Week 2 of the NFL schedule is underway, with the Denver Broncos beating the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday. Now, as we reach Sunday, the majority of the NFL franchises will hit the field this afternoon, including the Miami Dolphins, who will kickoff in the later afternoon slots as they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars. What should we expect to see from the Dolphins? Here are three things to watch in the contest:
Miami's depth, especially on defense will be tested this weekend. Starting safety Reshad Jones has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Starting defensive end Cameron Wake is dealing with a hamstring issues as well and ib the other side of the line, defensive end Olivier Vernon has an ankle problem, while reserve defensive end Derrick Shelby has an eye injury. Add tight end Dion Simsm who is out of the game with concussion symptoms, to the list and the Dolphins' depth will not only see some playing time on Sunday, they may see the bulk of the playing time at some positions. If the depth cannot perform, this could be a long day for Miami.
Miami allowed the third most rushing yards in Week 1, a week in which the Washington Redskins were able to stay away from Ndamukong Suh, and the rest of the Miami defense could not stop them. Jacksonville's T.J. Yeldon carried the ball 12 times for 51 yards against the Carolina Panthers last week, but the Jaguars could be looking to mimic what the Redskins did, at least until Miami proves they can stop it. The Dolphins are expected to stop the run this year, and, after allowing 161 yards last week, proving those expectations correct starts with this week's game.
Miami loves to try to establish the running game early, only to allow it to disappear a few possessions later. They have to commit to running the ball, even if it is just to open up the passing game. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggled with some of his decision making last week, and a running game could help get him into the rhythm of the game and give the team some play action capability. Lamar Miller has proven he can be a weapon on offense, but he cannot do anything unless he has the ball in his hands. If offensive coordinator Bill Lazor does not commit to the run, this game could again feature a passing attack that cannot seem to settle into the game.
What are you watching for this afternoon?