Big week coming up. I am glad it is December and we are legitimately talking about making the playoffs! With the toughest of the 3 games left coming up Sunday, we are in prime position to finish either 9-7 or 10-6 if we can keep it rolling in the right direction. Here are my keys to winning Sunday against an elite team in the AFC:
1) Run the ball with some success. I'd love to see more zone-read type concepts, but I really don't care how we do it. We need to continue to move the ball on the ground to have some form of balance. I think Miller may be the hot back against New England as I think his speed will be better suited than Thomas' heavy running style. The reason I have this as the top priority is it: Keeps them honest on defense and keeps the clock moving. For us to win I think we are looking at a 24-21 type game. Don't want to get into a 42-43 type game against Brady.
2) Play action passes and screens. It seems we do both of these well when they are used (sometimes are obvious WR screens suck, but the rest are pretty good). I love getting Tannehill out of the pocket and letting him gash people with his feet, or chunking it deep to Wallace or finding Hartline/Clay/Matthews on a crossing route.
3) Adjust offensively to what New England did to us in the 2nd half last game. They played press man-to-man and brought the house and we had no answers. Refer to point #2 as to how I'd counter what they are doing. Also moving guys around and stacking WR's will create problems if they go man-to-man all game.
4) Hit Brady. We must get to him (best if we can do it with only 4, but do it however it takes). I am a big fan of Dion Jordan on the field since he has proven he can cover and rush the passer. I also love blitzing Jones from his SS spot. If we allow him to go through his progressions, we will have problems.
5) Find Shane Vereen. He is dolphin killer. A guy they will split out and throw screens to: like Sproles. We must have a plan for how to match up with him (my opinion would be stay in nickel most of game and put Wilson on him or put Jordan on him. We cannont allow him to be matched up on Ellerbe or Wheeler all game.
6) Don't get frustrated when we get hosed on some calls. It will happen, take it to the bank. Just find a way to overcome it.
7) Be ready for the New England offense. Know how we want to play certain players (Vereen and others) and understand they will split them all over the field. Know that on a big play down to our goal line they will run stretch left without huddling and be ready for it. Know that they love screens on 2nd and long. I am just a fan and I see this so surely we can be ready defensively for it.
Go get this one Miami!! Win this and we will be one step closer to the place we deserve...Playoffs!!!
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