What a difference a week makes am I right? A week ago, when I was writing my 5 goals blog for Miami against the Bears, I was in a down mood about it. Don’t think you can blame me. Miami just dropped two in a row versus good teams, just lost a game where they were up 17-0 on the Bengals, injuries were really starting to take its toll and this team looked nothing like the team that started 3-0. All that and the anti-rallying cry that is same old Dolphins was flowing in my head. I didn’t have to much optimism going into a game against Chicago who was trending upward, their defense was playing lights out, their young QB was starting to look like a real player and they were coming off a bye. But, fate in its infinite wisdom decided to take another shot at the Dolphins by taking away Ryan Tannehill 90 minutes before the game almost ensuring a literal bone crushing defeat. This time however, fate, set in motion some good vibes and the Brocksmen, along with the rest of the team especially the 0-line, defended Miami Gardens and ended up getting the W in an overtime thriller. So yeah, in one week I and I expect many Dolphins’ fans have a different mindset headed into week 8 as Miami hosts the Lions. We’re thinking, ya know, the Lions are a pretty beatable team and then we play on Thursday against the Texans, which is another winnable game. Hmmmmmm, things could actually break for this team. This team can realistically go 6-2 with games still against the Bills and Jets out there. This is a symptom of being a fan, we ponder about things that are too far down the road and we drive ourselves mad thinking about possibilities. First things first, let’s focus on the Lions of Detroit. I think Detroit is ripe for the taking and if Miami follows these 5 goals I have set for them, then the Dolphins have a great chance to stay hot and go 5-2.
Be more physical upfront, test the Lions’ D-line and run the ball right at them.
Detroit comes in as the 25th ranked run defense and Ziggy Ansah appears like he’s not going to play again, so it would be smart to exploit the Lions weakness in stopping the run and continue to hammer to Frank Gore between the tackles. Last week, to everyone’s surprise, the Dolphin’s o-line did some soul searching and came out and handled the vaunted Bears line to the tune of 161 yards on the ground. That needs to be the focus going into Sunday’s game. Yeah everyone is talking about the electrifying plays of Albert Wilson and that’s all well and good but don’t fall into this trap that Miami is a throwing team. They aren’t. They are a ball control, quick hitting passing game that wants to run to set up play action. Don’t get to fancy here. Establish the run early, let Detroit know that they’re in for a long game of getting pushed around and prove to everyone that last week wasn’t a fluke.
At the same time as running the ball, don’t wait to be creative with the play calling
I know it looks like I’m saying two different things here, with run the ball early while also being creative early with play calling. But I don’t see any reason why they can’t do both. Basically, don’t wait until the second half to get your play makers involved. I’m also not saying that they should run a triple reverse, TE screen hit Osweiler streaking down the sideline OG pass, though I’d love that to be something they can go to at some point, but don’t just settle for WR screen after WR screen over and over again. We saw last week that after it worked once to Wilson, Miami kept painfully going back to it and the Bears were all over it. Run something else behind the screen. Some sort of trick play like the kinds that were used against Oakland wouldn’t hurt either. Something to get the crowd into the game. Something that could take the wind out of the sails of the Lions. Put Drake, Wilson and Grant in different positions and use their unique skill set to get them in space. Essentially, don’t be a vanilla, predicable offense. Pass on 1st down here and there, run the ball from under center and control the clock. That’s all.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 7 times this year. Let this man eat. I know that the Golden Bear’s grandson, Nick O’Leary came out of nowhere last week and that he needs to be in Gase’s thoughts when running the offense. He’s valuable not just as a receiver but as a blocking back. But for God’s sake man, let Mike Gesicki out of his cage and go down the middle of the field once. Let him take the LBs with him, opening up underneath routes and easy check-downs. Let him hit the seam with grace and let him get his paws on a few passes. Freeing this man can free the entire offense. The #FreeGesicki movement needs the support of everyone it appears to get what we want and that’s to live in a world where defenses bow to the jersey native, as they should.
Pressure Stafford because he’d love to throw the ball into coverage. He lives for it
We all saw in week one Matt Stafford throw the ball all around to the Jets, throwing 4 INTs in the process. The Jets pressured Stafford and he was all for throwing it to anyone that was wearing a jersey that wasn’t a Lion’s jersey. Since then, he has only thrown 1 INT so you can say that he’s been much better since week 1. This means he’s due to have a blowup and what better time to capitalize on the inevitable blowup by making this the week it happens. Miami also has the good fortune of being on the right side of the injury bug this week.
Ryan Tannehill, Charles Harris and Jonathan Woodard have officially been ruled out for Sunday. Cam Wake & Bobby McCain among 5 questionable Dolphins but both were full practice participants Friday.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 19, 2018
Cam Wake is being cryptic right now saying Sunday is Christmas and he’s Santa Claus, which means he’s playing and he’s ready to cause havoc or he’s way too early to be in the holiday spirit. Even better is that Bobby McCain looks like he’s coming back as well. The secondary desperately needs him back because McTyer might as well be called McSleepin (sick burn). Let Stafford do what he wants to do and have him throw it up to the middle of the field. He’s dying to do it. Get to him, put him down, hit him and let nature take its course.
Keep celebrating Brocktober
Brock Osweiler will be the QB for the foreseeable future. Deal with it. Tannehill looks like a guy who is getting frozen out. His shoulder situation and all the mystery around it seems like a situation that has no rhyme or reason to it so there’s no telling when he’ll be ready to go. It’s already being reported that Tannehill will be out for the Texans game on Thursday. If Brock wins on Sunday and Thursday, then we probably aren’t seeing Tannehill again this year or possibly ever again in a Miami uniform. Gase has plausible deniability here with Tannehill and could keep ruling him out if he doesn’t think his shoulder is up to it. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised that in a few weeks Ryan gets put on the IR. It just has that feeling to me. Maybe I’m way off. But, I also can envision a scenario in 5-6 weeks where Ryan comes in for an injured Brock and starts lighting it up. Both extremes seem possible to me.
As for the real life Brockumentary that Osweiler is starring in right now, play to his strengths which are…… I actually don’t know what his actual strengths are besides being 6’7 who still gets passes knocked down at the line. I’d say a skill of his is his ability to stay in the pocket, take a hit and still complete a pass. He’s accurate on short throws, which he should be. I suppose, don’t have him do too much. Use that game manager tag if you’d like. Don’t get in the way of something truly remarkable and that’s Brock Osweiler leading a team to multiple victories. Stranger things in sports has happened before. It is nice if some weird fortune fell on this team for once instead of all the mind-numbing, stupid situations that tend to always occur. We deserve to have something unexpected go in our favor.
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