Blog Entry

Week 5 pre-game thoughts: Dolphins vs Chargers

Posted on: October 3, 2008 4:21 pm
 
I have to start off with the fact that 4 of the 6 Sportsline “experts” picked the Dolphins to win and I don’t like it. If it gives the Dolphins confidence then that’s cool(because regardless of what they say, they pay attention). I just don’t want the Dolphins or anyone else thinking that the win over the Patriots was anything more than one win. It’s nice that a victory of that magnitude may help give the team some confidence but as soon as a team starts thinking they’ve arrived then they stop striving to improve which is what I desire for the Dolphins.   What I can say about the Dolphin’s win is that it has invigorated me as a fan and given me some hope that they can win some games and improve for the future. I really wish they could have played last week vice having the bye to see if they could build on the win and use the emotion from the win constructively. Hopefully, they’ve used the bye to strengthen their base offense because gimmicks like the Wildcat offense are nice and sometimes very effective but you win playoff games by being good consistently on offense and defense. In the grand scheme of things, that’s all that counts. Winning Playoff games. That’s what keeps a coaches job.   Something that may surprise you and gives some Dolphin’s fans hope for the “upset special” is how bad the Chargers defense has been (at least statistically). They’re 28<sup>th</sup> in total defense and scoring defense and dead last in passing defense. They’re 13<sup>th</sup> against the run which should be Miami’s strength on a weekly basis. That #13 ranking was with Jamal Williams who is a mountain of a man and a heck of a run stopper. He didn’t practice thursday and is questionable for the game. It’s going to be interesting with 2 weeks to prepare how Sparano prepares for this defense. He attacked the Patriots aging linebackers with the run and it worked. It worked because he has one of the best pairs or tailbacks in the league. Do the Dolphins have the tools to attack this secondary? Do the Chargers have the weapons on defense to rush the passer? Merriman is gone and now his backup may miss this game. The third string guy did get a sack last week but I’d like to think our line is a little better than the Raiders.   The Raiders built a 15 point lead on the Chargers last week and couldn’t hold it. The Dolphins are a team that is much better suited to play with a lead than to play catch up. If the Dolphins get a lead, then I have to believe that Sparano has the smarts to attack this team on the ground and with short, high completion and force them to stop us. Keeping the Chargers offense off of the field is the key. Phillip Rivers is not Matt Cassell and LT is not Sammy Morris. It can be argued that the Patriots have better WRs and the Dolphins managed to keep them under wraps. One key is going to be keeping LT and Chris Chambers in front of them and not giving up the big plays they did against the Cards. These WRs are not as talented as Boldin/Fitzgerald but they’re pretty good. Another key is to stop LT early to prevent play action from becoming a problem and then rushing Rivers relentlessly. Chambers and Jackson can’t get deep if they’re hitting Rivers every time he drops back.   As a reasonable, thinking human being, the best I can truly hope for is that the Dolphins keep it close and have a chance at the end. As a Dolphin fan that’s gone through a couple of seasons of poor play and hopelessness, I’m hoping for another strong performance where the Dolphins stick to their strength (running the ball) and control the line of scrimmage and get another resounding win. Go Dolphins!
Category: NFL
Tags: Dolphins
 
Comments

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: October 4, 2008 3:49 pm
 

Week 5 pre-game thoughts: Dolphins vs Chargers

I have to agree with the statement about getting overconfident. I think that when you go in to a game and think that you have it "in the bag" that is usually when you are going to lose. Its always about who wants it more. I belive that is one reason that we won againt the Patroits. Last year we were looked at as a joke of a team. Most of the games last year were not won by the other team but lost by us. We had a lot of dropped passes and we went no where on the runs. Not to mention our defence could not stop anyone. We got close to the end zone several times but just couldn't get in. Of the 16 games last season 8 of them were lost by 10 points or less. Of that 6 of them were lost by 3 points or less. Last year we had an average of 4.0 yards per game rushing and 5.95 receving. Already this season we are at 4.4 rushing and 7.03 receving and were just getting started. This team meshes much better together and they keep getting stronger every week. We have a lot of depth at most of the positions. This is a team that has a chance to get to the playoffs. Our strength is deffanitly our running game. I personally would like to see us go to the air a little more this week. LT is going to be our biggest threat but we are doing well stopping the run. I think that we need to strengthen our deffences on the outside and we will do just fine. We also need to watch out for the deep pass. Every week I am more and more impressed at the level of game play from the Dolphins. If we are able to keep that same intensity all the way through the season we will have a good shot at making the playoffs. I  can't wait for the big W this week. Go Phins



Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: October 4, 2008 1:47 pm
 

Week 5 pre-game thoughts: Dolphins vs Chargers

4 of the 6 so-called experts are picking the Dolphins b/c (most likely) they are conforming to a 20+ year trend that says, by a more than 2 to 1 margin, the Fins fry opponents at home when are the underDog.  So already the odds are in favor for the Fins this week, although that trend has not been as strong in recent years.  I like what you say about game planning and using the run (mostly) and the short passing game to control the LOS, the clock, and hopefully, for Fins fans, the game.  SD pass rush, if it exists, should not be relevant in such a game plan. I believe that if they can stick to that game plan, then they will have a chance.  However, I think most NFL fans regard the Chargers as a SB caliber team, and that, in all probability, its just a matter of time before they patch up their holes on defense.  Having said that, if the Fins can keep from making the early mistakes, force the Chargers to make some, then their chances will be greater.  What I would do as the OC or HC for SD, is go right after the Fins with explosive power, i.e., throw deep to Chambers, Jackson and Gates to open a lead and then rely on LT to finish it off, so that is what I think you watch out for and be leary of as a Fins fan.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com