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The Good

 

Ryan Tannehill played one of his better games of the year. Not statistically, but his pocket presence, audibling in and out of plays, running with the ball and attacking downfield were more prominent than at any other point this season. It was the first game I have seen where the coaches seemed to take the training wheels off and what I was saw encouraging.

 

Lamar Miller had a monster first half, with 2 TD runs. Unfortunately, the team seemed to forget he existed in the second half.

 

Matt Darr = MVP

 

The Bad

 

The defense, especially the back-end, played terrible. Understanding that the Dolphins pass rush is dangerous, the Giants went to a quick passing game. How did the Dolphins secondary respond? They continued playing soft zone coverage, which allowed Manning to complete short quick passes. When the Giants went deep, how did the secondary respond? They were busy covering the short stuff. Brent Grimes has looked awful this season. Just to highlight how bad this secondary has been, here are some numbers:

 

1. Allen Robinson - 6 catches, 155 yards and 2 TDs

2. Brandon Marshall - 7 catches, 128 yards

3. Nate Washington - 9 catches, 127 yards and 2 TDs

4. Rob Gronkowski - 6 catches, 113 yards and 1 TD

5. Sammy Watkins - 8 catches, 168 yards and 1 TD

6. Brent Celek - 4 catches, 134 yards

7. Brandon Marshall - 9 catches, 131 yards and 2 TDs

8. Odell Beckham Jr - 7 catches, 166 yards and 2 TDs

 

If you have a frontline receiver starting against the Dolphins on your fantasy team, consider yourself blessed.

 

The Dolphins once again went away from the running game. After running it early with much success in the 1st half, the Dolphins went pass happy again in the 2nd half despite it being a close game. Understand that the Giants defense keyed on stopping the run, but the Dolphins were still gaining 3 yards per carry in the 2nd half. It is still worth running the ball, keeping the defense honest and keeping the offense on schedule even if the other team is keying on the run. Once the Dolphins went pass happy, the sieve that is our offensive line began getting exposed again.

 

Too many penalties that kept Giants drives alive or killed drives on offense for the Dolphins. One regression we have seen from Philbin to Campbell. The Dolphins were one of the least penalized teams under Philbin but are now playing undisciplined football under Campbell.

 

The Ugly

 

This team. This season. After all of the talent acquired and all the hopes that came with that, we are seeing the final stamp on this team from the Philbin era. A team that doesn't play hard, that has let a bunch of good talent go because Philbin couldn't deal with strong personalities, a team with poor schemes, poor player development and of course, a poor record.

 

Overall

 

The season has been over for a while, but is now mathetically over. The last bit of hope has been sucked out of this fanbase, if there was any left. Let's talk draft!

The 5-7 Miami Dolphins, coming off a 15-13 win at home against Baltimore will take on the 5-7 New York Giants, coming off a tough 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.  The game will feature throwback jerseys for Miami, as it is the celebration of the 50th year of the Miami Dolphins.  The game also has playoff ramifications, fading for Miami, and NFC East division for the Giants.  The game is an 8:30 kickoff on ESPN.

 

Let's take a look at the teams to see how they matchup.

 

Miami comes into the game offensively generating 326.2 yards per game in total offense, which ranks 27th in the NFL.  Miami generates 230.7 yards in the passing game, 95.5 yards in the run game.  Both stats rank 22nd in the NFL.  The Dolphins are scoring 20.0 points per game, which ranks 25th in the NFL.  They face a Giants defense that has struggled all year long.  The Giants are giving up 423.2 yards a game in total defense, which ranks 32nd in the NFL.  The Giants are allowing 314.5 yards in the passing game, 108.8 yards in the run game.  This ranks 32nd and 16th respectively in the NFL.  New York is allowing 24.7 points per game, which comes in at 20th in the NFL.

 

Last week was the 1st week minus fired OC Bill Lazor, and there was a definite focus on running the ball, as Lamar Miller and the Dolphins had over 100 yards rushing against a pretty stout Ravens defensive front.  The downside was QB Ryan Tannehill had less than 100 yards passing against a Ravens defense that has been awful against the pass.  Again, the Dolphins will face the WORST pass defense in the NFL in the Giants this Monday Night.  The Giants are also giving up over 100 yards per game in the run game.  This is a game where Miami can really come out and focus on being balanced, as the Giants struggle to stop both aspects.  WR DeVante Parker had a nice game last week, and I believe both Parker and Jarvis Landry can have big games against the Giants.  Miami has struggled offensively all year, but this is a game where the offense can have success.

