You know, I have to say: I was tempted to just copy and paste my article from last week.
So why did I bother writing something new?
Maybe I didn’t. Maybe this is that same article. There’s no way for you to ever find out.
Miami can finally overcome slow starts
How long has it been since you believed the Dolphins could flourish after going down early?
The day started like so many Fins games of the past. They came out as if they forgot it was Sunday and quickly found themselves down 14-0 before the end of the 1st quarter.
I think C.J. Stroud is a better prospect myself, but the Panthers took Bryce Young first overall in this year’s draft and the Dolphins became the first team to make it seem like they made the right choice. Young led the Panthers down the field for touchdowns twice in a row on their second and third drives, handing off to Chuba Hubbard for one and throwing to Adam ‘Yeah, I’m still here’ Thielen for the other.
Thankfully for the Fins faithful, those were the only points Carolina’s offense would muster as Miami roared back with 35 unanswered points behind Raheem Mostert (17 rushes, 115 yds, 2 TDs) and Tyreek Hill (6 recs, 165 yds, 1 TD).
The offense is borderline unstoppable, at least against subpar teams. But you have to play whoever lines up against you, so there’s no blame to go around there. Miami has been firing on all cylinders offensively, including gasp the offensive line.
Kendall Lamm might be making Terron Armstead expendable
How long has it been since you believed in Miami’s offensive line depth?
Terron Armstead is elite when he plays. Sadly, he doesn’t play as often as you’d like for a guy making more money than at least one entire country.
According to Spotrac, Armstead carries a dead money hit of $24m next season, so while I don’t think the front office would be silly enough to cut him, Kendall Lamm has been filling in admirably during Armstead’s latest absence. Armstead is on IR until the November 5th game against the Swifties in Germany, but Miami has their bye right after, so he may sit until Week 11.
If Lamm continues to play well over that time span, there’s a possibility, remote as it may be, that Miami would look to move on from Armstead (via trade) heading into next season to save some cap space. Can you imagine a world where Miami, the Miami Dolphins, as in the Dolphins of Miami football club, had a top-tier offensive tackle and then didn’t need him?
But we all might be forced to if the world keeps going as topsy-turvy as it has been so far.
Cam Smith would do wonders for the defense
How long has it been since you believed in the Dolphins’ corners to lock down opponents?
Probably not since the days of Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison have fans felt overwhelming confidence in the coverage abilities of Miami’s cornerbacks.
Vecna willing, there will be a time this season where both Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey will take the field to man the outside.
This, however, is not that time.
Ramsey is still on IR, though all signs point to an early return (even as early as next week for him to start practicing) and Howard re-injured his groin in the win over the Panthers. Hopefully, Howard’s issue is not long-term so that he and Ramsey can start wreaking havoc at the precisely perfect moment.
But what to do until then?
Nik Needham will be coming off of the PUP list soon, but he’s been out since last season due to a torn Achilles, so some easing back in is to be expected.
That leaves Kader Kohou and Eli Apple, along with Parry Nickerson and Justin Bethel, to cover the corner spots. One name missing from that list is second-round draft pick Cam Smith.
Miami has hit on second-round cornerback picks before (see: Xavien Howard), so what gives with Smith? It did take Howard a little while to really find his stride and become the X-Man we all know and love (instead of the X-Man we all hate). I just (naively) hold out hope that Smith will kick start his career during this window of opportunity and give Miami even more talent to deploy on the defensive side. Especially because:
The defense needs to bring their momentum into Philly
How long has it been since you believed that the Fins’ defense could stifle a juggernaut opposing offense on the road?
Okay; this one might be a stretch.
Just like with the Giants, it’s hard to really gauge much from beating up on a paltry offense like the Panthers. Miami racked up four sacks against Bryce Young and held him to 217 passing yards and Carolina overall to 108 rushing yards. That’s a great game. But it’s against a bad team.
The Philadelphia Eagles are not a bad team.
They are, and this might be controversial to say, a good team.
The Eagles will challenge the Miami defense something fierce. That’s not to say I don’t believe they can rise to it; I think they can. But to do so, they need to bring all of the momentum they’ve built up while thumping their last two opponents and hit Philly with everything they’ve got.
I hope to see Vic Fangio continuing to evolve his defense, incorporate more pressure beyond the front four, and corral the dynamic Jalen Hurts.
If they can stymie the Eagles’ offense, the Fins will be well on their way to a complete and completely dominant team.
Next week will be something
How long has it been since you believed that Miami could knock off the previous season’s Superbowl contender to remain on top of their division?
I was really hoping that the Fins would be the ones to give the Eagles their first loss and preserve the 1972 team’s perfect streak, but it turns out that the Jets beat them when I wasn’t looking.
Nonetheless, this game is a big one. It seems like each week, at least one person tosses around the phrase ‘must-win’. I won’t go that far, but ‘must show up’ is the minimum. And I fully expect the Dolphins to do the minimum and more.
I’m looking for a fireworks show: black cats, Roman candles, snicker bombs, spleen splitters, hoosker doos, hoosker don’ts, and whistlin’ kitty chasers. All that to go with a sizeable dose of Raheem Mostert, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle fed by the hotter-than-a-sparkler Tua Tagovailoa.
If Miami can go to Philly, beat the Eagles, and move to 6-1, we all might just have to really start believing in fairy tales.
Will Cam Smith play soon? Can Jason Sanders keep making field goals? Will one of Miami’s players just start dating someone famous already to get us the good PR? Find out next week on As the Fins Turn.