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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Preseason football games may not be the most enjoyable to watch but they are some of the most meaningful games for teams. This is where a team can truly find out what kind of talent they have on their roster. It is also where backups and special teamers fight for their job. Although it may not be fun to watch, preseason football is extremely important for all 32 NFL football teams. Each week teams expect to see improvements in chemistry and flow of the game. Every game provides opportunities for players to prove that they belong on the 53-man NFL roster.

This preseason the Miami Dolphins will play the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Minnesota Vikings. With each game we should find out more and more about what to expect from the 2017-2018 Miami Dolphins. Let's breakdown this preseason game by game and go into key things to watch for.

Week 1. August 10th 6:00 CST


Week one brings the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons to Miami Florida. This should be a great first opponent as the starters get great competition to start the preseason. The first couple of drives should deliver some high intensity physical play. Keep a close eye on the linebacking crew that starts for the Dolphins defense and see how they do against an outstanding offense that is led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

On the offense of side of the ball, the offensive line is going to be under the microscope. With no clear starter at left guard now that Ted Larson has been injured, don't be surprise to see a few different players step in and rotate all throughout the night. The fifth round draft pick, Isaac Asiata, may not get the start but he is sure to get some good playing time.

The special-teams unit looks to improve on a much underrated 2016 campaign. The Dolphins had one of the best coverage units in the NFL. Second year returner Jakeem Grant struggled with ball control last year as a rookie and may be on the roster bubble this year. It will be interesting to see who lines up to return most kicks and punts in the first preseason game.

Key position battles to watch:

Left guard, cornerback, linebackers, center, and punt/kick returner

Players to watch: 

Isaac Asiata, Charles Harris, Xavien Howard, Raekwon McMillan, and Tony Lippett

Week 2. August 17th 6:00 CST


The last home game of the preseason welcomes the Baltimore Ravens to town. With the starters getting an increase in playing time, we should see a solid first quarter of play. The offense looks to get in the rhythm as they go up against a solid Ravens defense. Expect to see a couple of multiple play drives that hopefully end up in points. If the Dolphins are able to get into the red zone, don't be surprised if new tight end Julius Thomas gets a few targets.

The Ravens have already been bitten by the injury bug: Flacco [Back], Dixon [Meniscus], Pitta [Hip], Gillmore [MCL], Siragusa [ACL], Tavon Young [ACL]. The offense has been the hardest hit unit on the team without question. The Dolphins defense should have a field day going up against the shattered Ravens offense.

Historically the Dolphins have been physically dominated by the Ravens in the past. This early matchup should give the Dolphins’ offense a test in the trenches. Once again our offensive line will be the focal point of how the offense does as a whole. If they are able to dominate the line of scrimmage we could see big games from the running backs and wide receivers. With Ajayi most likely out, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams should get a majority of the reps at running back.

Key position battles to watch:

Cornerback, center, left guard, defensive end, and quarterback.

Players to watch:

Matt Moore, Bobby McCain, Kenyan Drake, Andre Branch, Julius Thomas, and Jordan Phillips

Week 3. August 24th 6:00 CST


The third preseason game is usually the final tune up game for the starters. Expect to see a very high tempo first half and an exciting football game.

The defense has a tough task in dealing with new wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey and new running back Legarette Blount. The new and improved front seven looks to show signs of improvements in the run defense. Look to see if the starters can control the run and put pressure on second year quarterback Carson Wentz. This game should give rookies Charles Harris, Raekwon McMillan, and Cordrea Tankersley pleanty of opportunities to make plays.

Miami’s offense should have most of the kinks figured out at this point in the preseason. Jay Cutler or Matt Moore and company should be able to march up and down the field against a mediocre Eagles defense. We already know what to expect from receivers Jarvis Laundry, Devante Parker, and Kenny Stills, but after that there are big question marks. Leonte Caroo, Drew Morgan, and Jakeem Grant are all looking to make a name for themselves this preseason and I expect one of them to have a big impact on this game.

Key position battles to watch:

Quarterback, wide receiver, defensive tackle, linebacker, center, and special teams

Players to watch:

Jay Cutler, Raekwon McMillan, Drew Morgan, Leonte Caroo, Taylor Vincent, and Isaac Asiata

Week 4. August 31st 7:00 CST


This game has been on my calendar since the day it was announced. Not only are the Dolphins playing the Vikings, but it’s in Minnesota and I will be in attendance! I may not get to see most of my favorite players on the field, but I will get to see the Dolphins play for the first time since 2014.

At this year’s annual NFL owners meeting, the mandatory cut down to 75 players before the final preseason game was eliminated. This means the Dolphins will head into this game with a full 90-man roster. The roster battles will be in full affect, as many players will be fighting for their jobs. It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins divvy up playing time for this game.

Key position Battles to watch:

Left guard, running back, defensive tackle, special teams, and cornerback.

Players to watch:

Storm Johnson, Davon Godchaux, Neville Hewitt, Sam Young, and Chris Pantale

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