The Browns suck. I know this. I live in Cleveland.
I’ve also seen the Dolphins lose to ridiculously dumb QB’s/teams.
How do we win? I’m going to take a stab at it, and I’d love for you to add your personalized tweaks down in the Comments section. Or tell me I’m stupid, and do the exact opposite of what I suggest. Like Joe Philbin.
We can’t beat ourselves. That’s all there is to it.
Rushing: We can’t fumble. We can’t get distracted by cheerleaders. We need to be able to establish a better run presence to open up play-action. Let’s see if we can get Kenyan Drake on the edge, where I believe the Browns DL is weakest. All we need to do is not poop on ourselves.
Passing: We can’t throw INT’s. We can’t get drunk before the game: “we” meaning actual-playing Miami Dolphins players - to the rest of you, to each your own. Spread the ball around. With an aforementioned reasonable rushing attack, we can attack them through play-action.
Our WR’s should be able to get separation - it’s quite another what they do with that separation. RB’s can’t miss a pass blocking assignment. No stupid holding penalties, chop blocks, i.e., drive-killing plays. All we need to do is not poop on ourselves.
I’m being a really big smart ass in this article because I believe you and I, and literally everyone else in the NFL blogosphere, know that the biggest obstacle in the Dolphins way is stopping the Browns rushing attack. The Cleveland Browns rank 8th in the NFL in rushing (although almost 33% of those yards came on one run).
For whatever success the Miami Dolphins had stopping the run in Week 1, they failed miserably against the New England Patriots in Week 2. It’s perhaps the most pertinent question to answer going forward with this defense: do we have the personnel to stop the run consistently?
To blitz or not to blitz a rookie QB? I don’t think it really matters if we can stop the run. We’re going to see a ton of runs and around-the-line-of-scrimmage screens, slants, drags, etc...
We showed in the New England game that, with that type of limited play book, we can turn a 31-3 deficit into a 31-24 nail biter. I don’t see how this situation is different from what we had last week going against Jacoby Brissett, except that we’re at Hard Rock Stadium and going against worse competition.
How do we handle being a favorite? I think it’s a very real question, one that the Miami Dolphins have struggled with for years - playing up, and down, to their competition. The mindset that Adam Gase instills in his players is of the utmost importance in a game such as this. I believe Gase instructs his players to seek and destroy.
Can we give Hard Rock Stadium the welcoming it deserves? Do we see a thorough ass-kicking, a drag-it-out brawl, or something Dolphins nightmares are made of?
Stop the run. Don’t turn the ball over or commit penalties. It’s really that simple.
What are the most important ingredients to get a W this Sunday?