This week kicks off the 1st week of the NFL preseason. Let’s take a look at one match up that happens this Friday at 7 pm U.S. EDT. This match up will see the Miami Dolphins play the New York Giants in what will be a rematch of the Monday night game from just this past season, in which the Giants beat the Dolphins 31-24 in Miami. This time around, however, the Dolphins look to get a bit of revenge on the Giants in what is still a very young NFL season at the moment.
Let’s first take a look at the side of the ball that wins championships, the defense. One of the biggest things to look for in this game isn’t the big name defensive players like Ndamukong Suh, Mario Williams, or Cameron Wake, but rather those players few have heard of looking to prove they belong in the league particularly at a position where the Dolphins appear to have a weakness at, the linebackers, guys like Spencer Paysinger, Danny Lansanah, and Mike hull who are listed as 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd strings respectively.
Another key spot of the defense that the Dolphins will be looking to improve upon is the cornerback position, following the departure of Brent Grimes, all players under this position regardless of where they are listed on the depth chart should notice this as a chance to fill the void Grimes left. Especially since one of the two starting cornerback positions seems to be Byron Maxwell’s to lose following the amount of money they’re paying him. 17 million in salary with 13.5 million guaranteed just in case you were wondering.
With the defense covered lets now take a look at the wild card side of the ball the special teams unit. With the kicker and punter positions solidified by Andrew Franks and Matt Darr respectively the big question is with head coach Adam Gases’ strength being the offense could this lead to him making current kick/punt returner Jarvis Landry a full-time wide receiver in order to reduce the chance of injury in a relatively thin wide receiving core for the Dolphins in favor of Damien Williams (age 24) at KR and Jakeen Grant (age 23) at PR? Only time will tell.
Any and all of these players should have an opportunity to turn a few heads whether it’s a big stop on 3rd down, a big hit on a kickoff/punt return, or scoring on a punt/kick return, all it takes is one play (just ask Malcom Butler of the New England Patriots) the question is will they succumb to the pressure and crumble, or take that pressure and be molded into a diamond in the rough? Be sure to tune in this week to the Dolphins-Giants game at 7 pm US Central time to find out.