Dolphins Gab Editor Brant Houghton sits down with Bengals Gab for a quick Q&A on Sunday’s game…
BG: Tough loss to the Steelers last week. What’s been the reaction in Miami , especially with that questionable call?
BH: The reaction in Miami is pure anger. While the players still are mad about the call and the way they lost the game, they have seemed to turn the page on the loss, and are getting ready for this week. But as a fan I can say I’m still reeling over the loss. We seemed to have the win in the bag, only to have it ripped out from under us. I expect this loss to sting the team enough to carry over to the game against the Bengals, and give them the emotional edge that they need to get things done on the road.
BG: What has the addition of Brandon Marshall meant for the Dolphins?
BH: Marshall has meant a lot to the Fins. Whether it’s catching 5-10 balls a game, or simply drawing double teams and taking that extra man out of the box, Marshall has meant a lot to the Dolphins. He is benefitting slot receiver Davone Bess the most though, as well as Chad Henne’s production moving along rather nicely with him having a legitimate #1 receiver to throw to.
BG: Miami is 3-0 away from home. What do you think has made them so successful on the road?
BH: I think it’s just the mentality that they have as a team really. They play hard nosed football, and have been getting more breaks on the road than they have at home. Other than that it really is strange that they are able to have a 3-0 record on the road, while only having a 0-3 record at home. It could just be a coincidence, but really I think it comes down to the team playing better ball on the road.
BG: What is Miami ’s greatest strength? What is their greatest weakness?
BH: At this point in the season I am not so sure what the teams strength is, and that may be a reason why they are 3-3 right now. They have struggled to run the ball, they have been inconsistent stopping opponents passing game, and even more importantly, they have struggled to make the big plays when they have been needed. I guess you could say the team’s strength is their pass blocking. Led by Jake Long, who has not allowed a sack yet this year, the team is giving up less than one sack per game.
On the other hand, the teams weakness has to be their ability to make the big play, or their ability to pull off a crucial drive when it is needed. Their ability to score in the red-zone goes hand in hand with this as well. The Dolphins had the chance last week to pull off an upset against the Steelers, but instead, the drive stalled and ended in an interception. The Dolphins have struggled all season long to accomplish this feat, and while they have one of the best pass blocking lines, one of the best receivers, and one of the best rushing games, they still struggle to move the ball down the field. My opinion is that it comes down to play calling, but at this point the team should be able to execute despite the plays that are called.
BG: What’s your prediction for Sunday’s game?
BH: Despite the teams heartbreaking loss last week, I think Miami uses it as motivation, and the Fins pull out the victory, 24-17. The Bengals defense, especially pass defense has been lacking this year, and I see the Dolphins taking advantage of that.