The last time the Miami Dolphins won at Sun-Life Stadium they played the Tennessee Titans on November 14th, 2010. In that time they have dropped 7 straight at home. All told since the beginning of the 2010 season, they have lost 10 out of 11 at home. Not good numbers. Surely this weekend, which will be 364 calendar days since their last home field victory, will snap that losing streak. I mean come on, it’s the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins started off their 2011 season by winning three or their first four games. They have since lost every game after. Struggling on both sides of the ball the Redskins have no running game, no passing game, and very little to speak of on the defensive side of the ball. This week will also mark the return of QB John Beck to Miami, who is the starting signal caller for the Skins.
Many believe that this would have been the Dolphins best chance at a victory, as it turns out it will be the best chance at a second victory. The Redskins are a team that is struggling to score points and even stay in games. They have lost the last three games combined by a margin of 95-44. Last week they mustered a paltry 11 against San Francisco and two weeks ago allowed the Cam Newton led Panthers to post a 33 spot on them. The team is beginning to fall apart and the head coach Mike Shannahan is on shaky ground for his job.
For the Dolphins, it’s a matter of not letting up. Hardly a game for the team to overlook while sitting at 1-7 the Dolphins need to continue to improve over their victory performance last week. The team needs to take the Brian Daboll offense another step forward and while the team as a whole played very good football last week, Davone Bess, Daniel Thomas, and Brian Hartline were non-factors in the outcome.
Defensively the Dolphins must get to John Beck who still has issues holding on to the football, even when he is not being hit. There will be no excuses for the Dolphins front line to at minimum reach the 5 sack mark that they did last week. Beck doesn’t have the arm to beat the Dolphins corners in the air and Vontae’ Davis who will be returning to his starting job should have no problems keeping the Washington receivers in check.
At the running back position the Skins will use a platoon of Roy Helu and Ryan Torain who are splitting time after the IR injury to starter Tim Hightower. Despite a good statistical game for Helu a week ago, these runners pose no immediate threat to the Dolphins defense. A solid performance by the team this week could help bolster their confidence as they stay home a week later for their first 2011 match-up with the Buffalo Bills. They then travel to Dallas for a Thanksgiving day game.
No game in the NFL is a gimme, even a game against the Washington Redskins, but this is a game that the Dolphins match-up very well in all areas of the field. This is a game the Dolphins should win and frankly if they play like they did last week, there is no reason why they shouldn’t win. It will come down to what team shows up for the Dolphins. Will they snap the 7 game home losing streak or continue it? With the schedule getting tougher after this Sunday, Washington is the best chance for win number 2.