These are both young teams vying for an identity. I rarely, if ever, would even advocate for winning a preseason game as a goal but with this Dolphin’s Team it is a little different. This team is very young with only a few guys who are really established veterans. Their first team does need to come out and at least be more competitive this week than they were last week. It was 14-0 when the starters left the game last week. Granted they moved the ball. Granted they had a few positive plays….but it needs to translate to the scoreboard. The simple reason is confidence. This team needs a pick-me-up and a good strong showing would go a long way in providing the needed confidence going into the season.
The Panther’s Offense is fairly good and most everyone returns from last season. Cam Newton is a threat to run or throw and is a tough guy to bring down in the pocket. He also has some pretty capable RB’s in Stewart and Williams. Both averaged over 5 yards a carry last season. They fielded one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL last year. This will thoroughly test Miami’s backup LB’s because it appears both Burnett and Dansby will not play.
Defensively, the Panther’s had trouble stopping anyone. They yielded almost as many yards on the ground as their offense made and their pass defense was nothing to write home about either. They drafted an ILB in the 9th overall position to address their defensive woes but reports out of camp are that Kuechly has been a little slow to pick up the speed of the NFL. Not uncommon for rookies but it should pose some opportunities for the young right side of the line to open some holes.
In any and all cases, the main objective is to come out of the game healthy for both teams. A good showing by the starters is important and if they win it’ll be icing on the cake. The cherry on the icing? That would be to watch Ryan Tannehill come out and exude more confidence while finding the endzone again. I enjoyed that last week, and would love to see it continue.