The Dolphins are coming off a huge win against the Atlanta Falcons, a game in which injuries were a huge factor in both games. The Dolphins are now a shocking 3-0 on the season, and a win in New Orleans this Monday night would be a thing of beauty for Dolphins fans, and fans of the NFL as well. A win would certainly silence the critics who are calling the 3-0 start a fluke. The Dolphins are facing a really solid New Orleans defense, who is only allowing 12.7 points per game this season, and holding their opponents to just under 300 yards per game, with one of the best pass defenses this season, which has been their struggle the past few years.
Some may even call this defensive start a fluke as well considering two of the teams they faced were the terrible Arizona Cardinals and the dysfunctional Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Dolphins sure do have a tough match up this week, regardless of a fluky defense or not. Winning in the SuperDome is already a tough task as it is.
Keys to the Game:
1. Running Game
Miami needs to establish the running game early and often. New Orleans overall run defense isn’t that great, as they let up just over 110 yards per game. Lamar Miller needs to find some room to run early and often, and needs to rack up 100 yards. Daniel Thomas needs to continue his role as the goal line back. Although many fantasy owners don’t like Thomas stealing touchdowns away from Miller, it works. Teams don’t play for a fantasy perspective, they play to win. Thomas is a huge back, and is almost guaranteed to punch the ball into the end zone from a few yards out. If the running game can’t get going like it did against Atlanta early, then the Dolphins will lose this game.
2. Protect Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill has been sacked a league high 14 times in three games. That is not good,as it has led to five fumbles, including two lost. The Saint’s pass rush is not that great, but the still will get to Tannehill. All five offensive linemen need to do their job and keep Tannehill on his feet. When Charles Clay and Thomas/Miller drop into pass blocking coverage, they need to pick up the blitzes as well. It will be a long day if Tannehill is continually pressured. The Saints pass defense is already good as it is, and forcing Tannehill to throw earlier than what he wants, is a disaster nightmare for the Phins offense.
3. Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace was my key to the game for week two, and he responded with a huge game. Then, he was basically invisible last week against the Falcons, only recording two catches for 22 yards. Jabari Greer will most likely be shutting down Brian Hartline on the other side, so Mike Wallace needs to put up another 100 yard game, along with Brandon Gibson and Charles Clay. Miami will need Wallace to step up and find open space to catch the ball, and make some plays while the football is in his hands.