It's time to take our first look at this weekend's game against Dallas as we give you all 3 reasons why each team could win this game.
3 Reasons Why the Dolphins Will Win:
1. Miami's passing game will be very effective. We saw last week that Trent Green clearly still has some gas left in the tank. Against a pretty damn good Redskins secondary, Green completed 63% of his passes for over 200 yards. Nothing spectacular, but certainly an efficient start tothe season. Also last week, the Cowboys surrendered 312 yards passing to Eli Manning, including 4 touchdowns through the air, despite holding on for the win. And for the 2nd straight week, it isn't expected that Terence Newman, Dallas's best corner, will be healthy enough to play. Even if he does play, he certainly won't be 100%, meaning there will be opportunities all game to make plays down the field against this questionable secondary.
2. The Dolphins should get more out of their running game. Yes, I'm aware that Miami's running game was down right terrible in week one, though I still wish Ronnie Brown would have gotten more carries. Regardless, the Cowboys lost their big nose tackle, Jason Ferguson, to a season ending injury. And we all know how important the NT is to the success of a 3-4 defense stopping the run. Last week, the Giants 2nd string back, Derrick Ward, picked up 89 yards rushing on just 13 carries (6.8 ypc), so the potential to run on Dallas is there. The injured Ferguson will be replaced by Jay Ratliff, a guy who is 15 pounds lighter than Ferguson and who has less experience. If ever the Dolphins are going to get some push up front, this could be the week. And should the line open up some holes, Ronnie could find himself with a bit more running room.
3. The Dolphins' defense is pissed off. You heard after the game on Sunday all about how the defensive stars of the team, including Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas, blamed themselves for the loss to Washington. Honestly, it was the most disappointed and angry I've seen a Dolphin defensive unit following a loss in some time. Last time this defense was this pissed, do you remember what happened? It was November 5 of last year and the 1-6 Fins were playing in Chicago against the unbeaten Bears. The Vegas line on the game was 13 points. What happens? Miami's defense forces 6 turnovers and Taylor returns a Rex Grossman pick for a touchdown en route to a 31-13 beat down of the Bears. So, Dallas, you've been forewarned.
3 Reasons Why the Cowboys Will Win:
1. The offense is clicking. In a time of year when offenses usually tend to struggle a bit as they get their rhythm and timing down, the Cowboys are on fire. They toasted the Giants last week on national television for 478 total yards, including 345 yards through the air on just 24 pass attempts. That's an average of 14.3 yards per attempt, meaning the Cowboys were conneting on big pass plays consistently. Their average completion went for 23 yards. How in the world will this Dolphins' secondary, without their best player (Yeremiah Bell), be able to slow down this offense? Hopefully they have an answer to that question, or else it could be a long day in Miami.
2. Who the hell is going to cover T.O.? Owens is a matchup nightmare, especially against this average-at-best Miami secondary. He's too tall and too strong for Will Allen and is too fast for Travis Daniels. What this all means is that the Dolphins will be forced to shadow Owens with a safety over the top. This will likely open up other players in the passing game, such as Jason Witten, who was Dallas' leading receiver last week. We're going to have to hope that this Dolphin defense can get pressure on Tony Romo if they want to try and stop this passing attack.
3. Dallas is going to bring the heat. Incase you haven't watched the Cowboys closely, here's something you may not know. They can rush the passer. Yes, they only had 1 sack last week, but don't be fooled. The linebackers in Dallas' 3-4 defense are very good at rushing the QB, especially the ones on the outside. DeMarcus Ware had 8 sacks in his rookie year in 2005 and then increased his sack production to 11.5 last year. On the other side, rookie Anthony Spencer has pro-bowl potential as a pass rusher. He was a sack machine at Purdue and is strong enough to bull rush or fast enough to get around the tackle. The Dolphins are going to need to make sure their offensive line is prepared for the various looks that Wade Phillips will use to try and confuse them.