After another hard fought defensive victory against the Titans, the Dolphins travel to the dirty south to take on the Atlanta Falcons, who is coming off their bye week. Here are the Dolphinstalk.com Keys to Victory:
1. Lock up Julio Jones- This one is easier said than done. Julio has been one of the most dominant WR's in this league and continues to make issues for opposing secondaries. It will take Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, Bobby McCain, Nate Allen and Reshad Jones to take him out of the game.
2. Start Running- Jay Ajayi has been quiet since the opener against the Chargers. He is also struggling due to poor blocking and awful QB play. This game is huge for the Dolphins run game, as the Falcons are 11th in the league at 93 yards per game. For Miami to be successful, the running game needs to get going early to take pressure off the struggling passing game.
3. Stop Playing Scared- It seems like Adam Gase has put 4 training wheels back on this offense and everything is disheveled and un-organized. It honestly looks like pick up street football for the last 3 games. Adam Gase needs to put trust in his offense and get the ball down the field. Take your shots, open up the offense and put some points up. Scoring 20 points is a thing of the past, it needs to come back this week.
4. Freeman and Coleman- With the resurgence of the Dolphins defense, they are 4th in the league at 75.5 yards per game given up on the ground. This week is more difficult. These two backs in Atlanta are lethal in the passing game. It is up to Alonso and Timmons to make sure these two don't get loose in the passing game. They also must win the battle in the trenches because both these two can go for 100 a piece.
5. Ice Matty- Not only has the run defense been well, the pass defense has also improved over the last 2 games with Tankersley and Howard as your two starters. Jones we know about. With Sanu likely a no go, Taylor Gabriel will likely fill that role. If Jones can be locked down, the pass rush needs to get to Matt Ryan. Nate Allen needs to play well against Austin Hooper who has been great in the red zone for the Falcons. Attack Matt Ryan, it may force some turnovers
Prediction: The Dolphins are coming off a hard fought victory against the Titans, sans Mariota. The Falcons are coming off a tough loss against the Bills but also coming off the bye week. If this game comes down to offense, I can't justify the Dolphins winning this game. They have been so bad with Jay Cutler under center and Adam Gase has been very inconsistent in his game planning this season
Falcons 24 Dolphins 13