As far as season openers go travelling 3,000+ miles to the opposite corner of the country isn’t exactly ideal. Bundle that with one of the best home field advantages in football and the Miami Dolphins will certainly be fighting an uphill battle come Sunday when they face the Seattle Seahawks. To secure a W at CentruyLink the Dolphins will have to be almost flawless in their execution. Here are a few points of emphasis Miami has to key in on in order to come away from the season opener 1-0.
- Pressure and Contain Russell Wilson – Russell Wilson has become one of the best Quarterbacks throwing out of the pocket in the NFL, last year he boasted a league best 118.6 Passer Rating while in the pocket. Miami will have to bring pressure and force Wilson to rush passes and make difficult throws. But as Wilson has proven merely getting the rush there isn’t enough. Wilson is the only QB in NFL history to have thrown for 4,000 yards 30 TDs and rush for 500+ yards in a season. So while they pressure Wilson they mustn’t allow him to find running lanes and create with his feet.
- Protect Ryan Tannehill – Ryan Tannehill had a great preseason. As PFF’s #1 rated preseason QB he’s proven that with a clean pocket and time he has the ability and talent to find the open receiver and guide this offense down the field. As the most sacked QB in the NFL since entering the league game 1 has to be the turning point for this offensive line. Seattle DE Michael Johnson has been very critical of Tannehill’s contract, so look for him and the Seahawks defense to try and fulfill a personal vendetta of putting Tannehill to the ground. If we’re going to put points on the board and control the tempo of the game the onus has to be on protection up front.
- The Gameplan – The Dolphins find themselves in a very unique and advantageous position. With new head coach Adam Gaseworking with new players and assistants. It will be almost impossible for teams to find film to study of his play calling and game planning tendencies. The best they’ll be able to do is look back on Gase and Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph’s previous work to find an approximation of their habits and attempt to crack the code. This element of surprise could prove to be the biggest difference in a road W to open the season.null