Jeff Fisher leads the 3-2 Rams down to South Beach to take on the 2-3 Miami Dolphins in a 1:00 kickoff. Both teams are coming off of wins, the Rams beating the Arizona Cardinals 16-3 last Thursday Night, and the Dolphins going into Cincinnati and knocking off the Bengals 17-13.
Part of the story line for this game is St. Louis HC Jeff Fisher. Fisher was the Dolphins top choice to become their head coach, but in the end, Fisher choose the Rams because they gave him the type of control that he would not get in Miami with Jeff Ireland in place. The rest is history and both teams are happy with their coaches, as Joe Philbin has come in and done a solid job with this Dolphins team.
Offensively, the Dolphins come into the game ranked 13th in total offense generating 373.4 yards per game. Miami ranks 18th in passing offense at 237.8 yards a game while ranking 8th in rushing offense at 135.6 yards per game. The Dolphins come in ranked 18th in scoring at 20.6 points a game. They face a Rams defense that ranks 14th in total defense at 335.4 yards a game. They rank 12th in pass defense at 218.2 yards a game and rank 18th in rush defense at 117.2 yards per game. They rank 11th in points allowed at 18.8 points per game.
The Dolphins are seeing teams use a lot of 8 & 9 men in the box to stop the run game, and Cincinnati was effective with this strategy last week as the held Miami to under 80 yards rushing last week. Reggie Bush also has not been healthy the last few weeks and it has shown. The Rams are very good against the pass, but this is a game that Miami could look to loosen up the Rams with the pass, especially if the Rams look to employ the same strategy of 8-9 in the box. This is also a game that rookie RB Lamar Miller will be a much bigger factor, as RB Daniel Thomas suffered his 2nd concussion in 3 weeks. While there is no question that Lamar is the better natural runner, he has been suspect in pass protection and that is a big reason for him not playing more. He will have to raise his level of play Sunday. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill did a solid job last week against the Begals and was turnover free, and the Dolphins will need him to play at that level once again. He has gotten better and better every week and his growth has been key for the Dolphins.
Defensively, the Dolphins come into the game ranked 15th in total defense giving up 343.2 yards per game. Miami is the top ranked run defense giving up 61.4 yards per game and rank 27th in pass defense giving up 283.0 yards per game. The Dolphins are tied with the Rams at 6th with 15.0 sacks and are 14th in points allowed at 20.3 points per game. They face a Rams offense that ranks 29th in total offense as 278.0 yards per game. They rank 30th in pass offense at 183.4 yards per game while ranking 22nd in rush offense at 94.6 yards per game. The Rams are 22nd in scoring offense at 19.2 points per game.
The Rams are not a good offensive team and in the Thursday Night win over Arizona, they lost their best WR in Danny Amendola to a shoulder injury. They have given up 15 sacks and this is an area that I think Miami can cause major problems for the Rams. Miami should be able to shut down the Rams run game and get after QB Sam Bradford in the pass game as I mentioned earlier.
The Dolphins have a chance to go into the bye week at .500, and my fellow blogger JP Correia, aka Phins Rock has been perfect in his picks so far and he picking the Dolphins to win this game. I agree with JP and believe the Dolphins get the win this Sunday.