My, my, this upcoming 2010 season will be an interesting one for the Dolphins. Six opposing teams on the schedule made it to the playoffs last season. Out of those six teams I believe five managed to get significantly better through the draft. I excluded the Packers with their only exceptions probably being Bryan Bulaga and Morgan Burnett. This season the 'Phins will travel to fairly unfamiliar territories in Minnesota, Green Bay and Cincinnati. Two of those three being the more difficult games on the schedule, in my opinion. Not Cincy lol. Don't get me wrong I have great faith in my Dolphins team but, I DO have some concerns.
MIA @ MINNESOTA
Now, the Vikings' rush defense has been spectacular to say the least over the past few years but, their pass defense has been pretty terrible. Pat and Kevin Williams are a major reason why the Vikes' rush D has been in the top 2 the past few years. They get to the QB and can cause problems for ANY running back let alone Ricky or Ronnie. Because of the two Williamses the Dolphins can possibly be forced to become one dimensional. Hey, that might just be alright considering the addition of Brandon Marshall, who will make the other receivers around him better. Although, the Vikings' defense doesn't allow many points per game I feel their secondary will be no match for our WRs. Favre will be back but, I believe another loss to the Saints in week 1 will still have the old man rattled =)
MIA @ GREEN BAY
For two consecutive years Aaron Rodgers has helped the Pack' remain in the top 10 in passing yds since he took over the reins from old man Favre. This game is early in the season and I hope we'll have found our answer at FS by this time if not sooner. The bigger story, believe it or not, is on the defensive side. They allowed under 19 points a game last season and were ranked #1 in interceptions. Charles Woodson accounted for 9 INTs and was tied for 1st in the NFL with three other players. Woodson has had a great nose for the football during his career but, you have to believe his age will show, eventually. We'll see how much of a factor he'll be soon enough.
PITTSBURG @ MIA
Whether you like it or not those Steelers just seem to have the Dolphins' number. The past 10 years we've thrown Feeley at them, Culpepper, Beck and recently our beloved Chad Henne. What's the answer? Their pass rush is just as relentless as the Vikings' and their rush defense has been ranked in the top 3 the past three years. The Steelers' pass defense struggled last season without Troy Palamalu. Also, according to rotoworld.com they say he'll be an injury risk again this season. Bad for him but, good for the Dolphins. "Right now, I feel fine," Polamalu said recently. "(But) I don't know what happens when we start tackling." By week 7 Big Ben will have played one game since coming off his 4-game suspension(wait..is it after wk 4 against BAL or before?). Will he be rusty? We'll have to wait and see.
MIA @ BALTIMORE
Defense is the name of their game. Holding opposing offenses under 17 points a game the past couple of seasons, the Ravens are still a force to be reckoned with. Now, Greg Camarillo will tell you these guys can be defeated but, with two chances back in 2008 the 'Phins couldn't get it done. Running back, Ray Rice has emerged as a threat. With questions within our defensive line, will we hold up against 1,000 yd rushers such as him? The Ravens have arguably the best O-Line in the NFL. How dominant will our new LBs be at pass rushing?
MIA @ NEW ENGLAND
Oh yes, the Dolphins will visit the Pats up in Foxboro during the winter. Hope you're ready for this because I am and I believe the 'Phins will be as well. The Pats are our worst enemy in the AFC East, in my opinion of course. The two teams play some of the toughest games against each other and it's usually a back and forth affair. Unfortunately, with the 'Phins' history when traveling to Foxboro in the winter, fans would naturally have a feeling this game will not bode well for our boys. The Dolphins' record the past 10 years in Massachusetts is 2-6 against the Patriots during wintertime. I have a feeling this will be an important game for the Dolphins in order to have a better chance of securing the title.
Well, I had fun with this. Please let me know what you think.