Miami Dolphins Week 2: 6 Ways To Beat the Texans
The city of Miami is in a panic. While a 14 point loss to who could become the Super Bowl Champions is respectable, the reliable defense that Miami expected to cause havoc was torched mercilessly my a calm and protected Tom Brady.
If Brady has time, he is the smartest and best quarterback in football, but if he is hit time and time again, he will falter greatly.
This was the expectation, with the harsh reality being one sack and barely any pressure all day against Brady, the result being torturous for Miami's defense, with Benny Sapp the casualty.
1: Hold off Mario Williams
I was lucky enough to meet the mountains on both sides of that ball at a family style Italian restaurant.
I shook both the hands of Jake Long and Paul Soliai, wishing them well and leaving them to their meals.
I do not have big hands, but Jake Long's hand enveloped mine like a grown man would a child's.
It is safe to say that nothing can ever be blamed on Jake Long in a loss. He is simply the best offensive lineman to grace the NFL in a long time, and could go down as one of the best ever.
He will have those gargantuan hands full with 290 lbs of Mario Williams, who is now an outside linebacker.
There is no reason why the Dolphins cannot replicate or outdo their performance on MNF, but Chad Henne needs to keep his head on his shoulders.
2: Diversify the Running Attack
So Reggie's running between the tackles was decent, but not spectacular.
Remember the right side of that offensive line is pretty average, and a few holding penalties called back runs that Bush made look easy.
His receiving out of the backfield was excellent, with dig routes giving him the opportunity to outrun pursuit and gain an extra few yards, and he will be a lot of fun once the screen game opens.
Unfortunately, with Daniel Thomas injured, Lex Hilliard not seeing much for touches, and Larry Johnson not seeing the field, the Dolphins goal line options were limited.
A lot of folks were questioning the fade to Hartline, and as a former possession receiver who could do well in fades, I can still make the claim that fades are such a low percentage route it is not even a question. I would never call a fade.
The Dolphins need a healthy Daniel Thomas to assert himself as a great rookie pick. Pounding it the linebackers face will have the pursuit respecting the run, opening the game up for Henne, and even Bush in the slot.
3: The Defensive Backs Need to Walk the Walk!
The fracas surrounding the Dolphins DB shuffle is not as terrifying as it looks.
Yes, the Dolphins got ripped up in the passing game, but the primary recipients of Brady's career night were the tight ends and Wes Welker.
Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco were nearly non-existent, despite Sean Smith cramping up.
The coaches needed to pull Smith after he cramped, but left him in to be burned by Aaron Hernandez. What needs to be clear, is that the nicklebacks and linebackers were burned.
I do not see a legitimate threat to Will Allen, and their tight ends do not come close to Hernandez and Gronkowski. Still, the threat in Andre Johnson is omnipotent, and he should see a lot of action against the smaller and younger Vontae Davis.
It might be wise to have Sean Smith cover him, as his height can match up with Johnson's monstrous frame.
4: Chad Henne Needs to Keep Performing
400+ yards?!?!?! 50+ yards rushing?!?!?! Wow, what a day for a man with his foot out the door and no parachute to save him.
Where are the "We want Orton" chants now? Without being too quick to back Henne after one game, he will continue to perform this way in Brian Daboll's offense.
Many of us in South Florida knew the idiocy of Dan Henning, but we could not comprehend the impact his firing would have on these players.
The Marshall connection looks fantastic, with Anthony Fasano opening up, and the check down being used to make a big play with Reggie Bush, instead of a bad read with no options.
Chad Henne has a shot to finish as a top 15 quarterback this year, should his line protect him, and his rushing attack improve.
5: Hit Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub is now a top 12 or so quarterback, with the skills to run with decency along with his great arm.
It helps that he has an excellent go-to receiver in Andre Johnson, who right now many view as the best in the league.
Tom Brady can go from a top 3 quarterback to a bottom 15 if the opposition hits him hard, and with what many see as the deepest defensive line in the league, he should have been nailed by the Dolphins.
The Fins' have a shot to really smash Schaub. We better see more of Cameron Wake.
6: Slow Down the Texans Running Game
Was Arian Foster's incredible rise a flash in the pan? Or was it a sign of things to come?
The Texans have a solid offensive line and a top flight receiver. If Danny Woodhead can pick up yards the way he did, then the Fins' are in for a long day ahead.
The run complements the pass and vice-versa, so it is key to smash Foster when he hits that line and knock him backward.
To be fair, the Pats have two excellent guards, and a center who is a top 5 guy until he went down with injury.
Dansby and Burnett need to be there to plug up the B gaps if there is any hope in slowing down this offensive force, with top flight guys at all skill positions.
The loss of Vonta Leach was huge, as we all saw the impact he had against the Steelers.