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Week 6: Dolphins at da Bears
The 3-2 Green Bay Packers visit the 2-2 Miami Dolphins today in a 1:00 kickoff in South Florida. Miami is coming off a bye week while the Packers are coming off a 42-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Green Bay.
For the Dolphins, the bye week has given the Dolphins time to get back key contributors, as S Reshad Jones, coming off a 4-game suspension, OC/RG Mike Pouncey, RB Knowshown Moreno, MLB Koa Misi and DT Randy Starks are all expected to be back for the game Sunday.
Let go ahead and take a look at how the team shape up going into the game.
Offensively, Miami comes into the game averaging 354.2 yards of total yards per game, 212.0 yards passing and 142.2 yards per game rushing, which ranks 5th in the NFL. Miami is scoring 24.0 points per game. QB Ryan Tannehill is completing 60% of his passes for 902 yards, 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. WR Mike Wallace is the leading receiver for the Dolphins with 20 catches for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns. Miami and Tannehill has done a great job of spreading the ball around, as 16, 14, 12 & 12 are the number of catches for the receivers following Wallace. RB Lamar Miller leads the rushing attack with 49 carries for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns. The addition of Moreno should make the Dolphins run game just that more potent, as Miller is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. One thing Miller needs to eliminate is the fumbles, as he has fumbled in 2 of the 4 games.
Defensively, Green Bay comes in giving up 371.8 yards per game, 208.8 yards passing and 163.0 yards rushing, which ranks 32nd in the NFL. The Packers are giving up 21.2 points per game. Safety Morgan Burnett and LB A.J Hawk are the leading tacklers, while DT Mike Daniels leads the team in sacks with 2.5.
This is a game that SCREAMS run game, as the Packers are dead last in the NFL in stopping the run. This gives the Dolphins a very good chance to have balance and set up the pass game with the run. QB Ryan Tannehill has gotten better over the last few weeks from and accuracy standpoint, and the trends needs to continue. With Mike Pouncey likely playing at ORG, the Dolphins will have a top caliber player back at a position that has given the Dolphins problems. Pouncey, along with Moreno gives the Dolphins the chance to have a BIG day in the run game and control the clock. Balance Miami, balance.
Defensively, Miami comes into the game giving up 322.0 yards per game, 215.0 yards per game passing and 107.2 yards per game rushing. Miami is giving up 24.2 points per game. The Dolphins will get starting DT Randy Starks along with MLB Koa Misi back this week, which will be a big boost for this Dolphins defense along with S Reshad Jones. LB Jelani Jenkins has come in and done a nice job and is the leading tackler on the team. DE Olivier Vernon, Cameron Wake and Derrick Shelby lead the team with 2.0 sacks, while Brent Grimes, Jimmy Wilson and Walt Aikens all have an interception.
They face a Green Bay offense generating 309.2 yards per game, 219.6 yards per game passing and 89.6 yards per game rushing, which ranks 25th in the NFL. Green Bay is scoring 26.8 points a game, which ranks 7th in the NFL. The Packers are lead by QB Aaron Rodgers, who comes in completing 66.7% of his passes for 1,155 yards and 12 touchdown to only 1 interception. Jordy Nelson is the leading Packer receiver with 34 catches for 525 yards and 4 touchdown catches. RB Eddie Lacy is the leading rusher with 66 carries for 266 yards.
The BIG key to this game is containing RB Eddie Lacy, who had his 1st 100 yard game last week agains the Vikings. The Packers rank 25th rushing the ball, and the Dolphins need to keep the Packers run game under control and make the Packers one dimensional. Pressure on Aaron Rodgers will be key along with rush lane integrity, as Rodgers has the ability to keep plays alive with his legs as well as do damage running the ball. He has been sacked 12 times, and the Packers line has been shaky this year. Give Rodgers time, and he has the weapons to do a lot of damage with WR's Nelson, Cobb & TE Quarless.
Last year coming off of the bye against Buffalo in Miami, the Dolphins came out extremely flat and lost at home to the Bills in an extremely disappointing effort. The Dolphins and Joe Philbin cannot afford a repeat of that if the hope to defeat Green Bay.
