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Three Keys

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Three Keys | John Congemi Previews Seahawks vs. Dolphins

1) Limit Russell's Reps

Slowing down Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will be a monumental task on Sunday for the Dolphins defense. Wilson has been sensational, throwing 14 touchdown passes and only one interception in the first month of the season. It's not only his touchdowns passes that have been impressive. It's the marginal plays that he extends, and makes something positive out of a play that should turn out to be a negative for his offense. Those are the types of plays the Dolphins as a team need to limit to stay with the Seahawks for 60 minutes. Defensively, Miami must apply pressure that contains Wilson inside the pocket, with pressure that clouds his passing lanes and closes the distance between the offensive line and where he'd ideally like to deliver the football. If that can consistently occur, it should make Wilson hold onto the ball a second or two longer, giving the Dolphins pass coverage time to do their job. Offensively, it's about moving the chains and limiting the Seattle offensive possessions. Complementary football is the focus Miami would love to have control over because it will lead to them dictating the tempo and pace of the game.

2) Defend Explosive Plays

Anyone who has watched the Seahawks on offense knows what their pass offense is capable of producing. The explosive, over the top type of plays, that totally change the momentum or outcome of a game. Two receivers that can consistently get behind coverage for Seattle are D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Metcalf has all of the intangibles you look for in a big play receiver. Big, fast and explosive with a huge catch radius making him difficult to consistently defend. He's the only player in the NFL with four receptions for 30 yards or more through the first three games of the season. Metcalf also is averaging close to 25 yards per reception, taking run-after-catch opportunities and turning them into instant field position. Lockett doesn't have the size or strength of Metcalf, but his numbers speak for themself with 24 receptions in just three games and four touchdowns move the chains and also light up the scoreboard. It's crucial for the Miami defense to create pressure up front to assist the secondary while in pass coverage, much like last week versus a less lethal opponent in Jacksonville. On the opposite side, there is good news for the Dolphins receiving core. Seattle's secondary has allowed 27 more catches and 400 plus yards to opposing offenses that any other defense this season. Hopefully Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and company can take full advantage on Sunday afternoon.

3) Spread The Wealth

Seeing that the Seattle defense does have significant holes in its pass defense, it might be wise for the Dolphins offense to have a pass-first mentality this week. They have allowed the most passing yards in the NFL and six plays of over 40 yards, which also ranks last in the league. Getting everyone involved early in the game, and spreading the football around much like last Thursday night in Jacksonville might be a good strategy this week as well. Not only getting everyone touches but trying to apply consistent pressure by play design and formations. Deep shots, screens, outside the number throws that wears down defenses and staying aggressive in the passing game. Sometimes the quick throws to speedsters like Jakeem Grant are more difficult to cover than a straight deep shot over the top of coverage. This might also provide more running lanes for Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida as the game moves along.

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