It’s back on the road again for the Miami Dolphins for the second straight week, only this trip to Cincinnati is a little shorter than the one they made to Arizona last weekend.
Miami, coming off of back-to-back overtime losses, unveiled a potent pass rush against the Cardinals to the tune of eight quarterback sacks (4.5 from defensive end
Five Things To Watch:
1. How healthy will Dolphins running back
2. What will Cincinnati’s big offensive line do to slow down Miami’s pass rush – Wake has made it cleat that he doesn’t care who lines up opposite him – in this case it will by 6-foot-4, 335-pound Bengals right tackle Andre Smith – because he has it in his mind that he can beat anyone off the ball. Smith is one-fifth of a very big line capable of providing a strong pocket for Dalton and of opening running lanes for BenJarvus Green-Ellis. “Well you have to be able to disengage,” Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “In the run game you have to able to get off blocks. You can’t get engulfed by big people. In the passing game, if you just run down the middle of somebody, it’s tough to with big, big people, it’s tough to move those guys around. So you have to use your athleticism, your speed and your instinctive moves as a pass rusher to defeat guys. If you get right down the middle of big men, it’s hard to get around those guys.”
3. Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap versus Dolphins rookie right tackle
4. How will Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle win the chess match with Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator Jay Gruden – Having spent 11 seasons on the Bengals coaching staff and most recently as their defensive backs coach, Coyle is familiar with their offensive personnel. Conversely, Gruden is familiar with what Coyle likes to do on defense, so if Coyle can succeed in confusing Dalton with his creative blitz packages and coverage schemes, forcing him to hold onto the ball longer, he might see a repeat of the Cardinals game when it comes to sacks. His defensive backs will have to answer the call against Green and the other receivers and tight ends.
5. Will Tannehill be able to heat up through the air under adverse weather conditions for the first time – Two of Miami’s first four road games took place inside climate controlled environments at Houston’s Reliant Stadium and Arizona’s University of Phoenix Stadium, and his two home games were in the warm South Florida weather at Sun Life Stadium. If it rains Sunday in Cincinnati and the temperatures do dip into the 50s, Tannehill could be dealing with a wet ball and windy conditions. If he can overcome those conditions and throw the ball as well he did last week on his way to rookie franchise record 431 passing yards, the Dolphins could come out on top.