Miami Dolphins vs. Minnesota Vikings: Keys to a Week 2 Victory

Jason Clary@IamJClaryCorrespondent ISeptember 18, 2010

MIAMI - OCTOBER 12:  Offensive lineman Jake Long #77 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after a touchdown by Ronnie Brown #23 against the New York Jets at Land Shark Stadium on October 12, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 31-27.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins will be traveling to Minnesota this week to try to start 2-0 for the first time under head coach Tony Sparano.

Minnesota will be a tough matchup for this Dolphins team, and Miami will need to put together an effective game plan to come out of this game with a win.

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.

Pressuring Brett FavreMiami's defense was so stellar during Week 1 because of its ability to play in the Bills' backfield.

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 Longthis 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.


    Rivers' Offseason Job? Playcaller for Son's Football Team

    NFL logo

    Rivers' Offseason Job? Playcaller for Son's Football Team

    Eric D. Williams

    Alex Smith Knows 1st Year with Redskins Is Crucial

    NFL logo

    Alex Smith Knows 1st Year with Redskins Is Crucial

    Bell Isn’t Worried About His Body Wearing Down

    NFL logo

    Bell Isn’t Worried About His Body Wearing Down

    Josh Alper
    via ProFootballTalk

    DeVante Parker in Danger of Flaming Out

    Miami Dolphins logo
    Miami Dolphins

    DeVante Parker in Danger of Flaming Out

    Brad Gagnon
    via Bleacher Report