Miami Dolphins' Keys to Victory
Running between the tackles—Minnesota fields two great defensive tackles, Pat and Kevin Williams, who have caused problems for opposing running attacks.
The most important part of this game is the effectiveness of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams running the ball.
Miami gained over 120 yards rushing last week against Buffalo, but the Fins didn't seem to do very well blocking inside. Joe Berger and Chad Henne also had a couple issues with tangling feet. The offensive line needs to show cohesion for Miami to be able to run the ball effectively.
If you give Brett Favre time to throw the ball, he will pick any defense apart. It is crucial for Miami to play in Minnesota's backfield, both to pressure Favre and get hands on Adrian Peterson, who will likely see the ball more than he did against New Orleans.
Favre has made many great plays on the run and with defenders in his face, however, that is the kind of throw that kept Minnesota out of the Super Bowl last season. If Miami knocks Favre down early, it will have much better odds to win this game.
Play Calling—against Buffalo, you could see Tony Sparano shake his head several times at the play calling and the timing of some of the plays.
To get the most from Chad Henne, Dan Henning—Miami's offensive coordinator—will need to call a consistent game with balance between the run and pass.
If Miami shows it is dedicated to running the ball early, the play action pass will be effective, and Henne will be able to target Brandon Marshall early and often.
Minnesota Vikings Keys to Victory
Jared Allen vs. Jake Long—this is one of the most anticipated matchups of this game. If Jake Long can contain Jared Allen, Miami will have some success on offense.
If Jared Allen spends time in Miami's backfield, it will be a long day for Chad Henne and this offense.
Allen is the best playmaker on the Vikings' defense, so any containment on him will greatly help the Dolphins.
Passing Attack—it is inevitable that Adrian Peterson will get his carries. Brett Favre didn't have a terrific game against the Saints, and if the Vikings don't show any success in the passing game, Adrian Peterson will be facing seven- and eight-man fronts.
The Vikings are undoubtedly picking the brain of Greg Camarillo, who was traded from Miami to Minnesota for cornerback Benny Sapp.
Camarillo has already said that he wants to "kick Miami's (expletive)." It isn't that Camarillo has a bad taste in his mouth from the trade, it is just the competitor that he is.
Force Turnovers—Miami was very conservative on offense against Buffalo, and if Minnesota can force turnovers from a conservative offense, it will be in great shape.
Buffalo didn't force Chad Henne to make any mistakes during Week 1, but this Minnesota defense is better all around.
If Minnesota can force turnovers, it will put pressure on both Miami's offense and defense, which looking back at last season, doesn't bode well for Miami.
Prediction: Dolphins 24 Vikings 21
Miami hasn't started 2-0 under head coach Tony Sparano. Sparano should have this team prepared for this game.
Miami has a taste of winning in its mouth and the Dolphins are going to want more. This game is also a must win considering the difficulty of their upcoming schedule.
The game can be seen on CBS at 1 PM EST.