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Week 2: Dolphins at Bills
The Miami Dolphins, 1-1, return home to take on the winless Kansas City Chiefs in a 4:25 kickoff. Miami is coming off their 1st lost of the season, a disappointing 29-10 lost at Buffalo, while Kansas City is coming off a tough 24-17 lost at Denver.
After looking SO GOOD 2 weeks ago at home against New England, some of the same issues that were problems for Miami reared their ugly heads up again in what is turning into a house of horror for Miami in Buffalo. The revmaped OL gave up 4 sacks and really struggled at the 2 guard spots. QB Ryan Tannehill still is struggling with conisistency and accuracy issues and OC Bill Lazor abandoned the run game way to early. Special teams was a HUGE issue, as the Dolphins gave up a 102 yard return for TD to C.J Spiller, had a punt blocked and miffed a punt return.
Defensively, the Dolphins were not able to pressure E.J Manuel, as the Bills employed a lot of quick routes to get the ball out of his hands. The secondary also gave up way to much cushion, which made it easy to complete a lot of those passes.
Moving forward, those issues and a few more have to be corrected against what will be a pretty desperate Chiefs team coming into Miami 0-2. Let's take a quick look at the 2 teams.
Offensively, the Dolphins are averaging 21.5 points and 325 yards per game, 190 yards passing and 136 yards rushing per game. QB Ryan Tannehill is completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 419 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Even with missing the large majority of the game with an dislocated elbow that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks, he leads the Dolphins with 138 yards rushing followed by Lamar Miller with 105 yards. Mike Wallace is the leading pass cathcer with 12 catches for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The face a Kansas City defense giving up 24.5 points per game and giving up 365 yards per game, 240 yards passing and 125 yards rushing. This is a unit that lost leading tackler LB Derrick Johnson and DE Mike DeVito and could possibly be withoug Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, who suffered a sprained ankle in the Denver lost.
KC has some talent up front with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston at OLB along with Dontari Poe at DT, so the offensive line will need to bounce back from last week's poor performance and play well, especially the interior of the OL for Miami. The accuracy issues that plaque Ryan have to be worked out, but the Dolphins receivers need to make plays when they are there to be made. WR Brian Hartline dropped a perfectly thrown deep pass in the 4th quarter, and that is simply not acceptable. Besides Wallace, someone else in the receiving corp needs to step up. OC Bill Lazor also needs to keep this offense balanced with RB Lamar Miller and rookies Damien Williams and Orleans Darkva.
Defensively, Miami comes into the game giving up 24.5 points and 315 yards of total offense, 214 yards passing and 101 yards rushing. They face a Kansas City offense averaging 13.5 points while generating 313 yards per game, 213 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. The Chiefs could also be without Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles, who is coming off a high ankle sprain against Denver. He did practice some ths week, but is still very questionable for the game. If he can't go, Knile Davis is a compotent backup and will get the call. TE Travis Kelcie with 7 catches for 130 yards and WR Donnie Avery are the leading receivers for the KC offense. QB Alex Smith is completing 58.4 percent of his passes for 457 yards, but he has only 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions, something you really do not want from a QB given a big contract extension.
Miami is facing a KC offense that is really struggling right now, and if Charles can't go, that is a blow for the Chiefs. The front 4 for Miami can and must be a factor in this game against an OL that is struggling, lead by one Cameron Wake. Wake was a non factor last week, and that cannot happen again for the Dolphins this week. The LB corp for the Dolphins is a Mash unit right now, but 2nd year LB Jelani Jenkins has been a breath of fresh air. MLB Koa Misi should be back as well, which is a big plus for the Dolphins and Phillip Wheeler played as well last week. Miami secondary was so so last week, and nickel CB Will Davis was targeted a good bit. Tighter coverage and better tackling from this unit needs to happen today against a struggling Kansas City offense.
The AFC East looks to be a much improved division, and the Dolphins need a win here to keep pace. This is a game Miami should win, but the Dolphins have found ways to lose these type of games. They can't afford a slip up against a struggling Chiefs team.
Let's Go Miami.
Normally week three isn't a big game, but this week three against the Kansas City Chiefs is a big game for the Miami Dolphins. The reasons are pretty clear to everyone who watched the Dolphins last week in Buffalo, that was an ugly game, poor play from the QB, dropped passes by receivers, special teams disaster and some coaching issues, like not trying to score before halftime.
The defense played fairly well most of the game, there were some slip ups, like the CJ Spiller run and Rookie Sammy Watkins being open pretty much all game. They were on the feild quite a bit, but did play fairly well, if the offense hadn't left so many plays on the field they played well enough to win, forcing the Bills to kick field goal after field goal. After a brutal first half, where we saw Knoshon Moreno dislocate his elbow, a tenacious Bills defensive front, a blocked punt and the Dolphins failing to cross the 50 yard line, the Dolphins were only down by 9 points, thanks to the defense.
This week, at home, the Dolphins need to have a big effort, particularly on offense, they need to come out strong, finsh strong, and be strong in the middle, they need a big time effort. QB Ryan Tannehill needs to come out shut the critics up with a strong performance, I'm among those critics, his accuracy issues are becoming a big press topic, not just in Miami, he admits it, the coaches have also admitted it, it's time for Tannehil to have a statement game and become the leader of the team. He needs to have his receivers also step up and stop dropping passes, the Dolphins are one of the league leaders in drops, that has to change.
If the Offense can Right the Ship, the defense will do their job, they are home, they should be raring to go after last week, and they need to come out of the gate fired up!