So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a thousand battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
(The Art of War, 1910, chapter 3)
It’s Sunday evening, we’re only a week away, and I thought I’d venture in studying Miami’s first opponent, and see what Miami needs to do to win this game. In looking at last year’s statistics, the two teams seem evenly matched. But on closer examination, I find it an anomaly that Atlanta won as many games as they did.
Without getting into the numbers game, thru statistics or who has the advantage in areas of the game; I say there is one thing Miami has to do to win this game…. STOP the RUN. Keeping running back Michael Turner at less than 100 yards, preferably under 80 yards, is the first punch.
Matt Ryan had a 3,000 yd passing year in 2008, but only 17 TD’s. By stopping the run and putting Ryan in a pressured position to try and put up more than one TD gives Miami the best chance to win. By forcing Ryan to face Miami’s sack, QB hurries and turn-over percentages, it will keep Atlanta around 20 points or less……. the second punch.
If Miami’s defense forces Atlanta’s offense play into these two situations, it’ll be simple. If they don’t stop the run, it will be an excruciating afternoon for all of us.