The Miami Dolphins are coming off of two road losses; finding themselves two games under .500 and on the road once again holding onto their small playoff chances. With the majority of their games at home down the final stretch of the season, the Dolphins need a road victory today against the Philadelphia Eagles to create some kind of momentum to get them headed in a positive direction. In order to leave the city of brotherly love victorious, the Miami Dolphins will need to win some pivotal match ups.
Jordan Cameron vs. Philly Inside Linebackers
The Miami Dolphins passing game has been relying heavily on the running backs and wide receivers recently where the tight ends have become virtually invisible. The Dolphins need to get Cameron involved in the passing game stretching the seams so they can open up converge on Jarvis Landry in the slot who’s been bracketed the last two weeks and kept relatively contained. The Eagles linebackers are beat up right now and susceptible to getting beat in coverage, the Miami Dolphins would be wise to take advantage.
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Grimes has had his worse year in Miami so far this season. Granted he’s has to play though an annoying knee injury and he’s made his fair share of big plays but his consistency in coverage is no where near what Miami Dolphins fans have become accustomed to. Last week, Sammy Watkins, who had been struggling, abused Grimes in getting his season on track and this week comes another young buck in Matthews looking to get right as well. Bigger receivers have given Grimes issues in the past and the Dolphins will need him to return to form soon if they want to keep the passing game contained.
Lamar Miller & Jay Ajayi vs. Philly Front Seven
It goes without saying that the Miami Dolphins are a much better team when they can run the rock. Miller has been spectacular this season when given the opportunity and Ajayi had a very good debut to his rookie season last week. The Eagles defense has not been great at stopping the run but has been stout in the red zone against it. The Dolphins need to have their running game clicking on all cylinders to keep their offense in a rhythm, open up the play action and deep passing game, and most of all, keep their porous defense on the sideline.
Dolphins Front Seven vs. Philly’s 3 Headed Backfield
The Eagles field a complete backfield with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews splitting carries and being relieved on 3rd downs by the ultimate scat back Darren Sproles. The Dolphins gave up two 100 yard rushers last week and you have to figure the Eagles will pound the rock and test this pours defense. The Miami Dolphins linebackers need to step up in a major way and fill the gaps creates by the defensive lines penetration. The front seven as a whole need to do a much better job of tackling as they find themselves in position to make plays but just don’t finish.
Ryan Tannehill vs. The Odds
I believe in Tannehill, I think he has the goods to be a really good quarterback one day. I hoped this year would be the one he’d accomplish that jump, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened. Granted the Dolphins offensive line isn’t the best, dealing with injuries and mediocre guard play plus a defense that gives early leads like it’s their mandate. But somewhere along the line, Tannehill has to rise above the odds, has to be the player we dreamed of, where he can will a team to victory Marino esque.
The Miami Dolphins season is on thin ice and they can ill afford to lose yet another game in a row. They really only can afford one maybe two more losses on the year in their bid for a wild card berth. This game in Philly will prove to be the pivotal point in their season, a win here keeps their season alive, a loss puts them at a severe disadvantage and behind the 8 ball. Hopefully Dan Campbell has his team motivated and ready to rebound from two consecutive losses.
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