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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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I liked Bush while he was here. I have no ill will towards him and still root for him.

Here are some reasons Miami go rid of him in my opinion. Cost, age, injuries, negative plays, fumbling.

Philbin opted for the younger and cheaper RBs like in Green Bay.

..DC..Since the bell rang on the Atlanta game. I have been thinking about how the Phins win this week. It is a tough game, they all are. But I think if we can play good redzone defense(as we have) score Td's when we get into the redzone..Like we have. All the other factors that we like to try and place and plug will be side stories.

Yeah it is easy to say we need to run it. We need to protect Tannehill, we need to pressure Brees..Play special teams..Win on third down..All the clichés.

We aren't going to stop Drew Brees. He is going to throw for whatever..It doesn't matter between the 20's. We just have to stop him when it does matter..And we should be in the game.

If we can do this..Why shouldn't we win. I say our redzone units win...We win. 28-23

I think you're right DC. Unless D has a oustanding (don't see that happing) game, Brees is gonna put points on the board. Miami has to stay close to have a chance.

It's simple and logical, If the Dolphins play tonight like they have been so far; strong defense and mistake free offense then they will compete and have a chance to win. So far this year, this team has consistently shown they can beat anyone in any house.

Guys Reggie Bush isnt getting a huge salary in Detroit, i think hes 28 or 29 is he in a downslope Im sure but like DC said he was a prifessional who worked hard and was our #1playmaker besides Reggie last year, you dont just get rid of hard working guys who was fhe big play ability guy. Im sorry but i dont think Lamar canf match Reggie numbers. Sorry Dashi

I have us losing tonight it pains me to say but its too much especially playing away on there turf. Final score prediction. NO 31 and Phins 24 with Tanne scoring on a late TD. Hope im wrong...

Certain QBs make their team Better, other QBs make their team Worst.

Which one is M.Ryan.

A System QB. The Falcons had/have a Great Team. The Team wins, not the QB.

Guys that are similar.

M.Schaub
T.Romo
A.Smith
P.Rivers
E.Manning
M.Stafford
C.Palmer
J.Flacco

None of these guys are Dynamic. They win cause their team is good. If they don't have weapons they will all become mediocre QBs. Nothing more than C.Henne.

So which is Tanne Dashi?

Kris, you left me man? Didn't know you're no longer in Old Town. MO like Missouri? I guess you could do worse (like Arkansas). I'm coastal, can't be landlocked. But I hear you on the game times. I LOVED it when I went out West this Spring and was watching basketball games that ended by 9pm.

DD/cocoa, that's it. It WILL be a shootout. If we can hold Brees to under 400 yards, then we have a chance. But you don't shutdown offenses in today's NFL, doesn't happen. You just need your defense to stop 'em at critical times. Also, I'd LOVE a special teams TD. That might put us over the top.

You could make the argument that Miami's offense is actually better suited to play in the dome than the Saints are.

Miami has speed guys with Wallace and Lamar Miller, and Hartline, Gibson, and Clay are quick as well.

The key will be which defense can shut down the run and force turnovers.

I could see this one being decided by a late field goal.

Miami 24 New Orleans 23

How would L.Miller stats look like in Detroit?

Who has a better future in the NFL. Even this season.

REGGIE BUSH CAREER RUSHING TOTAL IN THE NFL

2006-16G-155Att-565yds-3.6Avg-6TDs-2 FUM
2007-12G-157Att-581yds-3.7Avg-4TDs-7 FUM
2008-10G-106Att-404yds-3.8Avg-2TDs-2 FUM
2009-14G-070Att-390yds-5.6Avg-5TDs-2 FUM
2010-08G-036Att-150yds-4.2Avg-0TDs-0 FUM
2011-15G-216Att-1086yds-5.0Avg-6TDs-4 FUM
2012-16G-227Att-986yds-4.3Avg-6TDs-4 FUM
2013-02G-30Att-115yds-3.8Avg-0TDs-0 FUM

Lamar Miller Career Stats

2012-13G-51Att-250yds-4.9Avg-1TD-0 FUM
2013-03G-32Att-134yds-4.2Avg-1TD-0 FUM

The Key to the Game is to score more then the Saints, If The Air-Breathing Aquatic Mammals van do that they should win........

Truth if you have to ask that question. You need to check your evaluation skills.

Tannehill has Natural Ability. Pure Talent.

He just needs experience and to keep growing. But his ceiling is way higher than any of those guys.

I'll put it this way. I was watching CBS' halftime show, and I said: "That guy looks familiar, didn't he play for the Dolphins."

THAT'S RIGHT! Ryan Tannehill made me forget Dan Marino's name. GET UP! GO! FIGHT! WIN!

R.Bush demanded to be the Feature Back. For the next 3-4 Seasons. Philbin wasn't going to give in to that. Heck, he wanted Bush to share carries last season.

Bush isn't that Good. Bush has gained less than 585 yds a Season in 5 out of 7 Seasons in his Career.

If Bush worked so hard he must've not been that good in the First Place. Bush worked out for Show Muscles. Not to get better.

CALM BEFORE THE STORM FELLAS?

..Dashi..what is the deal with you and Reggie Bush? I'm not sure you are making any points that will change the minds of those who are upset the team failed to resign Bush.

