OK, I missed last week, cause I was "out of town" and by "out of town" I mean I was actually in a different city and very busy, so never got around to thinking much about football. This week I am "in town" in that I am home, trying to type quietly. More difficult since the Titans game, that.
The part of Dolphins rebuttal witness will be played by Traci, someone I have known since she was born, it turns out. She is one of the only Dolphins fans I know. Also, she is literate, and as it happens pretty darn good at the football analysis.
1. No Freddie, Marky, Chrissy, Davey (all year, but I think he has been missed more than anyone might have guessed,) and Aaron. Two out of five ain't bad. DE will be manned by some guys who played a lot of it last year, so, um, Jake Long is in for a very easy day unless Merriman finds Maybin's stash. Reggie Bush will spend a lot of time running left.
2. CJ Spiller will start and do very well, probably more than 140 yards rushing. Tashard Choice will get 50 in relief, since Buffalo will finally decide that they really are better at running the ball than mostteams are at stopping that. Nah, OK, they will get these yards because they are good, Miami isn't terriby strong against a ppower running team with a super fast (Spiller) RB and a backup (Choice) who is living proof that Jerry Jones should not be making personnnel decisions.
3. McKelvin will once again demonstrate that he is not quite as bad at playing CB as Aaron Williams.
4. Buffalo won't pressure Tannehill much because Wannstedt is an idiot, and on the rare occasion they bring five, it will be very successful, though it will not indicate a lesson having been learned.
5. Once again, Davone Bess and Anthony Fasano will do very well against Buffalo's "let 'em work the seams and underneath routes" defensive gameplan, splitting 15+ catches for 150+ yards and a lot of first downs.
6. Not too many touchbacks. It is getting chilly up thisaway, and it does impact ball flight.
7. Despite Miami's defensive strength being against the pass, it ill take some audibles to get the RBs the right number of carries. Fitz can do that. I figure he will throw for about 200 yards and a couple short scores.
8. Cameron Wake is the best pass rusher in the AFC East, and I may have mentioned before that I am firmly planted on the Cordy Glenn Bandwagon. This is the matchup of the game. If Glenn can prevent Wake from causing multiple turnovers, this game will be solidly in Buffalo's hands, allowing for the possibility that Wannstedt falls asleep and doesn't order the defensive line to start every play three yards off the line of scrimmage. If Wake gets to Fitz regularly, then it will be a back and forth affair, coming down to the last five minutes.
9. I fully expect the total points to be at or about 60.
10. Justin Rogers, as the third CB, is the real weakness in Buffalo's defense right now. He is the one that Miami will target.
11. Buffalo will rn screens and draws after clock stoppages, which is stupid, but they do it anyway.
From the Other Side:
We may, in fact, be in for a barnburner like “back in the day” (That being the early 90s when I was tortured as a child for being a Dolphins fan in Bills country. Kids are mean.). The only problem with this is that it will not include a Marino-Kelly shootout and inappropriate gestures by the Bruce Smith or Bryan Cox. Instead, it will be a well fought game of mediocrity at best. Both teams are coming of 2 weeks of losses. Admittedly, Buffalo played the harder teams, but Miami fans can happily point fingers at some bad calls in the loss to Indy.
Breaking it down:
1)Name of the game: TURNOVERS. And, I’m not talking about the delicious ones filled with NY Apples in the Wegmans Bakery… After last week’s debacle, I can only imagine what was said in the locker room. It sounds basic, but the offense/special teams need to protect the ball.
2)CJ Spiller…. True, Miami’s defense is a little weak on the stop for power running teams, especially when runners carry on the outside ends. Look for Karlos Dansby and Randy Starks to focus on him and attempt to shut the run game down. Mike Pouncey (8th ranked in Run Block PFF and league leader in Pass Blocking Efficiency for centers) wants this to be an air battle.
3)Miami’s ideal scenario include Fitzpatrick throwing. A lot. This gives Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick to do what they do best—put on pressure. Maybe force some…. Wait for it… TURNOVERS?
4)The Quarterback Battle—I would call these 2 quarterbacks matched, with a little bit leaning on Fitzpatrick’s stats. That being said, if Tannehill can rebound, Miami not only has a fighting chance, but he will have gained a little more trust from the Phins faithful.
5)Brought to you by the letter “B”- Tannehill will go for his go-to-guys—Brian (Hartline) and (Davone) Bess. Hartline put up some great stats early in the year for those gutsy enough to play him. In the absence of a power receiver like Marshall or Johnson , Hartline’s our option. (I understand that Philbin and the Phins’ suits wanted to eliminate drama in the locker room, but I’d like a little more drama on the field. Although Hartline has been solid enough, I get nervous when you have to leave everything up to a Buckeye.)
6)I, too, expect to see a high scoring game…. Or a painfully low scoring game … Then again, despite being a little less consistent this season, I do put my faith in Dan Carpenter’s foot.
7)Wake up and smell the Cameron. Fitzpatrick should look for a whole lot of #91 coming at him. Backing him up will be #98- Jared Odrick. (These 2 are my faves of the current Phins…. If I can’t have Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas anymore, I will gladly take 2 graduates of Linebacker U.)
8)Both Fitzpatrick and Tannehill are looking to break some team records this year. This game might be their best opportunity to add to those stats….
9)Playoffs?! Who’s talking Playoffs?! Neither one of these teams, if the season ended today. Miami has a fighting chance for a Wild Card, but they need to start a hot streak tonight in Buffalo. I suggest stopping at Duff’s or Anchor Bar for some inspiration….