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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of what has been going on down in Miami. The circus which is the national media has officially arrived, and it seems to be setting up camp for the remainder of the season.
On the football side of things, the Dolphins still have to actually prepare to play a football game on Monday night; that is, if a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers qualifies as NFL football. I think so.
Remember, the Bucs have yet to win a game this year and seem to be on the verge of an all-out mutiny against their tyrant of a head coach, Greg Schiano, rather than piecing together a sound and effective game plan.
But if there was ever a week in which the Buccaneers could maximize their opportunity to beat the Miami Dolphins, that week would be now.
Not only are the Dolphins left to contend with distractions unlike anything anyone on that team has ever experienced, but they must do it without two starting offensive linemen, Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.
Martin is taking time away from football at the moment to deal with emotional distress in what he claims is an unsafe working environment. Incognito, on the other hand, has been suspended by the team indefinitely for allegedly contributing to such a hazardous environment.
When you put your fingers in your ears and drown out all the noise, you’re left with a very interesting question regarding Miami: Who is going to be blocking for Ryan Tannehill?
On the ends you have two veterans in Bryant McKinnie and Tyson Clabo.
Clabo has struggled mightily this year, giving up a team high in both QB hurries (19) and QB sacks (eight).
Miami acquired McKinnie from the Ravens in late October for a conditional late-round draft selection.
On the inside, Nate Garner and John Jerry will flank center Mike Pouncey on each side. Garner is an experienced veteran who has some starting experience but has only played in 53 snaps this season.
Jerry is the regularly scheduled starter and has done a decent job thus far.
As a whole, the Dolphins have looked exceptionally weak up front, allowing defenses to get to Tannehill significantly more than he’d like. In fact, he has been sacked a league-high 35 times this year.
If things were that bad while they still had two viable starters, we may be in for a protection meltdown of Cardinal-like proportions.
It should be interesting to see if the Dolphins can block against Tampa Bay’s defense and if the team is able to focus amidst the chaos.