The controversy this past week surrounding Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito had the potential to sink the team. Instead it's had the opposite affect, as the locker room has united over the issue. This is good news ahead of the game in Tampa.
Right now, the Buccaneers are one of the three worst teams in the NFL. They currently sit rock bottom of the NFC South with a 0-8 record. Last week they hit a major low point as they blew a 21-0 lead against Seattle to lose the game.
For the Dolphins, there are two major things to watch out for. The Buccaneers favor passing out of the shotgun, and from that formation almost never hand the ball off to the running back now that Doug Martin is injured. This should be a huge advantage for Miami. Led by Cameron Wake, Miami's pass rushers can really pursue rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.
The second thing to look out for is the main threat coming from Tampa in Vincent Jackson. The Buccaneers lean heavily on their star wide receiver, and often line him up in the slot. This will be a big test for Miami's slot corners. Dimitri Patterson has not been in practice this week due to a knee injury, so the Dolphins may need Nolan Carroll to police that area of the field. Every single one of the Dolphins' corners will need to be on the top of their game to thwart the threat that Jackson poses.
The Dolphins offense must convert third downs in this game in order to extend plays. If we can utilise Charles Clay and Michael Egnew to gain those short yards, the points will follow. If Miami fail to do this and give Tampa's offense time on the ball, Vincent Jackson is capable of making a few big plays to turn the game in Tampa's favor.
But in the end, I see Miami coming on top in this one. The team will be eager to put all the controversy behind them and get their season back on track.
Miami Dolphins 21-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Will Miami beat a struggling Tampa team? Where will the game be won and lost? Lets hear your thoughts.