How can the Miami Dolphins get their first win? By these three victory keys.
The Miami Dolphins were unable to secure their first win of the season at home on Sunday. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills poured 31 points on an up and down Dolphins defense. Miami had a chance to get the ball back late but was unable to recover an onside kick. Now, they head up North on a short week to play their in-state rival, the Jacksonville Jaguars. What must happen for the Dolphins to leave Duval County with their first win?
Keep feeding Gesicki
Mike Gesicki had a ridiculous game against Buffalo on Sunday. He caught eight balls for 130 yards and a touchdown. It is paramount that the Dolphins continue to use him as a weapon. The Dolphins have essentially asked Gesicki to be a big slot receiver as opposed to a traditional in-line tight end. On the first play of the game, he lined up as a receiver and caught a slant across the middle for a first down. Using Gesicki as a weapon as opposed to a tight end is what will unlock his potential. His play looks similar to how the New Orleans Saints used Jimmy Graham in the early 2010’s. Another big game from Gesicki would go a long way in getting that elusive first win.
Run the ball
Running the ball well can be used as a key to victory every week. However, it is especially important against Jacksonville. The Jaguars have edge rushers K’Lavon Chaison and Josh Allen, two young, athletic, and scary pass rushers. Miami needs to keep those guys honest when coming off the ball. Allowing them to just tee off on the snap and attack the quarterback is a recipe for disaster. With a rookie left tackle and a less than stellar right tackle, having an effective run game can make their life so much easier. If the Dolphins cannot run the ball and they become one dimensional, Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to have an extremely dirty jersey by the end of the game.
Be aware of Laviska Shenault
Jaguars rookie receiver Laviska Shenault is an absolute weapon. Whether it’s running the ball or catching it, he is a threat to make a play on every down. Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has been very creative in his deployment of Shenault. He lines up out wide, in the slot, in the backfield, and even in the wildcat. Shenault took a large number of snaps in the backfield in college at Colorado. Another note; the Dolphins have looked rather soft in tackling. They get ran over, giving ball carriers extra yards while falling forward. That will not fly against Shenault. He’s an extremely physical runner who will run through Dolphins defenders.