The Miami Dolphins are off today but that doesn’t mean there are a few things that can be dug up to talk about. While most of the talk is centered around the Dolphins QB position and the battle between David Garrard and Matt Moore and of course the closing Ryan Tannehill, there are other QB’s out there that warrant some discussion.
Like the teams 2012 opposing QB’s.
Perusing the various Miami Dolphins fan forums, I cam across an interesting thread post on the forum of our good friends Finheaven.com. One of their posters took a quick look at the upcoming schedule only to find that the opposing QB’s could be ideal match-up’s for a Dolphins defense that is switching systems. Perhaps a match-up that may be sound enough to get the Dolphins moving into a playoff hunt if everything else goes well.
The Dolphins open with Matt Schaub and the Texans. The only NFL team they have never beaten at least one time. Schaub is a high-end QB but some believe he is not reaching the potential he has to become elite. For the Dolphins, they will face him week 1 coming off a season ending injury last year.
For all the hoopla surrounding the hold-out and subsequent blockbuster trade with the Oakland Raiders, Carson Palmer was unable to lift the team to a higher level. Palmer is still struggling to become the QB that so many thought he would be in Cincinnati. The Dolphins will face off with Palmer in week 2.
In week 3 and in week 8 the Dolphins will face division rival New York. Whether the QB is Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow, neither QB is consistent enough from week to week to put a scare into anyone. With the games still being rival games, it’s likely that either QB will be playing at an efficient level and it should be noted that while Tony Sparano doesn’t know the new Dolphins defense, he does know most of the players on it.
When week 4 rolls around the Dolphins likely face Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals. Kolb was a blockbuster traded QB like Palmer but has not come close to the player the Cardinals hoped he would be. If Kolb isn’t the guy, John Skelton will be.
Last season, Andy Dalton came out of nowhere and was invited to the annual Pro-Bowl as an alternate QB. The Dolphins will face the sophomore in week 5. Can Dalton build on the success he has last year or will he succombe to the sophomore jinx? Dalton showed last year that he has the tools to be a good QB but was last year a fluke? Either way the Dolphins will face a young QB early.
Week 6 has the Dolphins matching up with the St. Louis Rams. The bi-line will be Joe Philbin vs. Jeff Fisher in a clash of Stephen Ross coaching candidates. On the field, Sam Bradford has been a large disappointment due to his inability to stay fully healthy. Of course he gets knocked around quite a bit. Bradford can be a good QB but the Dolphins should be able to apply enough pressure to rattle him.
Week 9, after the team comes back from the bye week and a face off with the Jets, the Dolphins will face 8 game NFL starter Andrew Luck. While Luck may perform well his rookie season, the Colts themselves have a lot more issues on both sides of the ball and Luck is likely to pay for the teams offensive line woes.
Will it be Jake Locker or Matt Hasselbeck when the team plays Tennessee in Miami on November 11th in week 10? Locker is the young gunslinger and future of the team but has struggled since opening Titan camp strong. Hasselbeck has entered his twilight years in the NFL.
The Dolphins will face the Buffalo Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick twice barring injury or demotion. The Bills QB is nothing close to elite but is capable of beating the Dolphins and has shown that ability as well. The Dolphins though are not intimidated by the veteran QB and it’s possible that a slow start by the Bills offense could put Fitzpatrick on the bench. A move that would likely bring Tyler Thigpen onto the field.
The Dolphins will find another story heading into week 12 when Joe Philbin and company face off against the likely to be starting Matt Flynn. The same Flynn the team opted against in free agency. If Flynn doesn’t start, Tarvaris Jackson may.
Tom Brady is the only elite QB that the Dolphins will face all season. They will of course face him twice and have shown consistently an ability to rattle him. So it’s not of the question that the defense finds a way to shut him down. The question is can they do it for 4 quarters a game?
Finishing out the season (not including the two remaining games against the Bills and Pats, the Dolphins will face off against Alex Smith’s 49’ers whose offense is potent in spite of Smith’s ability. In week 15, the Dolphins will face either Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne. If training camp is any indication, both QB’s may be on the bench by the team week 15 rolls around.
Nothing is ever guaranteed and any player can find a way to win in the NFL. Overall, while some of the teams have very good defenses or solid offenses, the QB’s that the Dolphins will face are relatively middle of the pack in terms of consistency, experience, or ability. Of all the QB’s they will face, they could possibly play against Chad Henne, Matt Flynn, Matt Hasselbeck, Alex Smith, and Tyler Thigpen, all players they have either showed interest in, had on the team, or worked out.
Should be an interesting 2012.