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2011 - Week 10 @ Miami Dolphis

Blognosticator - KDawg

The Miami Dolphins. The hapless Miami Dolphins. When the Washington Redskins run out of the tunnel on Sunday at 1PM at Sun Life Stadium, there is going to be plenty of optimism (and pessimism too, I guess). It is, after all, a game against a team that for all intents and purposes stinks, right? To steal a line from the great Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friends”.

The Miami Dolphins come into this game riding a ridiculous win streak of a whole one game. But, they’ve played much better in recent weeks. They’ve lost some extremely close games and have looked much, much better than most believed they could ever look. And truth be told, they have a bunch of weapons.

If I were to scout the Dolphins, there would be plenty of guys that I’d have on my radar. The first of which is their big left tackle, Jake Long. He’s one of the better offensive linemen on the NFL that a lot of people who aren’t big draftniks probably have never heard of. He pass blocks well, had good feet and loves to get to the point of attack. He will prove formidable for Brian Orakpo. However, thankfully, that may mean good things for Ryan Kerrigan coming off the other side. Kerrigan played very well against the 49ers last Sunday. When he read a down block, he shuffled down the line and clogged the running lane, while keeping his weight balanced well enough to change direction should the ball get bounced outside. He also managed to get off the edge well and create pressure. With Rak and Kerrigan coming off the edges, Miami has an interesting dilemma, who is the bigger concern? Rak has taken his fair share of criticism, but against San Francisco he set the edge quite well. I’d guess that Miami is going to attempt to run to the left side behind Mr. Long, and it’s a challenge that I’m sure Rak will be up for.

Miami’s running backs are hot and cold. Daniel Thomas, the rookie, has played quite well at times this year, however a lingering hamstring injury is going to slow him down, that means the Redskins are going to see a heavy dose of Reggie Bush. Backs out of the backfield can create issues for a zone team, especially on delayed routes. Reggie Bush specializes as a receiver out of the backfield, so look for Miami to try to get him the ball in space a bit as well. And let’s not forget, Bush is averaging 4.9 yards per carry this year.

While I believe the majority of their attack is going to be based on the flats and the run game, you can’t forget about Brandon Marshall. He’s tall, has some speed and has outstanding hands. The common misconception amongst fans I talk to, though, is that Marshall is the only receiving threat the Dolphins have. I think most forget about Reggie Bush right off the bat, and don’t realize how good Davone Bess can be, and Brian Hartline isn’t exactly a slouch. The good news for Redskin fans is that their leading tight end receiver is Anthony Fasano, who has just 12 receptions. However, I’d expect the Dolphins to try to get their tight end involved a bit as well.

Defensively, the Dolphins have some solid pieces in place. Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Cameron Wake are extremely good players with high motors who have a nose for the football. I can see Wake giving us fits, as he is the Dolphins sack leader with 5.5 sacks on the season. He has a good repertoire of pass rush moves and is relentless in pursuit. The other piece of their defense that scares me is their nose tackle, Paul Soliai (it’s a name to remember, Redskin fans. He’s a free agent after this year and a name that is widely rumored that the Redskins could pursue). I think the Dolphins will get after John Beck and force us to rely on the “dink and dunk” offense that we were subjected to against San Francisco. I’d look for them to do a little bit better job in covering Helu, as San Francisco wasn’t ready for the 14 reception (and Redskin record) onslaught that Roy gave them.

The 'Skins have looked pretty bad offensively the last few weeks, and we’ve been crippled on third downs. We are roughly 34% on third down conversions, a number that has to improve if we want a chance to beat the Dolphins. Our offensive line has to find a way to slow the Dolphin pass rush and give John Beck more time. Beck often seems to think entirely too much and doesn’t let his instincts take over in the passing game, which results in him holding the ball too long. He needs to find his open receivers and deliver the football. Leonard Hankerson and Jabar Gaffney did a good job last Sunday against the Niners in getting separation, but Beck either checked down, was hurried, or just plain didn’t see them. And when he did manage to spot them, he threw the ball in a nearly uncatchable spot. He absolutely needs to find them and stretch the field a bit in order to get our running game going and the ball moving. As far as I’m concerned, if John Beck and the offensive line play well, our team will succeed. If they don’t, we’re in trouble. But let’s keep something in mind, John Beck as a starter is 0-7 in the NFL. So should we go back to Rex Grossman? Well, let’s put it this way, Grossman’s quarterback rating is a whopping 66.5 on the season. John Beck’s is an impressive 72.1. Does anyone know Kellen Clemens phone number?

In order for our defense to really give us a chance, the offense needs to win the ball control battle. On the season, we’re averaging less T.O.P. than our opponents and it results in a tired defense. Part of that is actually on the defense, at critical times they have a hard time slowing down opposing offenses, but a lot of that is on our offense’s knack to go three and out in a totally underwhelming fashion, including throwing a two yard turn around route on a 3rd and a quarter acre situation.

But let’s talk about a positive. Our leadership on defense, namely London Fletcher, is continuing to play out of his mind. He’s our current interception leader, he’s registered a half a sack, has 72 tackles and has a forced fumble. He goes hard every single day, and he’s even lost a step and still on pace for a 144 tackle, four interception, 1 sack, 2 forced fumble season. And say what you want about guys like DeAngelo Hall, Laron Landry (who I have dogged on a bit), Brian Orakpo and the like, but those guys play hard. They make mistakes, they aren’t perfect, but those guys are going to go out and give you their all on every single play that they’re in there. The key to this game is keeping our defense off the field, both for our offensive goal AND our defensive goal. Three and outs cannot occur on offense, and defensively we have to get off the field as quickly as possible. Matt Moore showed decent touch on a few throws on Sunday, but he’s also shown throughout his years he can be rattled. We MUST get to him when Miami takes their shots.

So, as the Redskins take their talent to South Beach, I predict a battle down south, and as a Redskin fan, I refuse to pick Miami to win, although the pessimist in me absolutely sees the potential for that to occur. I don’t predict scores, but I will say I think it’s going to be a low scoring affair and a Redskin victory.

In closing, I leave you with Miami’s starting units for you to look over and familiarize yourself with our opponent. Happy scouting, 'Skins fans.

QB Matt Moore
RB Reggie Bush
TE Anthony Fasano
LT Jake Long
LG Richie Incognito
C Mike Pouncey
RG Vernon Carey
RT Marc Columbo
WR Brandon Marshall
WR Brian Hartline
WR Davone Bess

DE Kendall Langford
NT Paul Soliai
DE Randy Starks
SLB Koa Misi
ILB Karlos Dansby
ILB Kevin Burnett
WLB Cameron Wake
LCB Sean Smith
RCB Vontae Davis*
SS Yeremiah Bell
FS Rashad Jones

*Denotes a player, who last week was widely believed to show up to practice drunk. Here’s to hoping he ties one on before the game on Sunday and still somehow manages to start the game for the Phins. :cheers:
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As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤

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