Miami Dolphins: Full Week 3 Stat Predictions for Offensive Players

Richard Santamaria@RiSantamariaCorrespondent IISeptember 18, 2013

Miami Dolphins: Full Week 3 Stat Predictions for Offensive Players

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    With the Miami Dolphins at 2-0, the common reaction to their fast start is one of shock.  

    It seems that many NFL fans and pundits have ignored the Dolphins and the signs of their upward ascension.

    With Ryan Tannehill in his rookie season, Miami was already competitive last season, compiling a 7-9 record with victories over the Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals, with the latter coming on the road.

    Dolphins general manager, Jeff Ireland, landed free-agent receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson in the offseason while re-signing Brian Hartline to instantly give Tannehill one of the best receiving trios in the league for 2013.

    Ireland also solidified the defense by adding linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, defensive end Dion Jordan and cornerbacks Brent Grimes, Jamar Taylor and Will Davis.

    Miami is also able to grind out close games because of the power and accuracy of new place-kicker Caleb Sturgis.

    Anyone who closely followed the Dolphins over the offseason should not be surprised by their early success.

    With Miami's next test a home game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, here are my predictions of what the Dolphins' key offensive players will do in Week 3.

     

Ryan Tannehill

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    Ryan Tannehill appears to have taken a huge step forward this offseason and has been spectacular through two regular season games, presently owning a 94.2 quarterback rating.

     

     

    The Atlanta Falcons' defense ranks 29th in the league in passing yards allowed, averaging 346.5 per game.  While the Falcons had a tough matchup in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints, the less potent St. Louis Rams' offense passed for 352 yards against Atlanta.

    With Steven Jackson out, the pass-happy Falcons will lean on quarterback Matt Ryan even more.

    Expect both teams to air it out.

     

    Prediction: 320 yards passing, two touchdowns and no interceptions

     

Lamar Miller

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    Lamar Miller had a solid game against a porous Indianapolis Colts' defense last Sunday, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown while averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

     

     

    The Falcons' defense is more like the Cleveland Browns' defense—stout against the run, but weak in the secondary.

    So far this season, Tannehill has 72 attempted passes while Dolphins' running backs have 41 combined rushing attempts.

    Milller will receive about 10 carries but will break a long run.

     

    Prediction: 55 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown and 24 yards receiving

Daniel Thomas

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    While Daniel Thomas only has 16 carries so far this season, Thomas continues to be flat, averaging 2.8 yards per carry.

    The Falcons rank ninth in the league against the run, so Thomas' production will be close to his season average.

     

    Prediction: 22 rushing yards and no touchdowns

Mike Wallace

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    Mike Wallace had a huge game against the Indianapolis Colts with nine receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.  This week, he will be covered by Asante Samuel for Atlanta.

     

     

    Samuel is 32 years old and his best days are behind him.  The Central Florida product left the St. Louis game with an injury, but Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 tweeted that the injury is minor:

     

     

    While Samuel remains an interception threat (five last year and 50 for his career), expect Wallace to beat him repeatedly.

     

    Prediction: 100 receiving yards and a touchdown

Brian Hartline

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    Brian Hartline, who has 182 receiving yards thus far, is ahead of his career pace set last season with 1,083 receiving yards.  With an improved Tannehill, a more-aggressive passing attack and Mike Wallace drawing attention, only a fool would have expected a drop-off in Hartline's production.

     

     

    Thanks to Wallace, Hartline will be covered by rookie Desmond Trufant.  While Trufant is talented, Hartline is an amazing route-runner with head fakes that will have the former University of Washington standout baffled.

     

    Prediction: 100 receiving yards and a touchdown

Brandon Gibson

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    Brandon Gibson only made one reception against the Indianapolis Colts. While he will likely have a greater role against the Falcons, it will not be by much.

    Gibson will find some mismatches and make a few first down catches.

     

    Prediction: 30 receiving yards and no touchdowns

Charles Clay

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    Jeff Ireland's sixth-round gem is easing the pain brought forth by Dustin Keller's injury.  Charles Clay has 163 receiving yards after two games and a rushing touchdown.

    Clay is versatile and creates confusion, but he is not nearly as fast as Keller.  Regardless, with Ryan Tannehill at the helm, Clay is headed toward a breakout season.

    The Falcons will be missing starting weakside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon while defensive end Kroy Biermann is out for the season.

    While the stars are aligning for Clay, he will not have a 67-yard reception this week.

     

    Prediction: 50 receiving yards and no touchdowns