At this point in the season, the Dolphins are seeing their playoff aspirations slowly slip away. At the same time, the Seahawks are seeing theirs become an impending reality.
For starters, more importantly than getting a result in this matchup, the Dolphins must piece their offense together. The past two weekends have been atrocious to watch for Miami fans.
And it all starts with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill has had a hard time getting his feet back on the ground after his showdown against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9. And it almost appears to be from a lack of confidence.
Tannehill must return to form this week and take the reins as the leader to this offense, a leadership that helped lead Miami to a three-game winning streak that put them in the playoff equation, at least for a little bit.
But Tannehill will be facing the tough secondary of the Seahawks.
Corner Richard Sherman is slowly emerging as one of the best coverage corners in the NFL. He also has a propensity to pick off the football and create turnovers, which he has been doing all season. Safety Earl Thomas has also been a defensive force to be reckoned with this season and has been creating problems for opposing quarterbacks that have cemented Seahawk victories.
Tannehill cannot be afraid to go to the air against the Seahawks but will know that Sherman will be one-on-one with Brian Hartline, trying to take him out of the game like Cortland Finnegan of the St. Louis Rams did in Week 6.
However, on the flip side, the Dolphins would ideally look to the running game to overwhelm the Seahawks, but the running game has been far from productive in the past few weeks.
Reggie Bush has been lackluster. Daniel Thomas, if healthy, has been hit or miss. Joe Philbin has avoided using Lamar Miller as the solution. This current trend must change against the Seahawks. Without a running game, the Dolphins will be playing into the hands of the Seattle defense and will find securing a victory incredibly difficult.
Defensively, the defensive line must amp its pressure this week.
Marshawn Lynch is having the best season of his career and has only really been stopped once this season against the New England Patriots. The defensive line must return to its former prowess and thwart the Seahawks' running game. Also with the increased line pressure, Miami can force a rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson to make mistakes and win the turnover battle.
If Miami can do all of this, the Dolphins might just walk away with a victory against a team with high hopes for a postseason.