Week eight of the NFL season, and the Miami Dolphins are still looking for their first win of the season. Meanwhile, the New York Giants look to continue to pace the NFL East. Here are five things to watch for tomorrow:
1.Jimmy Wilson. The rookie seventh round draft pick is expected to start this week at cornerback for the Dolphins, in place of the injured Vontae Davis. Wilson has shown flashes of greatness on special teams and in the secondary. It will be interesting to see, with the weapons the Giants have, how the rookie does as a starting corner in the NFL.
2. Miami's offensive line vs. Giants pass rush. Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul are pass rushing monsters. Add in the fact that Justin Tuck plans on playing in this game, and the Dolphins could have their hands full. With starting
hole-in-the-wall right tackle Marc Colombo being limited in practice during the week, things could be even worse for the Dolphins - and especially Matt Moore. If Miami is going to have any chance, they have to find a way to get Moore some time to find Marshall, Brian Hartline, and Davone Bess.
3. Brandon Marshall vs. Corey Webster. Corey Webster has been the Darrelle Revis of the Giants' secondary, matching up against the opponent's number one receiver. Marshall has a big size advantage on Webster, with Marshall's 6'4", 230 lbs outsizing Websters, 6'0", 205 lbs. But, if the Dolphins offense is going to do anything against the rest of the NFL this year, Marshall has to start holding on to the ball when it's thrown to him. If quarterback Matt Moore can get Marshall to take advantage of his size over Webster, this could be a huge game for Marshall.
4. Jake Ballard vs. Miami's Linebackers. It's no secret the Dolphins cannot cover a tight end. I don't know what the problem is, but every athletic, pass catching tight end is a problem for the team. In comes Jake Ballard for the Giants - who is everything but an "athletic, pass catching" tight end. As Ed Valentine of Big Blue View said during our five questions interview:
An undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, Ballard is a slow-footed 275-pound tight end who was thought of as strictly a blocker.
The more I see of this guy, the more I like him. It makes no sense, because he is the definition of a blocking tight end. Yet, he has 15 catches for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns this season. The Dolphins linebackers better be able to shut down a "slow-footed" tight end - but with this defense, it wouldn't surprise me if they can't.
5. Reggie Bush vs. Giants Defense. The Giants are solid against a between the tackles runner. With rookie running back Daniel Thomas ailing all week, and listed as questionable on Friday's injury report, the middle runs might be even harder to find success. However, the Giants have struggled against outside, speed, shifty type runners this season. And, Reggie Bush fits that perfectly. If the Dolphins offense finds a way to use Bush how Bush should be used, he could have a big day this week.