Let's go Miami.
SHELBY, WHERE ARE YOU?
This will not make me adored by the media, but the Dolphins suspended DT Derrick Shelby prematurely. How many times have we seen a player accused of a crime and then seen the charges dropped because the charges were exaggerated? With the video clip of thug Ray Rice knocking his wife out and dragging her out of the elevator still fresh on everyone's minds the Dolphins dropped the hammer on Shelby without hearing and seeing all the facts in this situation, and I am disappointed. Not only did they suspend him, but they took away his paycheck as well. Could we use him on Sunday. Definitely, but that is not what I am talking about here.
Now, I support our police force as they are risking their lives to protect us. They are the real superheros in today's world of idiocy. But there is no way that a good policeman can get out on the street and see the same crimes committed every single day and not develop an attitude to those who are in the middle of a dispute. No way at all.
According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2011, a four percent decrease from 2010.
A total of 1,501 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 58 hours or 150 per year. There were 100 law enforcement officers killed in 2013.
On average, over the last decade, there have been 58,261 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries.
And you have a small part of the police force that are just bad cops.
So, what did Shelby do?
The cop version (abridged) is that Shelby got handsy with a female bar patron, was thrown out of a club, took a threatening stance, and was beaten down and tased three times to be taken into custody.
To me, America is becoming the place where the media picks and chooses what they deem to be important, puts their spin on morality, and pressures a judgement of guilty before the evidence is produced. Isn't Shelby supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? Why did the Dolphins suspend him so quickly? The only video taken in a world of smart phones is the one Shelby tried to take with his and was not allowed to.
I'm plenty pissed about his suspension and it isn't because we could use him during the game. I think the media and fans just cannot get over Ray Rice knocking his wife out and then dragging her out of the elevator. These are two different incidences, and we've always seen there is another story that comes out about it. The Dolphins reacted too quickly in my opinion.
Let's face it though. Shelby wouldn't be in this situation if he didn't hit the night clubs and drink himself into a fool. I understand that the players need to get out and blow off some steam, but will they ever learn that night clubs are just bad news ... and a place where they can be set up? As Barry Jackson wrote this week:
Whereas the Vikings are paying Adrian Peterson (facing felony child abuse charges) while on suspension, the Dolphins aren’t paying Derrick Shelby, who was charged with resisting arrest (a misdemeanor), while he serves his team-imposed suspension, a decision which seems rather punitive and arbitrary considering the case hasn't been adjudicated.
Let's show a little patience and get all of the information first. I think most of us fans who have seen just about everything over the years understands that only one side of the argument was used in this judgement. Let's be fair to everyone.
I THINK I NEED A PSYCHOLOGIST
Is there anyone out there that can interpret dreams? When you follow your passion too closely you'll start to dream about it. I had a dream a couple of nights ago that Tannehill came out this weekend with so much promise after the Raiders game, but threw two interceptions on our first two drives without gaining a first down. And our defense bent so much to the Packers offense that it was quickly 14-0 with only 5 minutes in the game. I'll need more than a psychologist if that happens on Sunday. I'll need a rubber room.
WE SHOULD SEE A BALANCED ATTACK VS PACKERS
Here is a trivia question for you: Which team has the worst run defense in this decade? Time is up. It is the 2014 Green Bay Packers. Mike Sherman would look at this and think, "Gee, they are expecting us to run, so, I am going to serve up a pass happy strategy."
But, the Dolphins need to a balanced attack. Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers is a smart guy, and his strategy this year is stop the pass. That is why his Packers defense is ranked 6th vs the pass in the NFL in the NFL this year and have the second most amount of interceptions at 7.
Bill Lazor needs a balanced attack to keep the defense guessing, and I think that is something that he doesn't need Big Dave to remind him of. I see him as head coaching material down the road.
So, I don't know if you have seen this yet, but I created a Mike Wallace wallpaper a few weeks ago. He is showing us that he is not a one-trick pony that we witnessed last year. He's hitting the weights hard and loves Lazor's offense. Against the Raiders he pretty much willed himself into the end zone. Tell me that it wasn't impressive.
Dave "Big Dave" Blake