Friday, September 9, 2016

Week One--Previewing the Miami Dolphins

Week One--Previewing the Miami Dolphins

Finally time for some games that count! First up, the Miami Dolphins. I don’t believe we’ve faced off against Miami since November of 2012. Which we lost on a last second field goal. It should also be noted that this is Miami coach Adam Gase’s first (regular season) game as a head coach.

This game should be a great test for our reworked offensive line. Hopefully, the loss of guard Germain Ifedi won’t be too much of a problem. Not sure which way the Seahawks are going here, I’ve heard that they have moved Justin Britt over to guard, with rookie Joey Hunt at center. There’s also the possibility of having Rees Odhiambo move into the starting right guard position. Regardless of which way the team goes in replacing Ifedi, this defensive front may be one of the toughest we face all year.

With Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, and Mario Williams, the Dolphins have a top quality defensive line. Williams, in his eleventh year has seen just about every stunt an offensive line can attempt. Suh and Wake have reputations as two of the best linemen in the NFL. Our one saving grace may be to use there aggressiveness against them. The Dolphins back seven, with the exception of Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell, don’t have any names that stand out. I’m not saying they’re pushovers; this is the NFL after all. The Dolphins list a rookie, Xavien Howard from Baylor at the cornerback opposite Maxwell, so it would be nice to see Baldwin, Lockett, or Kearse have a big game receiving. Also of note, we are expecting to see some playing time for Jimmy Graham this week, last I heard. Either Graham or Luke Willson needs to have a big game receiving for the Seahawk offense to be affective.

Depending upon the aggressiveness of the defensive line, I’d like to see a lot of read option and draw plays. If our offensive line can play up to par against this formidable defensive line, we should be alright. Just don’t want to see Russell drop back, and then have to scramble without any time to get through his reads.  On a positive note, the Dolphins were tied for 28th last season against the run, and didn’t make many moves in the off-season to address this. Hopefully this will allow a big game for either Christine Michael or Thomas Rawls, or both. Personally, I believe our biggest challenge on offense will be keeping Russell Wilson off his back. A quick start in the running game, or perhaps quick, three step drop passes may be the trick to slowing down this defensive line.

When the Dolphins have the ball, I kind of believe we’ll have the upper hand. With Quarterback Ryan Tannehill not having played in Century Link field before now, he may be in for an eye opening experience. I’m sure a lot of the veterans have told him what to expect, but it’s real hard to imagine. With the talent on the Seahawks defense, and the noise the home crowd will be making, I’ll be surprised if the Dolphins don’t have a few pre-snap penalties. The Dolphins have worked a lot during the preseason on a no huddle offense, which may help them combat some of the noise.

As far as personnel, the Dolphins have a few quality players at the marquee positions. Jarvis Landry is one of the best young receivers in the game today, and Kenny Stills has shown moments. Their other starter at wide receiver, DeVante Parker is nursing an injury, so it’s not certain he will be playing. Arian Foster is expected to be the starting running back, and the Dolphins, like many other teams, don’t carry a fullback on the roster. But they do list five running backs, including Jay Ajayi, so having two in the backfield won’t be a problem. Along the Dolphins offensive line, the starting center, Mike Pouncey is also injured, so I expect our defensive line to be able to get pressure on Tannehill. Surprisingly, the Dolphins depth chart doesn’t list any backups at either tackle position. That would be a little scary to me, as a fan. Not sure what they’ll do in case of an injury, but I’m sure they have a plan.

I believe the Landry vs. Richard Sherman match up could be one of the best we’ll see this week. Landry is an extremely gifted receiver, and we all know what Sherman is capable of. Of concern is the Dolphins tight end, Jordan Cameron. He has always been a quality receiver, and we Seahawk fans know all to well our past problem covering a quality tight end. Just hope the Legion of Boom can keep everything in front of them and Kam can get a couple of ‘enforcer’ type hits early. That always seems to slow down the receivers over the middle, which seems to be an Achilles heel for the Seahawks.

Final word on the game; I’m not looking for a blow out by the Seahawks, as we don’t ever seem to start the year off fast. I’ve seen prognosticators pick everything from 45-10 Seahawks to 23-20 Seahawks. I’m going to go somewhere in between. I expect a big day running the ball, which should open up the passing game. I don’t believe our defense will be too pressed to keep Tannehill & co. in check. Keep everybody healthy, a monster game from Christine Michael, Tyler Lockett, and Russell Wilson on offense. A coming out of sorts for Frank Clark of defense. Solid play from Michael Bennett, Ahtyba Rubin, Cliff Avril, Tony McDaniel, and hopefully, Quinton Jefferson and Jarran Reed, and we can keep the Dolphins out of the end zone. Our back seven should be fine; Landry is going to get his catches, just limit the yards after catch and we’ll be OK.

Final Score Seahawks 30, Dolphins 13  Let’s get this season started!!

Until next time……………………GO HAWKS!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment