Week 9 Preview: Miami at Denver

Royal with a grab
Two weeks ago the Denver Broncos suffered a nightmare, getting pounded on the road 41-7 on Monday night in New England. Now they return home after a bye week, hoping that a little more time to lick their wounds will pay off in their home game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. The Fins have played well with their new-look in 2008, and suddenly at 3-4 are thinking a win in Denver and they will be ready to make a playoff run at .500.

The Broncos had some injury woes in their loss to the Pats, including the big one which was a finger injury to QB Jay Cutler. The good news is that Cutler has declared himself ready to go, and that his finger is 100 percent. We’ll see early on just how good that finger is, and if it’s going to effect his throwing against a Miami D that is allowing 233.3 yards per game.

The Miami offense has played heads and tails better than their 2007 version, as they are putting up 20.7 points per game, 350.1 yards per game, and 103.3 on the ground with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams leading the way. Look for them to attack the Broncos, as Denver is allowing six yards short of 400 yards per game, a number that cannot continue if they want to make a serious playoff run.

Denver should look to run the ball first to set up the pass for Cutler and company, but the issue is they have a couple of backs in Selvin Young and rookie Ryan Torain (who should make his debut) that are less than 100 percent. Denver needs to take pressure off of Cutler with the run if they are going to be able to get past this game Dolphins team.

Chad Pennington played a great game a week ago vs the Bills, and he’s starting to find out just how good Ted Ginn Jr., who had 7 grabs for 175 yards last week, can be. Look for a big day for Pennington, who is proving his worth so far as the veteran that the Dolphins were looking for when they went out to look for a solid veteran QB.

Bottom line, despite the firepower that the Broncos bring to the table, I like the Dolphins. Pennington and Ginn are playing well along with Brown on offense, and Joey Porter leads the league with 10.5 sacks. Denver is banged up, and even a bit healthier, I don’t trust their defense one bit and think that they will have a tough time shutting down this Miami offense for four quarters.

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