..Miller has tons of potential. That is the bet we made when making our bed. We would be equaly if not better off with a younger cheaper option. Younger really the key to the move(Bush contract in Detroit isn't outrageous)..Even if Bush has a monster year. We didn't want to get stuck in a long term contract that would not allow us to develop our younger guys.

So it was a win win for both teams. But the idea that Miller is a better back then Bush right now..Is pointless. He isn't. Miller hasn't proven a thing yet. He just doesn't have enough carries to even warrant comparison. Like I mentioned yesterday. What is the rush to label every player? Why can't we enjoy Lamar Miller, and forget about Reggie Bush?

Dashi,

IMO, Bush/Miller > Miller/Thomas. I think offenses need to stockpile weapons. With that said, he's OBVIOUSLY not a player we couldn't win without. Our offense is better this year than last year. My point is he was a nice weapon to have. Looking at next year, just skill-position wise, I'd like to get a compliment at TE to Clay (not sure Keller's ever coming back to the NFL). One more threat to our 3-headed monster might make our offense the most explosive ever (for a Dolphins team).

Stand By Me:

Dolphins 38 Saints 17

John Riggins used to run a 9.9 sec 100 yds dash. Exceptional for that big a man. Probably we did not have the ability to contain him around ends.

Darryl Dunphy, the offense is pointed in the right direction. I'm sort of a Bush homer too, and wished he could be doing the things he's doing for the Lions, he were still doing for us.

However, I stand by Ireland on the decision not to resign Bush, because it was very sound and understandable. Lamar Miller has talent worth exploiting. With Bush still here, those talents rest in a vacuum of limited backup carries.

Did some reading on the zone blocking scheme. It was said it takes a little while for olines to learn and perfect it. So, the run blocking is still a work in progress. As it gets better as the season rolls on, so will Miller's numbers.

Barring critical injuries, this team should be playing it's absolute best football the 2nd half of the season. Every win before 2nd half of the season are like bonus points and playing on house money.

2nd half of the season, I believe this will be a team nobody wants to play.

..Sam I AM..I totally support the move to Miller as well. Always did. I have no issue with it. I think Miller has a chance to be better then Reggie Bush. I think that the team does as well or they wouldn't have parted ways. Miller still has to prove it. That's all I am saying.

new blog up

LET'S STOP GETTING AHEAD OF OURSELVES HERE WE HAVE A GAME TONIGHT AND TWO MORE BEFORE WE FACE NE.. STOP TRYING TO JUDGE WHAT THE PATS/DOLPHIN GAME WILL BE UNTIL WE PLAY AND BEAT THEM."THAT'S RIGHT" BEAT THEM!! THIS IS THE YEAR THAT BARRING INJURIES WE AND WILL BEAT NE WHETHER GRONK RETURNS OR NOT EVEN WITH AMEDOLA THE FINS CAN BEAT THE PATRIOTS.. WHY? BECAUSE THE MATCH UP PROBLEMS WE PRESENT ON OFFENSE IF WE CAN GET OUR RUNNING GAME GOING. LAST NIGHT THE PATRIOTS SHOWED HOW THEY WILL PROBABLY PLAY THE FINS ON DEFENSE WITH THE DOUBLING OF WALLACE WITH TALIB AND A SAFETY OVER THE TOP. THEY WILL ALSO DO THE SAME ON HARTLINE SIDE.. OKAY GREAT EXCEPT IF MILLER/THOMAS/TANNEHILL IS RUNNING EFFECTIVELY(OVER 100 YDS) THE DEFENSE CANNOT WORK AND THE MATCHUP PROBLEMS BEGIN..ADD TO THAT TRYING TO COVER CLAY WHO IS FASTER THAN GONZALEZ AND YOU HAVE FURTHER PROBLEMS.. GET PATTERSON BACK OR ONE OF THE ROOKIES EMERGE BY THE 1ST OR 2ND GAME AGAINST THEM AND I CLEARLY SEE US BEING ABLE TO CONTAIN THE PATS MORE SO THAN EVER WITH THE RESULTS BEING ONE OF THOSE 2 GAMES GOING IN THE WIN SPOT FOR US.. THE KEY IS TO STAY HEALTHY GOING IN AND A GOOD RUNNING GAME TO GO WITH THE PASSING GAME HELPS THE DEFENSE STAY FRESH AND HEALTHY.. GO FINS 4-0 AFTER A SURPRISINGLY EASY VICTORY TONIGHT 34-20 !!

DD,

The team didn't fail to resign Reggie. Reggie wanted to play elsewhere. The Dolphins were offering about the same as the Lions. They just weren't going to make him their Feature Back. Not anymore.

I like R.Bush. I just think he is good not great. Definitely not in the NFL. In College, Bush was great. As a pro he is just a Bad imitation. A .10 of a second slow to react sometime. That and he is scared to get hit.

The Patriots are still the best team in the division. The Dolphins will just have to accept their place yet again as a second class team. Did you really think Ireland could buy a division title. This ain't the NBA. Phins lose tonight in embarrassing fashion and reality starts to set in.


Saints 57 Sea World 2

... and America laughs at more than just the gay logo.

TK SWANN,

When are "YOU" playing the Patriots ?

Clearly you consider yourself a part of the action.

Until "we" play and beat them.

Delusional thinking in the genesis of the sports fan idiot.

Tell everyone at the bbq "you've" won.

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