The Miami Dolphins, fresh off a great defensive performance against the Tennessee Titans at home at Hard Rock Stadium, now have to travel to play one of the NFL’s best offensive teams, a team fresh off a BYE week. The Falcons have scored 104 points so far this season in 4 games, which is exactly 63 points more than the Dolphins have scored. Doing some quick math in my head, the Falcons are averaging 26 points per game, while the Dolphins are averaging just better than 10 points per game. See a problem?
HC Adam Gase insists he is not changing from current starter Jay Cutler to backup QB Matt Moore. Some people are really upset about this, while some proclaim Cutlers arm is damaged, or his brain is shell shocked, and he can’t stand in the pocket because he’s afraid to take a hit, and despite all that, Gase stands behind Cutler as his starter. I know we’re so used to failure here in MIA, that even Gase the Great is now under tremendous scrutiny! What happened to “Trust in Gase’? Like Lucilla said so well, “The mob is fickle brother”. How true! Now all of a sudden we all know better than Gase, the guy who is with this team nearly 24/7, the one who is getting paid the big bucks to guide this team back to the playoffs, the one whose job security is on the line? Maybe we should step back and let Gase handle the situation. Do we really think Gase is clueless all of a sudden? I truly doubt he is.
This Sunday’s game provides quite a challenge, the rested Falcons have a multidimensional offense, with 2 talented RB’s who can both run and catch extremely well, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman has 285 yards rushing, while his backfield mate Tevin Coleman has just 181 yards rushing. They flip flop though on receiving yards, with Coleman putting up 153 yards receiving on 13 receptions, and Freeman with only 70 on 9 receptions. Both of these backs have around 350 yards of total offense, so no team gets a break with either of them on the field. That’s not all the Falcons offer on offense, far from it. The Falcons have one of the premier receivers in the NFL in Julio Jones. Jones has been hobbled by injuries this season, a lower leg injury early, a back injury, and most recently in Game 4 against the Bills before the BYE, a hip flexor injury. He has been limited to only 19 receptions for 295 yards, no TD’s, a very pedestrian start for the season. The BYE week should have allowed him to heal some, so we’ll see what Julio Jones can do against Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley.
The Falcons defense is nothing special this season, although last season they were pretty good. They have excellent team speed, with a speedy group of LB’s that fly to the football, with Vic Beasley, Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell. The Falcons also have 2 of the better NFL CB’s, Des Trufant and Robert Alford. Patrolling the secondary is S Keanu Neal, who forced 5 fumbles last season, along with S Ricardo Allen. The front 4 are average, except DT Dontari Poe. Brooks Reed and Courtney Upshaw are the ends, with Dontari Poe and Grady Jarrett as the DT’s. Tak McKinley is on the depth chart at DE, a guy I liked for the Dolphins.
The way the Dolphins defense played last week, I think the defense can do enough to keep us in this game, but something has to get this offense going or we will be out of this one by halftime. Devante Parker will likely be a game time decision with his ankle injury, so that means either Jakeem Grant or Leonte Carroo, or some combination of the 2, would replace him. Parker brought so much promise in the preseason, a guy ready to make that leap to elite status, yet a bewildered offense led by Jay Cutler hasn’t allowed that to come to fruition. Gase has to find a way for this offense to get on track. Obviously getting the run game going would help, but maybe we have to get the passing game going to get the run game going. Maybe we have to try and throw the ball deeper than 10 yards past the LOS, and challenge opposing defenses. Why we haven’t done so is a combination of things. Plays are breaking down too quickly due to the offensive line not holding up their part, QB Jay Cutler is flustered too quickly as soon as he either senses or actually sees pressure, and it also seems none of the receivers are playing with any urgency and are fighting to get open. This has to change, or we will be 2-3 after this week.
I still Trust in Gase. We Dolphins fans are used to bailing on our coaches, mostly because they deserved it, but I don’t think Gase deserves that quite yet. So despite all the FU doctors, QB gurus, OC’s etc, maybe we should give Gase a chance to turn the offense around, just like he did last year, at 1-4. How bout it you stubborn SOB’s, can you do it? Can you be a loyal fan to the coach who brought us to the playoffs last season? Will you kneel when Gase runs through the tunnel and on to the field? Will that be disrespectful if you do? I guess that’s all in the individual eye of the beholder . . .
GO DOLPHINS! Zero in!