've all fallen in **LOVE** with Reggie Bush!

To tell the truth, I Love seeing him here in Detroit! He fit right in right off the bat. And with Stafford and Calvin Johnson's successes, Bush doesn't have to face the same kinds of defenses that he did in Miami!

I'm pretty sure Vegas Mike said to bet Buffalo every game and they're 4-0 ATS.

Caddy, Buffalo is actually 3-1 ATS, they lost the Jets game.

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