It will take a team effort for the Miami Dolphins to beat the L.A. Rams today.
The Miami Dolphins are coming off a 24-0 shutoff of the woeful New York Jets and a bye week filled with surprises, Tua named starter, and drama, Fitzpatrick’s “heartbroken” Zoom call. While Tua’s debut will be the focus of the game, if the Dolphins want to leave Hard Rock Stadium with a victory against the Los Angeles Rams they will need a total team effort.
Besides the obvious (keep Aaron Donald off Tua), let’s take a look at three things the Dolphins need to do to defeat the Los Angeles Rams.
1. Limit turnovers
The Dolphins will have a hard time on offense against a Rams team that’s 2nd in the league in points allowed (17.7 pts/game). They can’t afford to lose possessions to fumbles and/or interceptions. While it’s important that Tua gets rid of the ball quickly to avoid hits/sacks, he has to be smart with the ball and not force throws that can lead to field-flipping interceptions.
2. Run the football
One way to take pressure off of Tua in his first start is to be successful in the run game. That doesn’t mean the Dolphins should be predictable and call run after run. After all, the Rams are 7th in run defense so attempting to ‘bully’ them would result in alot of 3rd and long situations.
To be successful, Miami simply needs to be able to run the football enough that the Rams think twice before stacking the box with eight defenders. Running back screens and ‘jet sweeps’ can also be an extension of the run game; getting their playmakers the ball in space.
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3. Stop the run
While the Dolphins have been much better against the run in 2020 than they were last season; stopping the run is still a weakness of this defense. Miami is currently 18th in rush defense (124 yards per game) but they are 23rd in yards per rush (4.5). Meanwhile, the Rams come into this game with the 7th ranked rushing attack (138.7 yds/game).
If the Dolphins can hold the Rams under 100 yards rushing, they have shown an ability to get pressure on the quarterback. While Rams quarterback Jared Goff doesn’t get sacked often, he has been prone to throwing interceptions when he’s rushed.