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     There is no doubt in anyone’s head where the Seattle Seahawks are as a football team. They’re expected by almost everyone to compete for the superbowl. They are that good. They are lead by a bunch of veterans on defense and have the best starting safety tandem in the league, bar none. They also have shutdown corner Richard Sherman. They are a formidable group to say the least and at home, they carry a little bit more for the visiting team than usual. This will be a supreme test of Gase’s new offense. Fair or not, it is like going toe to toe with the defending champ your first time in the ring. Seattle’s a 10.5 point favorite and it stems from the above ingredients: rookie headcoach with a new offense going against the best of the best in the NFL.

Matchups the Dolphins have to win:

      Ndomakong  Suh has to be licking his chops. Seattles first round pick is going to miss the game and in his place will be a rookie Rees Odhiambo. I’m sure Seattle has a plan for Suh but they can’t run their style of offense if they need to give the rookie help on every play. This bears watching because it should free up the other playmakers on Miami’s DL to make a few plays.

Scheme: You can bet Seattles safeties will be in the box on Sunday especially on early downs. Miami has to throw on early downs and challenge the safeties over the middle. They have the perfect lineup of WRs to do just that. They need to somehow figure out a way to do something they haven’t been able to do in quite some time: make the safeties pay for cheating up.

Running game: Another area Miami has struggled with is the running game. Defensively Seattle is smallish along the line and they rely on quickness and their hammer, Kam Chancellor, at Safety.  He is a beast against the run. There is no way any cute stuff to the outside is going to work on this unit. Miami has to win the battles up front and run straight at Seattle.  If they mix that in with some misdirection plays and Miami could eke out some success on Sunday. Study Dallas in game 3 of the preseason. Any attempt outside that wasn’t accompanied by a hold was held to a loss. They had success up the middle.

     Pressure on Wilson and containing him:

Let’s be honest. Miami isn’t going to stop Wilson. My hope is they’ll pressure him into a few mistakes. He has had some games where he forces throws. Miami’s secondary, although not great, has had its share of turnover success in the preseason. Sort of a bend but don’t break style of defense that is around the ball all the time. They need a few things to go their way here but 2-3 ints would definitely keep them in the game.

     Stopping the run: Miami’s Achilles last year was giving up huge chunks of real estate on the ground. It took a lot of pressure off of opposing offenses with short 2nd and 3rd down opportunities. This one area will be a huge factor in this game. Do well here and the game will be close. Don’t and it could get ugly really quick. 


Go Tannehill


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