It’s been another crazy week off the field for the Dolphins, including an offensive line coach having to resign after filming himself snorting drugs the team facility. Now on Sunday in Atlanta, it will get tough, quickly, against the rested Falcons.
Atlanta comes off the bye looking bounce back after their last game fizzled out, when Buffalo upset them at home. Meanwhile, the Fins are looking for some bounce, a pulse, anything, on offense.
With that in mind, here we go.
Why to watch:
The Dolphins have somehow managed to win twice in four games while scoring only three offensive TD’s all season. They slugged out a 16-10 victory over the Titans at home last Sunday, but it was far from a “Picassso.” Atlanta is the defending NFC Champs and they won two dramatic/wild endings at Chicago and at Detroit last month. At 3-1, they look to maintain sole possession of the NFC South lead with a win. The Dolphins offense has been ridiculed from every direction, and star WR Jarvis Landry spouted off late this week on the fans chanting for backup QB Matt Moore last Sunday. This paints he and the offense into a corner, especially, if they continue to struggle. Will they finally start to look like the team that has the weapons that they do? Let’s see.
Falcons WR Julio Jones against a weary Dolphins secondary. Jones was hobbled by a hip injury in the Bills game and did not play in the second half. However, he’s had two weeks and is expected to not only play, but be ready to bust up the Miami DBs. Jones is arguably the most lethal big physical receiver in the NFL. He’s caught for at least 1,400 yards each of the last three seasons and whether it’s Xavien Howard, rookie Cordrea Tankersley or anyone else, they will likely not be one on one down the field, unless it’s an accident.
Jones is due for an explosive play or two in this game. Can Miami prevent it?
The Dolphins want to get something going on offense and it starts with running the ball. They are currently 31st in rushing yards per game (74.8) and average per carry (3.2). Only the Arizona Cardinals are worse.
And, for stud RB Jay Ajayi? As those team numbers on the ground indicate, he’s gone virtually nowhere the last three games. 11 carries 16 yards vs. the Jets, 12 for 46 in London against the Saints and 25 totes for just 77 yards last week against Tennessee. We’ll handle the quick math. That’s 48 carries to get 129 yards.
With Jay Cutler struggling mightily and what will be hostile, loud, new Merceds Benz Stadium, Miami needs to run it effectively, or they may never get started again on offense.