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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Your Miami Dolphins welcome the Detroit Lions this Sunday for a 1 PM game. Last night information came out that Miami QB Ryan Tannehill is unlikely to play this Sunday and will need 2-3 weeks of rest and rehab for his shoulder. This is why Vegas books haven't listed a line for the game. As of right now all I'm seeing is a couple say Detroit -1 with no over/under.
The Tannehill injury supposedly came during the 4th quarter of the Cincinnati game, not from the shot he took against Oakland. This is according to the guys at 3 Yards Per Carry (Simon Clancy, Chris Kouffman) and retweeted by Ethan Skolnick.
Let's cut to the chase. Backup QB Brock Osweiler showed he is more than capable of a spot start and running Adam Gase's offense. Now he'll have a chance to show if he can string together multiple good performances and make a case to be the hot hand at QB. His history suggests it won't happen but he has earned the opportunity. It will be different now that teams have film on him running the offense so buckle up for some fun.
Like Chicago, Detroit comes to town off their bye week. Sometimes this helps but often teams can be rusty. Rookie HC Matt Patricia hasn't been all that impressive in dialing up defenses but things can change quickly. Gase's offense in his first year was putrid after 5 games. The Lions are 2-3 but their offense has found its groove and have scored over 24 points per game since their Week 1 debacle. QB Matt Stafford is not Mitch Trubisky and will not be throwing interceptions at the goal line or missing open targets down field. Miami's defense will have to clamp down.
Miami's offense has found their own groove with using RB Frank Gore as the spark on 1st down. Last week he consistently got good yardage for Miami to set up 3rd and short. It also helps that the OL and receivers were not called for false starts and holding. The Lions' defense ranks 30th in rushing yards allowed so I imagine Gase will be calling on Gore early and often. RB Kenyan Drake had an emotional game this past Sunday so hopefully he comes out with a fire in his belly. He needs to stop dancing and start hitting the holes hard if he wants to reclaim the starting job. As a receiver he is still a very capable weapon.
The passing offense should do exactly what it did against the Bears. Keep it simple and let your speedy guys do damage after the catch. Matt Patricia has seen Gase's offense a few times so he should know what to expect and will try to interupt their routes. TE Nick O'Leary should provide a nice safety valve, along with Kenyan Drake, in the event of the downfield options not getting open. Osweiler did a very nice job with his presnap reads and getting the ball out on time. The OL did a much better job after getting obliterated by Cincinnati's Geno Atkins the prior week. Let's hope they hold it together once again and give the plays time to develop.
If Patricia is anything like his mentor Bill Belichick he is going to use all of his resources to take make Miami one dimensional. Against New England Miami faced 6 or 7 defensive backs to eliminate their speed element. For whatever reason they still couldn't run the ball or slow down a four man rush. My guess is Patricia is banking on that to help slow down the likes of Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant. And for the love of all that is football, can Gase please dial up more quick slants? I don't think I've seen one fail yet when WR Danny Amendola or TE Mike Gesicki are the targets.
The Lions' offense will not be easy to contain. Stafford has very good targets in WRs Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. If Xavien Howard covers Golden Tate it will be a challenge for Cordrea Tankersly or Torry McTyer to cover the 6'4 Golladay. On the ground, rookie RB Kerryon Johnson has averaged near or over 6 yards per carry his last three games. Old nemesis Legarrette Blount serves as the power back and will be the short yardage weapon on 3rd downs. The true problem is Matt Stafford. There is no question Tom Brady is the best QB Miami has faced but Stafford's natural arm talent and assortment of weapons will probably present the biggest challenge to date for Miami's secondary.
I'm thinking Miami gets out to an early lead, things get tight going into the 4th quarter and then something happens to give Miami a late victory. Maybe its a Jakeem Grant punt return, a Kiko Alonso pick six, or a whacky play that puts them in field goal range. It worked with the pass off the defender's back and into WR Kenny Stills' hands last Sunday. Just feels like that type of game. Playing at home gives me confidence Miami pulls this out and they know a win is a must with the short week road game on Thursday.
Frank Gore was setting the tone early on, averaging 6.7 yards per carry and breaking 100 yards, first running back to do so against the Bears this season.
Albert Wilson went crazy, going for 155 yards on 6 catches with two touchdowns. Wilson tied the game twice with his catch runs, including a 75 yard catch off a short Borck Osweiler pass in which he eluded 7 defenders on this way to the endzone. The investment in Wilson is paying off early dividends as he has produced 5 touchdowns this season (4 receiving, 1 passing).
Jason Sanders, a 7th round pick, made the biggest kick of his short professional career. Sanders was 3 of 3 for the day, but was clutch in making a 47-yarder in overtime to win the game.
The offensive line, battered as it is, helped paved the way for 161 yards rushing and a 5.2 ypc average against one of the top defenses in the league. Brock Osweiler was not sacked at all on the day and usually had plenty of time to throw.
The defense allowed 164 rushing yards on 31 carries and could not be counted on, especially late in the game, to stop the run.
Mitchell Trubisky threw for 316 yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT and there were some gaping holes in the secondary at times. Of particular concern is the play of Torry McTyer, who seems lost in coverage, gaves up big plays routinely and needs to be replaced immediately. I find it hard to believe that this guy is any better than Cordrea Tankersley.
Thrust into a starting role against one of the best defenses in the NFL, Brock Osweiler had his good and bad moments. He was able to make quick decisions and get the ball out quickly for the most part, allowing his playmakers to make plays after the catch, but did seem to struggle when he went downfield. His first interception came on an underthrown deep ball to Devante Parker (who was otherwise invisible in this game) and his second interception came on a telegraphed throw on an out pattern than the defensive back almost took back for a touchdown. Both interceptions were by Kyle Fuller. Overall, Osweiler looked competent and led the offense in some big moments.
Huge win for the Dolphins. Maybe pivotal? Time will tell. But it was nice to get off the schnide, at least for a week. It was nice to see explosive plays on offense again. It was nice to see Frank Gore tearing it up. But every week there appears to be a new hole on this roster. This week, the play of the defense was very concerning. Can they get it patched up?