Coming off of a loss such as the one last week at the hands of the Denver Broncos, one would expect the Dolphins to be in complete turmoil. Well, if you take a look around and have read the headlines the past week, that is exactly where our Dolphins are at.
Players are accusing others, coaches are accusing players, the whole locker room is a circus right now, and the Dolphins are creating more excitement and news off the field than they are on the field. That part is disturbing.
But the Dolphins have to move onto the next opponent, which in this case is the New York Giants, who are one of the more formidable teams in the league once again this year. Here are some of the facets of the game that the Fins will have to excel at to come out victorious on Sunday:
3. Execute When Called Upon:
Thus far this season the Dolphins have failed to execute everywhere you look. Whether it be on defense, offense, or in the redzone, the Dolphins cannot do what they need to do on a consistent basis to come out with a win. Last week it was a failed attempt to bar Tim Tebow from scoring a two point conversion to tie the game, the week before it was the failure to catch a pass. The Dolphins are having problems all across the board, and this week they are facing a quality opponent, so they can’t be expecting a 15 point lead at any point in the game. This one will be a dog fight, and like any battle against a quality team, the unit that executes better more often than not comes out on top.
2. Win The Single Matchups:
One of the big reasons as well as lack of execution for the teams woes has been failure to win the one on one battles between every player on the field. Whether it be on the offensive or defensive lines, the wide receivers and secondary, or the running backs and tight ends and the linebackers and safeties, everyone has a matchup on the field. The Dolphins have not done a decent job this year at winning those battles at all, and when they do, they fail to make big plays, whether it be running out of bounds after getting open, fumbling the ball, or dropping an interception, something always ends up happening to prevent a big play from happening. The Dolphins have to win their matchups this week, and get those big, momentum changing plays going in order to defeat the Giants. Eli Manning has put together another good year, but like always, Manning is prone to throwing an interception here and there. The Dolphins have to capitalize off of this fact. Dial up the blitzes, make him feel the pressure and feel rushed. When Eli forces things, good things happen for the defense, which is what Miami is looking for.
1. Win The Red Zone Battle:
The utmost Dolphins failure this season has been their woes inside the red zone. The lack of execution, and failure to come away with a touchdown is almost comical in a way. Whether it be a botched play, a terrible play call, or what have you, the Dolphins seem to be allergic to the red zone, and rank dead last in coming away with touchdowns in the league. On the other side of the spectrum, the Giants rank first in that category, coming away with the most touchdowns in the red zone when given the chance. This may be due to their ground and pound style in the red zone, or the fact that they know what they want to do once they get inside the 20 yard line. Once the Dolphins decide whether they want to run, pass, run play action, or even run the Wildcat, that is when they can start to be effective. Right now they are unorganized once they get in there, and don’t know what to do, or what plays to call, or whose number to call to get them a score. The Dolphins boast a bruising back in Daniel Thomas, and Reggie Bush who creates mismatches every where he lines up. Get them the ball and let them make plays. That is the only thing we can ask for at this point.
Final Result: With the Giants excelling in all of the categories that the Dolphins cannot muster any success in, its hard to visualize Miami coming away with a win here. Giants take control of the game early, and don’t let their foot off the gas pedal until the final whistle blows: 27-13 Giants.