Game Preview: New Orleans at Miami

The Dolphins will try to build on the momentum they established before the bye Sunday afternoon, but it won't be easy as they take the undefeated New Orleans Saints, who just might be the best team in the league this season. Here's a breakdown of the matchup.

WHO: New Orleans Saints (5-0) at Miami Dolphins (2-3)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET

SITE: Land Shark Stadium

SURFACE: Grass

TV: FOX (Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, Jaime Maggio)

SERIES: 10th regular-season meeting. The Dolphins lead, 6-3, after taking the last two matchups. The two teams last met on Oct. 30, 2005, in LSU's Tiger Stadium, the first of four games played there after Hurricane Katrina made the Superdome unplayable. The Dolphins won, 21-6.

PREDICTION: Saints 34-24

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Saints can expect to see new wrinkles from the Dolphins' Wildcat following Miami's bye week. However, the Dolphins have been scrambling to replace injured RB Patrick Cobbs, whose versatility as a blocker and receiver was a major asset to the formation. QB Chad Henne's arm strength has forced defenses to play the Dolphins a bit differently, and he'll take a few deep shots to WR Ted Ginn, Jr. to loosen up the run defense. Henne must produce consistent points with Saints QB Drew Brees coming off a 369-yard outing. Miami gives up 225.0 passing and Brees will target rookie CBs Sean Smith and Vontae Davis.

FAST FACTS: Brees has 15,310 passing yards in 53 games with the Saints, becoming the fastest player in NFL history to reach 15,000 with one team. ... Miami averages an NFL-high 177 rushing yards per game.

PERSONNEL NEWS

Saints:

-- SLB Scott Fujita did not participate in Thursday's practice because of a strained left calf. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

-- CB Malcolm Jenkins took a step back with his injured left ankle Thursday and did not practice after being limited Wednesday. He also is listed as questionable.

-- P Thomas Morstead, who was limited Wednesday with a right ankle injury, worked fully Thursday and should be good to go for Sunday.

-- TE Jeremy Shockey was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, but he is listed as probable.

-- CB Leigh Torrence worked on a limited basis Thursday with a strained hamstring, and he's also listed as probable.

-- LB Jonathan Casillas was limited with a hip injury for the second straight day Thursday. He, too, is questionable.

Dolphins:

-- OLB Matt Roth sat out practice Thursday and Friday with a sore left ankle after practicing for the first time Wednesday. Roth is on reserve/non-football injury. The Dolphins have 18 more days to decide whether to activate him.

-- CB Sean Smith has vowed to knock down a few balls Sunday, especially while he's guarding New Orleans WR Marques Colston, who is 6 feet 4, 225 pounds. Because of Smith's 6-3 frame, he will no doubt draw Colston for much of the afternoon.

-- SS Yeremiah Bell, who leads the team with 34 tackles, is expected to be quite busy Sunday, especially going against TE Jeremy Shockey as well as providing run support against New Orleans' trio of dangerous runners.

-- OLB Joey Porter, who has been hampered by a hamstring injury for the past three weeks, practiced without limitations and ready to get after Drew Brees.

-- OLB Jason Taylor realizes that Drew Brees has been sacked only four times this season, but he also knows he's been hit a lot. Taylor has two career sacks against Brees, one coming in a 2002 Dolphins-Chargers game and the other last year in a Redskins-Saints tilt. Taylor had just 3.5 sacks last season.

-- QB Pat White has been given more and more work recently and, according to Coach Tony Sparano, he is ready to assume command if QB Chad Henne goes down. He wouldn't say whether he considers White or Tyler Thipen to be the No. 2 guy.


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