Vs Gametime 4:05 EST Sunday
Nice start, but beat the Falcons and you'll have my attention. That seems to be the underlying message from the experts. Some have cautiously jumped on the bandwagon but most are taking a wait and see approach. I think by most peoples account 3-2 through the first 5 tough games on their schedule is a great start for these young Dolphins. 3-0 would be put them on everyone's radar. The Falcons match up well against the Dolphins. They have a very good passing game that not only has two big-time receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones, they also have a couple of very capable backs who catch out of the backfield. Throw in the ever-reliable Tony Gonzales at TE and the passing attack is very formidable. So the message to the defense is they're going to have to play their best game to date. The only weak link in the Falcons Game could be their OL. It isn't a bad line but its not a great one either. But if Miami over-commits to the blitz, the quick passes to the backs will hurt. I expect a lot of a base package defense with the safeties sitting deep. That means Wake and Vernon need to beat their man to get to the QB.
When Miami has the ball they're style of game is going to be hard for the Falcons to defend. Miami's passing game should put up the yards against Atlanta's soft pass defense. They're giving up on average over 340yds a game through the air. Ranked, 29th in the NFL and they have 2 INTs and 2 sacks YTD, Miami can certainly exploit that. Both teams do a decent job of stopping the rush and Atlanta is without the services of Steven Jackson so this game is going to be put squarely on the shoulders of each QB. An interesting side note here is Mike Nolan is their defensive coordinator. We liked Nolan in Miami and many of us didn't want him to leave. However, his defense is very similar to Coyles and both give the TEs and RBs a lot of room. First team to exploit the soft underneath is going to do well.
In many respects this game is a little too close to call. Miami has a distinct advantage in sacks and INTs which should make them a slight favorite at home this week. As with any game this close, turnovers will certainly play a big role in deciding who wins the game. I'm looking forward to a great match up!
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