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Week 6: Dolphins at da Bears
Joe Philbin's former team comes to town this week, the Aaron Rodger's led, Green Bay Packers. Coming off the bye your suppoesed to have the advantage of having two weeks to plan for that particular team, this year for the Dolphins it's the Packers.
Last year the Dolphins had the Bills coming off a bye, and lost, also had a near bye prior to the Bucceneer game, playing on a thursday night then playing the Bucs on a monday, also a loss. Then there were the two games to finish last year, against the Jets and Bills, both losses, all these games are supposed to be "caoches games", games where the better prepared team will win, or in other words, better coached team will win.
Many believe that Philbin is coaching for his job this year, and how the Dolphins play in this game will be an indicator on how much impact he has on the team. This is a test for Philbin, if he wants to keep his job he has to show that he can get a team prepared, get them focused on winning and playing well, win or lose it has to look like a good game plan and a good effort from the team.
Flat, that's how you would describe the Dolphins in the "coaches games" last year, they just came out flat, and also didn't have a good game plan. We want to see a change in that this year if we are to have confidence in Philbin going forward, a team chomping at the bit and having formulated a good game plan.
If philbin needs to override the coordinators then he should do so, more bump and run coverage by the cornerbacks perhaps defensively, or a "run until it doesn't work" philosophy on offense. With Rodgers coming to town the soft zone the Dolphins play could very well be victimized. Playing nickle or dime as a base could also hurt us as Eddie Lacy can make you pay for that, so in my opinion we should be running a lot more press coverage in this game to give the front seven a little more time to get to Rodgers, as disrpting Rodgers is the key to stopping the Packers.
Run the ball consistently, the Dophins should have a mind set to run the ball against the Packers, keep Rodgers on the bench, keep your pass rushers fresh and control the tempo of the game. Tannehill should be focused on management, don't be a hero and don't be a goat, just do your job efficiently, because the Packers are a team that makes you pay for turnovers, and if it turns into a shoot out you have to give the edge to Rodgers and the Packers.
So this is a big test game for Philbin, will he tell the coordinators 'this is the plan", will he have the team ready to play inspired football, will he take the reins a be the leader that this team needs or will he just be playing out the stretch until he gets the boot, the Dolphins performance in this game should tell us a lot, lets hope like we saw with Tannehill against the Raiders, that Philbin is ready to answer the critics and take the Dolphins to that next level.
Miami Dolphins Vs Green Bay Packers
Game time: 1pm EST Where: Miami
Miami hit the bye week at the right time. They had a lot of people out due to injury who are coming back. Here is the latest injury report http://www.miamidolphins.com/team/injury-report.html
Miami also gets Reshad Jones back from a 4 game suspension. Knowshon Moreno is targetting this game to return. He participated in practice. The selfish side of me wants him to play for my fantasy team. My better judgement says I wish they'd sit him for 1 more week. Although I'm sure he can run and protect his arm, I'm not so sure he can pass block which will tip off the defense that it is a run when he's in the game. Starks back is good news for the interior line. Alberts had a full practice after leaving the Raiders game with a shoulder injury. The only notable injury was Finnegan who did not practice yesterday.
Bill Lazor came out and said statistics can be misleading when talking about Greenbay's run defense. huh? Can you repeat that Bruh? Greenbay's run defense is atrocious. Our only hope is that he was being respectful and coy as to his real plan. If he comes out with a plan to wing the ball all over the field, it will be a real #facepalm type of day. First off, you have Aaron Rodgers who could have the hottest hand in football right now. He is the man you wrap you're entire gameplan, offense, defense and ST's around. On offense, you run the ball until Lamar Miller pukes. On ST's, you kick off out of the endzone, and punt on 4th and short near midfield. On defense, you run a nickle defense most of the game and ignore Greenbay's anemic ground game. Seems simple on paper before the ball is snapped. If Greenbay jumps out to a 10 or 14 point lead, that's when it gets tough to go out and run the ball. If Lazor has a lot of 3 and outs trying to force the passing game, this game could get out of hand quickly.
On a final note, the outcome of this game is highly dependent on which Miami Dolphins team shows up. We have seen one team that is awesome. We've seen another than couldn't beat the local JV squad from podunked high school in nowheresville Kansas. Are they going to average 6yds a carry only to run it 15 times all game? Or will they stuff the rock down their throats for 200+ yards? Will RT be efficient and effective or will his WR's be dropping passes every key 3rd down? Will the ST's be average? Or will they be so abhorrent that you run for more beer at halftime. Stay tuned for the next episode of "Which Miami Dolphins Team Arrives".
Personally, I'm going with the upset. I like Miami at home by 7. We'll call it 31-24