Miami Dolphins: 3 sneaky keys to pull the upset over the Vikings

Miami Dolphins defensive end Zach Sieler (92) Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins defensive end Zach Sieler (92) Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Dolphins
(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /

The Vikings love to pass on 1st down. I know it so the Miami Dolphins coaches should know and have a game plan for it.

Numbers could be fun. As a man that sort of delivers information for a living in number form, I know this to be kind of true. Here are some numbers for you that just pop.

The Minnesota Vikings rank third in the league, at 15.4%, at throwing on 1st down. I don’t have the breakdown of it but I would bet my soul that 98% of those 1st down throws are play-action.

This means that not only the backside pursuit, whoever that is, and the linebackers need to honor the pass on 1st down.

I realize our linebackers are far from the Miami Dolphins’ strong suit. I also unfortunately understand, and I know this is something we don’t like to talk about at parties, but the entire defense has been kind of mid this season.

Tough break. Figure it out and do something about it. That play-action passing, which I elegantly discussed on the last page, is coming, and on 1st down Kirk and Justin Jefferson are looking to make huge, game-changing plays.

The linebackers are taught that the first order of business in every game is to stop the run. They’ve been told this since they were five. By this point, taking a few steps forward every time the quarterback turns his back or when a guard moves one way or the other instinctively is what these guys do. They have to turn their brain off just a little bit and forget what they normally do.

I’ll give up the 18-yarder to Cook if it prevents the 65-yarder to Jefferson. Make Kirk Cousins sustain long drives. He’s bound to make a mistake. He loves making dumb mistakes. Give him ample opportunities to do it.