The Dolphins look to make it two-for-two this season with a trip to Baltimore on deck. Before that, the return of the mailbag.
Each Thursday, we will put out the call for questions (@WingfieldNFL) and answer three of them on the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield and three more here on the written mailbag.
Question from @PhinCorrect: You mentioned the need for speed on defense on your Ravens preview podcast. Given that need, do you think Tindall sees any playing time or is it still too early in his development?
A: We've talked about good problems to have a lot on the podcast this year and this is one of them. Miami's entire linebacker room offers up plenty of speed throughout the group. We know what Jerome Baker does in his multi-faceted role on this defense. Duke Riley played well last Sunday after a solid first season with the Dolphins. Then, the athleticism and speed outside of Andrew Van Ginkel and Jaelan Phillips certainly gets your attention.
I'm excited to see what Channing Tindall can do, whether it's this week or down the road. Either way, the fact that Miami can be patient with him speaks volumes about the construction of this linebacker room.
Question from @elijts: Really enjoying (Mike McDaniel's) constant reference to a season being a journey and the goal to progress week to week to be successful at the end of it. If you had to pick an area where you would like to see progression in week for the off, def, spec teams, what would those be?
A: Great question! Finding success earlier in the ground game can set up the rest of this offense to flourish at another level. Miami scored 13 offensive points on eight possessions in Week 1 – seven if factor in that they knelt down in the red zone on the final drive of the game. Those drives averaged 7.6 plays per drive and 38.4 yards per dive. I say that to highlight that the offense was more efficient than the point total suggests, but if there's one area I think the Dolphins can improve upon and bump the point total up, it's early success in the ground game. From there, play-action opens up and the offense could hopefully make the continual improvement that McDaniel has referenced.
Question from @*RumplePigskin13:* What offensive advantages do you see Miami can exploit against Baltimore's D?
A: The Ravens defense is as tough as they come. They play a lot of nickel and dime and challenge you to move their massive, gifted defensive line to force them out of those sub packages. If the Dolphins can do that, then that helps open up the offense.
Additionally, Baltimore is without cornerback Kyle Fuller and have Marcus Peters, Brandon Stephens and Marlon Humphrey all on the injury report at the same position. The Ravens have always been able to institute successful next-man-up contingency plans, but it will be curious to see how their depth fares against Miami's many skilled wide receivers.