The easiest way to beat Denver is to stop or limit Peyton Manning. If the Rams can do it, certainly anyone can. I’m sure the Dolphins will be studying the Rams’ game plan as a blue print.
Not only must you stop Manning, but you must sustain it. The Dolphins cannot get complacent if they get a couple of early 3-and-outs against the Broncos. They must sustain their tenacity through the evening. Peyton Manning doesn’t give up, and he doesn’t allow his team to give up either. He throws the ball whether they’re down by 30 or up by 40. Denver does not stop trying to score.
Manning is very good at spotting upcoming blitzes, and he adjusts very well. However, the Dolphins are not a blitz-happy team. Our pass rush usually comes from having a stout front four. They will need to play their best ball of the year come Sunday.
When Manning sees that a blitz is not coming, he tends to think he has time. But a lot of teams think that about Miami, and before they know it, Wake and Vernon are in their face. He is not sacked very often, but when he is, it’s because a lineman got to him quickly. Wake has the ability to get to him quickly whether the Dolphins have blitzed or not, and this could frustrate Manning. Maybe. Maybe not. But it could.
The Denver receiving corps are formidable, but they are stoppable. We all know about little Wesley Welker, but Thomas is having a great season. Our CBs are having a fine year and can take away at least some of the routes. We’ll have to wait and see how Cortland Finnegan’s ankle holds up and if he’s available. But the bottom line is that we need to play tight coverage and fool Manning into thinking his guys are open.
I’d love to see Dion Jordan have a career day this week. Denver might be overlooking him in their planning, and it could be the first time in his NFL career that he excels. Interestingly, Joe Philbin was recently asked about Dion Jordan’s play this year, and Philbin immediately started talking about how Dion was getting his game-conditioning back. It’s sad on so many levels. Number one, Dion has played in 4 games so far, and his coach couldn’t think of one single contribution that Dion made. Number two, when he spoke about Dion’s conditioning, he didn’t say Dion was in great shape. He implied that Dion was getting there. Philbin will never admit what a bust this kid is, but the writing is on the wall. Now it’s time for Dion to prove me wrong. I have a feeling that this is the week he shuts me up. This will be the week he becomes a Dolphin.
As for our offense, we simply need to outscore Denver. Yes, that’s overly simple, but it’s how you win. We probably won’t hold them to single digits like the Rams did, but I doubt they’ll put up 30 on us either. The Dolphins offense needs to get back the mentality of aiming for 35 points a game.
The Bronco defense is similar to ours. They bend but don’t break. They give up 22 points per game, so we need to outdo that and plant some doubts in their head. I’d love to have at least 14 points at halftime to give ourselves a shot. Time for all the corrections to take effect for Miami. We need TDs in the red zone, not fields goals, for example.
I’m not concerned about the lack of the deep ball, because our short game has been quite effective. With the noise and altitude and snow that will be in Denver, short passes will be the key to success. If we can sneak in a long bomb, we’ll take that too!
Ryan Tannehill has a chance to really do something this week. Dolphins Truth initially predicted that Denver would win this game, but that was earlier. Tannehill has come a long way, and this game is definitely winnable. I think the Dolphins know it, and I think that confidence might shine for them come Sunday.
I would love for them to shut me up.