Pregame Week 7: Saints @ Miami
As week seven approaches, the Saints are on the move to go fishing in Miami. After three weeks of being home (including a bye week) the 5-0 Saints face off against the 2-3 Wildcats I mean Dolphins. The Dolphins need a win to stay within the AFC East hunt and the Saints could use the win to, well see if they can be the team to hold the "unbeaten" title the longest. (Colts, Broncos, and Vikings are the other three).
The Dolphins, after losing three straight, are beginning to get on a role as they beat two division teams the past two weeks. They are coming off of a bye and are looking for a huge win against the New Orleans Saints. A win against those guys would put Miami on the map. Their "wildcat" offense has put them at the top of the list in the running game(averaging 177). This wildcat has a downside though. The Saints have the #5 rushing defense that has probably been watching tons of film on these guys. Last week the Saints stopped Bradshaw and Jacobs to only 86 yards combined. Although Pennington is gone, Henne has joined the 'Fins and has already showed his threat for the deep ball. The Dolphins average 163 pass yards a game (#26) which, I know, is not their style as much, but it could be something to help break down the Saints defense. Overall the Dolphins average 340 yards a game (#15). On the defensive side, well its exactly like the offense. Great against the run, terrible against the pass. Miami has the #3 rush defense only allowing 76 yards a game, and well the #18 pass defense allowing a huge 218 yards a game. This is terrible for the Dolphins considering Brees is coming to town. That stats needs to be improved this week or this could be another easy win for the Breesy and the Easy.
KEYS TO A DOLPHINS WIN: The wildcat coming out and having no problem against New Orleans rush defense, Henne hitting deep for long passes while avoiding Sharper, the great rush defense stopping Thomas & Bell, and finally the terrible pass defense not letting Brees have a field day and overall improving their game.
New Orleans Saints:
The Black and Gold are becoming the team to beat after destroying the Giants 48-27. New Orleans is beating teams by an average of 20 points, and that's including a trip to Philadelphia and a head to head against the then unbeaten Giants and Jets. Drew Brees is back on after throwing 4 TD's last week and 0 interceptions, and has the highest QB rating in the NFL at 118 (TD:INT ratio at an outstanding 13:2). Drew is also backed by the #4 rushing attack that averages 157 yards per game. Overall the Saints have the #1 offense averaging a huge 430 yards. The big test for the Saints is the Dolphins stout #3 rush defense. A stop from these guys against Thomas and Bell could be trouble in key situations and could cause pressure for Brees to constantly go to the air. On the defensive side, the Saints hold the #9 defense. The big test is the #5 rush defense holding Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat. If you can contain the wildcat you can win the game.
KEYS TO A SAINTS WIN: Brees taking advantage of the #18 pass defense and scoring quick, the rush defense holding off the wildcat offense, avoiding Henne throwing the deep ball, Thomas and Bell beating the #3 rush defense on huge plays, & of course not letting the Dolphins eat the entire play clock.
#1 Offense (New Orleans) VS. #10 Defense (Miami)
#15 Offense (Miami) VS. #9 Defense (New Orleans)
Drew Brees VS. #18 Pass Defense (Miami)
Ronnie Brown VS. #5 Rush Defense (New Orleans)
#4 Running Attack (New Orleans) VS. #3 Running Defense (Miami)
Pretty much, you have a stout team against a team trying to redeem itself. Yes, the Dolphins wildcat formation will probably control most the game, but I don't think that's going to work against the high flying, score-in-a-minute offense of the New Orleans Saints. Last week the Saints scored 14 against the #1 defense of the Giants in less than 10 minutes. If Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams can get tons of scores as well as Henne adding a few, I don't see the Dolphins winning this one. The #18 pass defense doesn't stop Brees and that's enough to seal the deal 31-14 Saints (not to mention Ronnie Brown is squaring off against the surprising #5 run defense of New Orleans).
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