Our Miami Dolphins (6-3) travel across the country to play the Denver Broncos (3-6). This Dolphins team has had one consistent thing going all year long, whether we won or lost on game day, it’s that’s the fact that this has been a well coached, well prepared team. The Dolphins are the 4th least penalized teams at 4.3 penalties per game and are 5th at penalty yards per game at 37.8 yards per game. It’s much more than the penalties though, it’s about getting the players to buy in to the program, and in that regard, Brian Flores has been excellent. The contract extension of DL Zach Sieler is an example. Sieler came from the Baltimore Ravens, a winning program and a perennially well run organization with excellent coaching provided by John Harbaugh. Sieler was originally a 7th RD pick that was discarded by the Ravens in 2019 after Week 4 and the Dolphins picked him up quickly. This year, Sieler got more playing time due to a season ending injury to DL Davon Godchaux and Sieler never looked back. Cultivating players like Sieler is just as important as grooming our young QB Tua Tagovailoa as after all, this is a team game.
The Dolphins remain in the top 10 on both offensive scoring (9th at 27.9 PPG) and defensive scoring (5th at 20.2 PPG). The win streak is now up to 5 games in a row as we take on yet another young QB, which will either be 1 year vet Drew Lock if he’s healthy enough to suit up, or rookie Brett Rypien. Which QB starts has yet to be determined at this writing. The Broncos are 28th in offensive scoring at 20.7 PPG and 27th in defensive scoring at 28.2 PPG. QB Tua Tagovailoa gets his 4th start after winning his first 3 contests. The Dolphins will likely get RB Matt Breida back this week but after a strong showing last week, RB Salvon Ahmed will most likely get the majority of the carries with Breida filling in as he had been doing for Myles Gaskin most of the season.
The Broncos bring a good RB tandem of Melvin Gordon and now healthy Phillip Lindsay, as well as a sprinkling from Royce Freeman. The ball has been spread around pretty evenly among the receivers, the leader is TE Noah Fant (35 receptions, 367 yards 2 TD’s), second is rookie WR Jerry Jeudy with 34 receptions for 552 yards and 2 TD’s and a heady 16.2 YPR, followed by WR Tim Patrick with 31 receptions for 444 yards and 3 TD’s. RB Melvin Gordon is the rushing leader with 439 yards and 4 TD’s but the more explosive and more dangerous back is Phillip Lindsay who has an impressive 5.5 YPC. On defense, the Broncos haven’t been effective stopping the run or any passing attack and are in the bottom 5 statistically in both. On the flip side, the Dolphins are just about mid pack in both categories but more importantly, as previously stated, are stingy when it comes to giving up points.
On the offensive line, it looks like Jesse Davis will be back at his usual RT position next to RG Solomon Kindley. Ted Karras remains the center next to LG Ereck Flowers and rookie LT Austin Jackson is back as well, returning a couple of weeks ago against the Cards. On the defensive line, I’m not sure whether DL Christian Wilkins will be able to return, if not the Dolphins will run with Zach Sieler, Raekwon Davis and Emmanuel Ogbah along with depth guys rookies Jason Strowbridge and Benito Jones. At LB, Shaq Lawson, Jerome Baker, Elandon Roberts, Andrew van Ginkel and thumbs up Kyle Van Noy round out the corps. Xavien Howard and Byron Jones make up one of the NFL’s best CB tandems along with slot CB Nik Needham. Rookie Noah Igbinoghene has been pulled back some and is usually in when the Dolphins employ multiple DB’s. The safeties are Eric Rowe and good ole Bobby McCain. I say keep Going with the Flo!