How do the Miami Dolphins keep their streak alive? These keys will help.
How ‘bout those Miami Dolphins? Last Sunday, the red hot Dolphins defeated the Los Angeles Chargers to improve to 6-3 on the season. After starting 1-3, Miami has not lost a football game since October 4th vs the Seattle Seahawks. Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also improved to 3-0 as a starter and has still not thrown an interception. This week, the Dolphins travel West to play a struggling Denver Broncos team. What must Brian Flores and his team do to come home with another victory?
Rotate on the defensive line
The biggest concern of many going into this game is the altitude in Denver, Colorado. They don’t call it the “Mile High City” for nothing. It is almost impossible to ask your defensive linemen to play the majority of the snaps while playing in those conditions. This proposition would be much simpler if the Dolphins were not getting a little thin on the interior defensive line. With Davon Godchaux on injured reserve and Christian Wilkins on the COVID-19/Reserve list, the rotation gets a little thinner. With those guys out, the Dolphins will have to give more snaps to players that are best in a limited snap capacity. Young players like Benito Jones and Raekwon Davis will need to play stellar games to keep the Broncos’ rushing attack at bay.
Exploit Broncos’ linebackers in coverage
The Denver Broncos have two inside linebackers that make great plays in the run game. Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell will do everything they can to keep the Dolphins running game contained. In coverage, both of those players leave much to be desired. Denver is a below-average team against tight ends, meaning the Dolphins should do whatever they can to abuse those linebackers in coverage, especially Jewell. Mike Gesicki is a player that needs to step up in this game. Against the Chargers, there were numerous plays where it felt as if Gesicki needed to “man up” at the catch point. That has been a theme throughout his career. He has the ability to win on big plays but just does not do so with consistent success. Expect Tagovailoa to be looking his way many times on Sunday.
I get it. When you have a rookie quarterback, multiple rookies on the offensive line, and backups at receiver and running back; maybe it’s best to keep it conservative and trust your elite defense and special teams. However, the Dolphins did not draft the most prolific passer in college football history to kick field goals on 4th and 1. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has been better as of late but has gotten very conservative. He has a reputation for being aggressive and letting his quarterbacks air it out. At this point, he has not unleashed the talent of Tua Tagovailoa just yet. The Broncos offense is struggling and injured, meaning the Dolphins offense will have plenty of opportunities to possess the ball. If he makes a mistake, it likely will not come back to bite the Dolphins. Miami needs to let it fly.