Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) competes a pass in the fourth quarter in a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Keys to a Miami Dolphin Victory Over The New Orleans Saints

This Monday night the Miami Dolphins will face the New Orleans Saints in a battle of unbeaten teams. Miami will be looking to defeat their second NFC South opponent of the season, not to mention the team atop the NFC South standings.

Both teams will be looking to catapult themselves into, not only the play-off picture (yes, I know it’s a little early to be talking play-offs), the Super Bowl contention picture.


Now, I understand that there is a long way to go before we can really be talking play-offs or even Super Bowl contention for that matter, but a win for Miami would prove a lot for this young and electric Miami squad.


Let’s take a look at a few keys to victory:


  1. Continue to ride Tannehill’s arm: QB Ryan Tannehill has been one of the most surprising players to watch in this very young season. Tannehill has lead his team to a perfect 3-0 start over two very tough teams in Indianapolis and Atlanta, while also beating a Cleveland Browns team to open the season on the road. Not to mention the former Texas A&M Aggie has a 4 to 2 touchdown to interception ratio all while throwing behind one of the NFL’s shakiest offensive lines allowing a league worst 14 sacks in 3 games. Tannehill has the hot hand for Miami right now, therefore offensive coordinator Mike Sherman must continue to ride his second-year quarterback’s arm to the top.
  2. Establish the run game: The Saints are fourth overall in total defense this season. They’re good against the run and they’re good against the pass. Miami must establish a run game early on to bring an eighth defender into the box to help QB Ryan Tannehill find his weapons. RB Lamar Miller had a decent first half against Atlanta last week, we saw his burst and explosiveness on a nice scamper, but the team did not give him much of an opportunity to establish a run game in the second half. Miami has only run the ball 65 times this season while throwing the ball 107 times. Utilizing Miller and RB Daniel Thomas can only help this team.

    Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) reacts after a touchdown by tight end Dion Sims (not pictured) in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

  3. Give DE Dion Jordan more playing time: With DE Cameron Wake questionable this week – there are conflicting reports that he will sit out or he will play primarily in pass rushing situations – Miami must unleash their prized third-overall selection, Dion Jordan. Jordan played well last week against Atlanta and has slowly, but steadily improved throughout the first three weeks of the season. Jordan will have his hands full against RT Zach Strief, who has done a respectable job protecting QB Drew Brees this season. If Jordan can finally put together his game and have a break-out performance by getting to Brees and forcing some mistakes, Miami could have a realistic shot in this game.
  4. Play a game of keep-away: Similar to that of Atlanta, New Orleans has quite an offense. No they may not consist of stars, but the team has consistent players who are always ready and eager to contribute. Miami needs to play a game of keep away. What I mean here is that the team must establish a running game and try to milk every single drive to keep QB Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense off the field. Remember, if Brees and his offense are not on the field, they cannot score any points. That is unless we do not….
  5. Play a clean game: Miami currently has a +2 turnover ratio. This must remain consistent. If Miami wants absolutely ANY chance in this game then the team MUST take care of the football. QB Ryan Tannehill has done a decent job with his decision making so far this season – the second-year QB has only thrown 2 interceptions. That being said, Tannehill has also fumbled the ball 5 times when sacked. Tannehill must hold onto the ball in all circumstances. DC Rob Ryan is going to come after this shaky Miami offensive line which has allowed 14 sacks so far this season. Tannehill must be able to hang onto the football or get rid of it quickly. 

This game could do wonders for this team and this fan base’s morale. A win over a team like New Orleans would be HUGE. But could it actually happen?


Prediction: New Orleans 33 Miami 30


I really would like to pick Miami here, but I cannot. New Orleans has a great offensive scheme and their defense is much improved. I think it will give Miami’s offense trouble early, especially if Miami cannot establish a running game. Miami’s offense will surge during the second half to give Miami fans a prayer of hope, but the team will ultimately come up short this week. 3-1 and on to Baltimore.

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Tags: Dion Jordan Lamar Miller Miami Dolphins New Orleans Saints Ryan Tannehill

  • jrcjr

    Come on man, how could you pike the aints .Miami’s on a roll 24-23

    • TylerMcMullen

      Twas a tough choice man! Best thing Miami can do is go into the bye at 5-0. More realistically though, the best they can do is go into the bye at 4-1 with a loss to NOLA and a win over Baltimore! Wouldn’t be surprised if they beat the Saints, though!

  • henry

    Hey Tyler, I was only 7 away from that score choice last week, I imagine I lost it when Tannehill fumbled while we wer driving, oh well. Back to my pik this week = DOLPHINS 34-27 nice report ya did here btw.

    • TylerMcMullen

      Sweet deal, Henry! Very good prediction my man! And thank you! Hopefully your prediction holds to be true!!!

  • William Varner

    Tyler, nice read. I agree with everything you said. I just want to elaborate. Mia can counter NO’s defense by utilizing screens and counter run game. This will neutralize their aggressiveness. Sort of the plan that ATL had for us. And YES! Play keep away. Defensively we need to push the pocket up the middle and faceguard Brees so he can’t see. I wouldn’t blitz off the edge that much. Zone the DE’s in the flats. Prediction Miami 31 Saints 21. I know I know..Im a homer! Lol

    • TylerMcMullen

      Nothing wrong with being a homer, William! :) And you hit the nail on the head towards the end of your comment. We need to pressure Brees and get into his face on a consistent basis. If the defensive line plays like they did last week, Brees is one of the four QB’s that will shred our defense.

  • John Smith

    Let’s be honest. A Saints game on Monday night in the Superdome is not a game the Fins should expect to win. Had you been asked before the season started if you would take a 3 – 2 record out of the first 5 games very difficult games and most would have said “giddie up”. Everyone is picking the Saints to win – even Tyler lol. It’s the logical pick. The Dolphins have the luxury of this forgone conclusion of a loss and play with nothing to lose.

    The Fins will compete – that much is for sure. I’m sure the Saints would love to have another blowout and Monday night national tv party. The Fins will stick around and fight and while they won’t dominate the Saints, it will be a nail biter at the end. The Fins will give themselves a chance to win. The odds won’t be in their favor but the game could go either way in the final minutes. I see a toss up, decided by a last second field goal.

    The key to this game will be QB pressure. You can’t let Brees get comfortable or he will kill you. Brees will throw interceptions if pressured. Fins OL has got to give Tannehill a chance to do his thing.

    This game is going to be fun and even if we happen to drop this game which is widely expected. At the minimum our team will improve by virtue of getting the opportunity to play in a game like this. If we can deal with Indy, Falcons and now the Saints offenses. We will have no fear vs Patriots and Tom Brady. PHINS UP!

    • TylerMcMullen

      What’s your score prediction, John!?

  • John Smith

    Last week I predicted the score Fins 24 – Falcons 20 – which is pretty close. This week I predict that we see a higher scorelin. This is going to be an explosive game. I think our defense plays well but I have to think the Saints O will also play well. I have a feeling that Mike Wallace will have his biggest game as a Fin – just a hunch. This is a battle of my heart (Fins) and my brain (Saints). I’m going to go with my Fins winning 30 – 28 and I will call Caleb Sturgis as my hero of the game. And now I will go align my lucky charms. Phins Up!!