The Miami Dolphins got a huge win this past Sunday over the Green Bay Packers. It’s too early in the season to call this game a must win, but in reality it was. With the New England Patriots and the New York Jets looking like the class of the AFC, Miami can’t afford to drop winnable games if they hope to make the playoffs.
The key to getting the win this past Sunday was Miami getting back to what they do best. Run the football, play good defense, and win the field position battle. Although the stat lines aren’t as lopsided as I thought they would be, it was evident from the beginning that Miami wanted to get back to running the ball, and that’s exactly what they did.
Miami ran the ball 39 times for 150 yds. This helped them control the ball for almost 38 minutes, 10 more than Green Bay. Leading the way for the Miami ground attack was Ronnie Brown, who totaled 73 yds on 19 carries. Ricky Williams added 64 yds on 13 carries. The O-Line did a much better job of run blocking this game, but Miami really needs John Jerry to get healthy and contributing. The Line seems to lack the toughness they’ve shown over the past 2 years, if they can get to that level again, the running game will really take off.
It was surprising to see that Miami threw the ball 39 times as well. While watching the game, it seemed to me that they ran the ball more than they threw it. Either way, this was the most balanced game the offense has had this season, and I hope it’s a sign of things to come. Henne finished the day 23/39 for 231 yds with 2 td’s and 1 pick. Brandon Marshall led the way for Miami with 10 receptions for 127 yds. He was targeted 17 times on the day, something that looks like it will continue as the season moves along. The play of the day was the TE screen to Fasano that was good for a TD. This was by far the best call Dan Henning has made this season.
If Miami hopes to keep up with the rest of the AFC, they have to remain balanced. When they can do this, they really improve their chances of winning. When they panic and get pass happy, they usually lose. Miami has a tough stretch coming up as they play at home against Pittsburgh, then go on the road and take on Cincinnati and Baltimore over the next three weeks. If Miami has any hope of making the playoffs this year, this is the part of their schedule that will make or break them.