 

Defensively, the Dolphins come in giving up 390.3 yards in total defense, which comes in at 28th in the NFL.  The Dolphins are giving up 255.6 yards per game via the passing game, and 134.8 yards per game against the run.  This ranks 24th and 31st in the NFL.  Miami is giving up 25.0 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the NFL.  They face a Giants offense that comes in generating 354.7 yards per game of total offense, which ranks 15th in the NFL.  The Giants are generating 266.6 yards per game via the passing game, and 88.1 yards per game via the running game.  This ranks 7th and 29th respectively in the NFL.  The Giants are scoring 25.6 points per game.  Miami played a lot of their young players last week with some good results, as CB Bobby McCain got his 1st NFL start last week and had a solid game.  DT Brandon Phillips also started last week and had a key stop on a goal line situation which kept the Ravens out of the end zone.  DE Olivier Vernon has been a force the last 7 games after getting off to a slow start, in part due to injury.  He will need to continue that level of play, as the Giants have a very potent passing attack.  That said, QB Eli Manning can be hot one moment and be ICE COLD the next.  Manning is also turnover prone, and putting pressure on him will bring that out of him.  S Reshad Jones has been a rock in the secondary, and is playing at a Pro Bowl level.  The secondary will be tested having to deal with WR Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris.

 

Both teams have playoffs hopes, as the Giants are playing for a piece of the division lead.  Miami hopes are faint, but they still have hope.  But Miami has to win out and need a ton of help.  One game at a time.  Who wants it more?  We will find out Monday Night.

 

 

 

 

The 4-7 Miami Dolphins, coming off a 38-20 lost to the New York Jets, come back home to take on the 4-7 Baltimore Ravens, coming off a 33-27 win at Cleveland on Monday Night.  The game is a 1:00 kickoff on CBS.

 

Let's take a look at how the teams matchup.

 

Miami comes into the game generating 335.9 yards per game in total offense, which ranks 27th in the NFL.  The Dolphins are averaging 244.2 yards per game via the pass, and are averaging 91.7 yards per game via the run game.  Those numbers rank 17th and 27th in the NFL respectively.  The Dolphins come in scoring 20.5 points per game, which ranks  27th in the NFL.  They will be facing a Ravens defense giving up 352.5 yards in total defense, which ranks 18th in the NFL.  The Ravens are giving up 258.6 yards per game via the pass and are giving up 93.9 yards via the run game, which comes in at 8th in the NFL, while the passing yardage ranks 24th in the NFL.  The Ravens are allowing 25.1 points per game, which ranks 24th in the NFL.

 

As you all know by now, OC Bill Lazor was fired this week coming off the performance against the Jets.  Dan Campbell wanted to see the Dolphins run the ball more, while Lazor seemed to be married to the passing game and very little offensive balance.  Also, QB Ryan Tannehill had little ability to audible in and out of plays, which was a problem.  This is a game in which you can expect the Dolphins to have much more balance in regards to a run-pass ratio.  Miami needs to see what they have in regards to FA RB Lamar Miller and rookie Jay Ajayi, and I expect those 2 to get the ball a good bit in the run game.  Both are also good in the pass game.  This will also be the 1st game of WR DeVante Parker as a starter, as WR Rishard Matthews is out with broke ribs.  Finally get to see what the young man can do.  The offensive line continues to be a problem spot, and once again will need to be addressed.  Here to hoping Miami can FINALLY get it RIGHT.  Even though the Ravens are stout against the run and has really struggled against the pass, Miami will need to have a balanced attack to keep the Ravens off balance.

 

Defensively, the Dolphins come in giving up 391.7 yards of total offense, which ranks 27th in the NFL.  The Dolphins are giving up 253.3 in the passing game, while giving up 138.5 yards in the running game.  Those numbers rank 21st and 32nd in the NFL.  The Dolphins are giving up 26.1 points per game, which comes in at 27th in the NFL.  They face a Ravens offense that is generating 361.7 yards of total offense, which ranks 11th in the NFL.  They Ravens are generating 263.3 yards per game via the pass amd are producing 98.5 yards per game via the run game.  Those numbers rank 10th and 18th in the NFL respectively.  The Ravens are scoring 23.5 points per game, which ranks 15th.

 

Miami has been in a free fall all year defensively, and now rank DEAD LAST in the NFL against the run.  They face a Ravens offense minus QB Joe Flacco, who tore his ACL in the game against St. Louis 2 weeks ago and are now lead by Matt Schuab.  You better believe the Ravens will come in and try to exploit the porus Dolphins run defense.  Biggest problem for this team agains the run is the linebackers, as they play has been abysmal.  The Dolphins desperately needs to address this unit during the off-season.  In the secondary, CB Bobby McCain will make his 1st start in place of CB Jamar Taylor.  Also, S Walt Aikens has been benched as well.  Can Miami do something they have not been able to do much this year in regards to stopping the run, we will find out on Sunday.  If they can, Schuab is a turnover machine.

 

The Ravens are out of the playoffs, and the Dolphins playoff hopes are on life support.  We finally get a chance to see what Miami can do when there will be a concerted effort to run the ball finally.  The Dolphins need a win to keep the very slim playoffs hopes alive against a team that has given Miami problems.  Let's see how this team performs on Sunday.

 

 

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