The Dolphins are hot….they at red hot! The six game winning streak is nice but the Dolphins need to make it a seven game winning streak. The six game winning streak has put the Fins in the thick of the playoff hunt but there are still a lot of non-believers out there. They are in the mix and have a legit shot at a wild card birth, but now its time to take it to the next level.
Through the six game winning streak Jay Ajayi was responsible for some of the wins, Ryan Tannehill was responsible for some of the wins, Kiko Alonso brought home a win; it’s been someone different and stepping up each week to carry this team. This week vs the Ravens though the Dolphins will need a total team effort to win this game on the road in a hostile environment.
Baltimore isn’t a great team but they are solid all around and above average in every aspect of the game. Even with Joe Flacco having a down year (and yes he is having a down year) he is still Joe Flacco who has a Super Bowl championship on his resume and he can turn it on any given week and play like a superstar. The Ravens run the ball well and their run defense is #1 in the league. All around a solid team who will be tough to beat in their building.
The Dolphins right now must, and I can’t say this enough, they must get their offensive line healthy. If the Dolphins are down Tunsil, Albert, and Pouncey they can’t win this game. If two of those three guys sit out, they can’t win this game. At best Miami can afford to have one of those three sit and still field a competent offensive line. The story of this game starts and ends with the Dolphins offensive line. If the Fins offensive line is healthy and able, this will be a nail bitter and go down to the wire. If the Fins offensive line is injured, well then Baltimore is going to eat our lunch and take our milk money and bully us all over the field come Sunday.
Ryan Tannehill will also need to continue his amazing play of late this week. Tannehill has done a great job of shutting up all the haters out there and his many critics. Right now he is on what I like to call, “The Ryan Tannehill FU Middle Finger Tour.”
|Next Stop On The Tour|
Week by week Ryan is going out and playing some outstanding football shutting up his critics and doubters to the point where many of them have become speechless and have gone into hiding or have accepted the fact they were wrong and are now eating crow and are 100% believers in Tannehill. For Miami to beat Baltimore in Baltimore they will need another great game from Tannehill. I’m not sure the Fins will be able to run with much success this week vs the #1 run defense so it will come down to Tannehill and the pass catchers to carry the team this week.
On defense it’s simple; get after Flacco and put him on his keister! The Dolphins defensive line is thin right now; another week with no Jason Jones and now Leon Orr was cut. Earl Mitchell also missed practice today with an injury so its slim pickings. For the Fins to win they need to get after Flacco and not let him sit in the pocket and pick us apart.
Big picture what does this game mean? It means everything! The AFC Wild Card race is going to come down to the end of the season and will have many tiebreakers. Miami must win this game vs a team they might end up being tied with. They must win this game vs a conference opponent. Last but not least they must win this game to keep the pressure on Kansas City and Denver.
Miami most likely needs to win 3 of their last 5 games to make the playoffs and with road games vs Buffalo and New York (I don’t care what their record is those are tough spots to win on the road in December) every game is crucial. A win here would not only be a huge step in making the playoffs it would be a huge step in sending a big message to the rest of the NFL that the Dolphins are for real and the Dolphins are back!