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NFL Preview: Dolphins Look To Jump to 5-0 on the Road with a Win in Baltimore

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Cameron Wake #91 and Vontae Davis #21 of the Miami Dolphins celebrate a sack against the Buffalo Bills  during the NFL season opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York.  Miami won 15-10.(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Danny DolphinAnalyst INovember 5, 2010

Kickoff: 1:00 PM ET, November 7, 2010

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

TV: CBS

Spread: Baltimore by 5 (Take Miami plus the points)

Last Week: Miami beat Cincinnati 22-14, Baltimore beat Buffalo 37-34

Miami Injuries:

LB Channing Crowder – Probable (Thumb)

S Yeremiah Bell – Questionable (Toe)

RB Patrick Cobbs – Questionable (Hammy)

Baltimore Injuries:

WR Donte Stallworth – Probable (Foot)

TE Todd Heap – Probable (Back)

LB Tavares Gooden – Probable (Shoulder)

S Tom Zbikowski – Questionable (Heel)

When Miami has the ball…

Miami’s going to attempt to control the game by running the football against a Baltimore defense that allows 4.2 yards per carry. It’s critical the interior lineman deliver a punch up front and keep standout linebacker Ray Lewis at bay.

Chris Carr and Fabian Washington at corner don’t scare anyone, and Brandon Marshall should be able to out muscle these smallish corners underneath. Expect a big day from No.19.

When the Dolphins do go deep, which has been once a blue moon this season, it’s very important quarterback Chad Henne looks off his downfield target, or Ed Reed is going to make his presence felt. Reed is the best in the business at closing on the ball once airborne.

When Baltimore has the ball…

With Anquan Boldin’s arrival this year, Baltimore has gotten much more physical on the outside. Vontae Davis should be matched up with him for most of the day in what will be a battle. Quarterback Joe Flacco is overrated in my mind. He throws to the backs out of the backfield often, which often pad his mediocre stats.

Todd Heap worries me more than Boldin because of his ability to stretch the middle of the field. Miami has been vulnerable to tight ends in the past.

The matchup of the game will be Dolphin linebacker Cameron Wake against Ravens right tackle Michael Oher. Oher has the athleticism and strength to make Wake work more than he’s used to.

Quarterback

Backs

Receiver/ Tight End

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

Linebackers

Secondary

Special Teams

Three Keys

  1. Match Baltimore’s physicality in the trenches – This is going to be similar to the Steeler game in that it’s going to be especially physical.
  2. Take away a playmakers – Rice and Boldin are the most dangerous weapons on Baltimore’s offense. It will be important to take away one of them.
  3. Run the football efficiently – For Miami to have the balance they strive for offensively, they need to get that yards-per-carry up. The 4.0 mark is the magic number in this one.

Prediction

Baltimore is never an easy place to play. Their defense isn’t in the same league as it used to be, and this one is going to come down to the quarterbacks. I’ll take Henne in the upset on the road as Miami improve to 5-0 away from Sun Life Stadium.

Miami 23 Baltimore 20

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