Sunday's game is big for the Dolphins - we all know that. This team needs to right the ship by winning this week. A loss would really create some drama in Miami. It's a situation I don't even want to think about.
So here are my three main ingredients for a Miami Dolphins win on Sunday:
1. Remain committed to the run. I know that the Dolphins have struggled the past two weeks to consistently run the football. I also know that the Dolphins are still a run-first team. We already highlighted the interesting statistic that head coach Tony Sparano brought up this week - that the Dolphins have run the ball more times than they've passed the ball in 15 of their 20 wins since Sparano took over. Isn't it time to get back to the basics and let Ronnie Brown, who hasn't run the ball more than 13 times in a single game in 2010, actually have a chance to get into a rhythm this week by feeding him 20+ carries?
After all, we all know that Ronnie is the kind of back who gets stronger as he gets more carries. And the Packers are allowing a whopping 4.7 yards per carry this year - the 6th highest average in the league. Seems like a good time to finally get back to what the identity of this football team is.
2. Get off to a fast start. If you've been reading all of the South Florida papers this week, then you know that the Packers have been one of the fastest starting teams in the league this year. Green Bay has outscored opponents 34-3 in the first quarter this year. And twice in four games, the Packers have scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. On the flip side, though, the Packers have been outscored 86-85 after the first quarter.
What does this mean? Probably nothing. I really don't know. What I do know is that the Dolphins don't want to fall behind early against the Packers on Sunday. This week more than ever, with many fans already calling for Chad Henne to be replaced, the Fins can't put themselves in a situation where they have to again get away from the run and force Henne to play catch-up.
3. Special teams - enough said. I don't have to explain myself here, do I? Unless you've been living under a rock, you are well aware of the troubles this team has had in all facets of special teams play. From coverage to protection to returning, Miami's play in the "third phase of the game" has been pitiful. And the unit's performance last game was the straw that broke the camel's back, resulting in the firing of special teams coach John Bonamego.
The Packers, though, aren't exactly a team that excel on special teams, either. They rank just 25th in kick returning, though they are in the top ten in punt returns. But in all honesty, it doesn't matter how good or bad the opposing team is. What matters is that Miami needs to show they have improved. You know the Packers have studied Miami's poor punt protection and will try to get to Brandon Fields. You also know they have studied Miami's kickoff coverage play to see where the Dolphins are most vulnerable.
While I'm well aware that the firing of the special teams coach won't instantly make the Dolphins great on special teams, their units have got to show some improvement. It's that simple.