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The 7-7 Miami Dolphins, coming off a 41-13 lost to New England in Foxoboro and having lost their last 2 games welcome in the 6-8 Minnesota Vikings, coming off a 16-14 lost at Detroit. Miami's playoff hopes are on life support and they need a LOT of help to hope to have a chance of making the playoffs, but they have to do their part and win their last 2 games today at home against the Vikings and next week in Miami against the Jets.
Let's take a look at how these teams matchup.
Offensively, the Dolphins come into the game generating 337.2 yards of total offense, 224.1 in the passing game and 113.1 in the run game, which ranks 12th in the NFL. The Dolphins are also averaging 23.4 points per game, which ranks 12th in the NFL. They face a Vikings defense that is giving up 339.9 yards per game, 216.0 via the pass, which ranks 6th in the NFL. They are giving up 123.9 yards in the run game and 21.2 points a game, which ranks 11th. The total yardage ranks 10th in the NFL.
QB Ryan Tannehill comes into the game completing 66.3% of his passes for 3,390 yards and 22 touchdown passes to 11 interceptions, while adding 316 yards rushing, which ranks 2nd on the team. RB Lamar Miller leads the Dolphins with 829 yards and a 4.7 yards per carry average and 6 touchdowns. Rookie WR Jarvis Landry leads the Dolphins in catches with 71 catches for 672 yards and 5 touchdowns. For Minnesota, S Harrison Smith leads the Vikings in both tackles and interceptions with 4.
The injuries to the offensive line has started to effect the Dolphins, as ORT Dallas Thomas and been invisible and OLT Ju'Wuan James has been struggling the last few weeks with his move from ORT to OLT after losing OLT Brandon Albert. Interior OL issues are still evident, but with that said, this group has to play better for the Dolphins to have success. OC Bill Lazor has not gotten Lamar Miller over 20 carries the entire season and you wonder why. Balance will be key, but teams have had success running against the Vikings, as they rank 22nd in the NFL and their safety is the leading tackler. Use the run to setup the pass game today.
Defensively, the Dolphins come into the game giving up 331.6 yards per game, which ranks 7th in the NFL. 209.2 yards of that is via the pass, which ranks 3rd in the NFL, and 122.4 yards via the run game, which ranks 21st. The Dolphins are giving up 21.5 points per game, which ranks 13th. They face a Vikings offense that is generating 312.9 yards per game, which ranks 28th in the NFL. They are generating 201.1 yards via the pass, 111.7 yards in the run game, which ranks 15th in the NFL. They are scoring 19.8 points a game, which ranks 24th.
Even though he did not play last week, Jelani Jenkins is still the leading tackler and CB Brent Grimes leads the secondary with 5 intercpetions. Jenkins is questionable for the game with the foot injury and LB Koa Misi, who also missed last week game with a hamstring is probable. Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater is completing 63.5% of his passes for 2,451 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. RB Matt Asiata leads the Vikings with 421 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns while WR Greg Jennings leads the Vikings with 53 catches for 641 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Miami is facing a rookie QB, so the game plan is pretty obvious, although for Miami, it could be difficult. The Dolphins now rank 21st against the run, although they did do a better job against the Patriots last week. Until then, the Dolphins had given up 3 consecutive games of over 180 yards rushing. The Vikings will look to run the ball to take the pressure off their young QB. Can Miami stop the run and indeed get a chance to get after Bridgewater, that is the question that needs to be answered.
Here we are again in the home stetch and the Dolphins are doing exactly what they did in 2013, FOLDING. The defense has not been able to get key stops when needed, although that has been the case all year long. The offense has struggled the last few weeks with the injuries that have savaged the offensive line. And while QB Ryan Tannehill has improved a good bit in 2014, he still has a tendacy to try to force balls into tight coverage and it has cost him. This team has a small margin for error, and turnovers are starting to emerge the last few weeks. For Miami fans, this is an all to familar trend that we are seeing, and it has grown OLD.
Let's Go Miami.
I think a picture is worth a thousand words. So, here goes a few thousand of them.
And here's a little something for you to use on the idiots that like to take things to the personal level on the forums.