The Miami Dolphins are barely holding on to a place in the AFC Playoff picture, and they are in need of a win tonight if they are going to have any chance at staying in that picture. The chances are slim, but a 50th Anniversary celebration on Monday Night Football could be a spark to move the team in the right direction. What do the Dolphins have to do against the New York Giants to win? We take a look at three things.
Giants running game vs. Dolphins run defense
Miami cannot stop the run, currently ranked 31st in the league, giving up 134.8 yards per game. The Giants are 29th in the league in rushing this season, gaining just 88.1 yards per game on the ground. One of those two averages is going to have to change tonight. Miami's front four are going to have to take advantage of a Giants offensive line that is struggling this year and has been dealing with multiple injuries. The linebackers are going to be critical in stepping up and stopping a Giants run game, otherwise, it might be the Giants who break their average.
The Dolphins starting quarterback had a miserable Week 13 performance and seems to be regressing. Not everything can be blamed on him, with the offensive line still struggling, the running game being mostly non-existent this season, and play calling no one could understanding dominating the year, but at some point, the Dolphins quarterback has to step up and take his play - and the team - to the next level. Tonight, against the worst pass defense in the league, is the perfect time for Tannehill to right his game and get the Miami passing game back on track.
Miami's Pro Bowl cornerback has struggled recently, either with an undisclosed injury or age starting to catch up to him. The Dolphins have routinely matched Grimes against a team's top wide receiver, which would mean Grimes on Odell Beckham, Jr., all night, but that might get ugly fast. If Grimes is able to get back into form, or the Dolphins figure out how to rotate coverage to help him, Miami could have success. If they do not, or Grimes does not, it will be a long night.
Bonus Side story
There could be a absolutely incredible story on the side of this game. Former LSU teammates Odell Beckham, Jr., and Jarvis Landry will be facing off for the first time, with Beckham on the Giants and Landry on the Dolphins. The two wide receivers are going to want to out perform the "brother" they have on the other team. Who will be able to do it? Will we see some sparks from the two as they go back and forth? If nothing else, it should be entertaining.