Week 4 sees the Miami Dolphins face a rejuvenated New Orleans Saints team. Head Coach Sean Payton is back, and they're playing some real good football right now. This game will be an interesting one to watch with both teams in form and off to 3-0 starts.
The Miami Dolphins have easily been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far, along with the Kansas City Chiefs. What's been impressive has been their propensity to win games when they haven't been playing particularly well. This was particularly the case against the Atlanta Falcons, trailing for the entire game until Tannehill led a game-winning drive to send South Beach into a frenzy.
But this game will be a different story. This time the Dolphins face an offense led by Drew Brees throwing the ball to tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore. That's going to take some stopping, and the Dolphins will most probably have to do it without defensive starters Cameron Wake (knee), Koa Misi (shoulder), Paul Soliai (knee) and Dimitri Patterson (groin). Miami have had trouble stopping the run and defending tight ends. The defense needs to step up in this one for the Dolphins to stand any chance of winning.
This match up will be won and lost on offense. Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson have so far proven that they can make a deadly trio and put any team to the sword.
Tannehill himself has shown that he can stand up when it matters and make countless big plays to put his team over the finishing line. With a completion rate of 66 percent and a 94.3 passer rating, anything can happen. What Tannehill needs to make sure of is to escape the pocket or throw the ball towards the sidelines once he feels the pressure. By doing that, Tannehill can surely cut down at least a third of those 14 sacks that the team has already given up.
But perhaps most importantly will be Miami's ability to run the football. Miami is 28th in rushing, averaging 70.3 yards per game. On the flipside, New Orleans is 20th in run defense, allowing 111.3 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry. The offensive line needs to open up holes for Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. So far Tannehill has had to throw the ball much more than he should do. Our running backs need stand up and be counted for.
All in all, Miami must control the clock and keep the New Orleans offense off the field. If Miami can't run the football and the New Orleans pass rushers get to Tannehill, the Dolphins will be in trouble.
This game is going to entertain the fans with plenty of touchdowns. Regrettably I can't see Miami's unbeaten run stretching past the New Orleans Saints. For me, this one will end up in a 34-20 defeat in favor of the Saints. Lets hope I'm wrong.
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