Dolphins at Browns ... who has the advantage?
Written by Rich Rodriguez
Thursday, 05 September 2013
If you go with what we know, I don't see anyone on the Browns offense that scares me. They have productive players in Greg Little and Davone Bess, but these are not the type of players that you need to double or roll over coverage for. If the Dolphins want to play the match ups, you put Grimes on Bess and Patterson on Little and maybe give Patterson a little bit of help over the top. The Dolphins will probably just have their corners line up on the same side each play though. Patterson covering Bess worries me a little bit because of the difference in quickness and ability to change direction, but not enough to lose sleep over.
We can probably load up the box to stop Richardson if we need to, although our front seven is good enough as it is to stop a running game without loading up the box. And the Browns have an unproven tight end. I know some like Cameron Jordan and he has upside, but he hasn't proven it yet.
They're offensive line is good at both run blocking and pass blocking. The matchup with our defensive line will be a big match up to watch.
Lastly, we don't know how much Weeden has improved. He looked good in the preseason, but I feel we can put pressure on him and play coverage long enough to make him force some throws. Until he proves otherwise in the regular season, he is a turnover prone QB.
Advantage: Dolphins Defense
I'm sure there will be some growing pains for the Dolphins offense. The offensive line still has some gelling to do and Tannehill is in a similar boat as Weeden. He hasn't proven it yet in the regular season despite his pretty good preseason.
Our offensive line was pretty bad at run and pass blocking last season. And we still have the same center and two guards. Granted center and left guard are a strength and John Jerry didn't grade out too badly as a pass blocker last season, but his run blocking was a weakness. Our tackle position was a huge weakness as Jake Long was pretty bad, but Jonathan Martin was much worse.
We've probably fortified the right tackle position for the season with Tyson Clabo, who was one of the top tackles in the NFL last year, but Jonathan Martin is the huge key for this offensive line. As he goes, so will the offensive line go.
That being said, the Browns run defense was mediocre last year and their pass rush was atrocious. They feel they have upgraded this with Paul Kruger, but 1st round pick Barkevious Mingo will probably miss the game.
In the secondary, the Browns have a very good corner in Joe Haden, but Sheldon Brown, who also graded very highly in 2012, is no longer with the team. Leon McFadden is coming in as a rookie, so there are question marks in regards to the Browns cornerbacks besides Haden. They had one of the top safety duos in 2012, but let Usama Young go to the Raiders and replaced him with Tashaun Gipson, who is inexperienced.
It all will come down to whether the Dolphins offensive line can keep Tannehill upright and whether Tannehill can be patient against a young, talented secondary.
The difference may be the fact that the Dolphins have a couple of homerun hitters while the Browns do not.
Advantage: Browns Defense
In 2012, the Dolphins fielded a top 10 special teams unit while the Browns were in the bottom three. Anything can happen from year to year, but the Dolphins have established themselves as a solid special teams unit with Coach Rizzi and I don't expect that to change.
Field position and defense will be the deciding factors in this game, and the defense will keep the Dolphins in the game long enough to let the offense get going.
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