Dolphins vs. Giants: 3 Reasons Not to Take Miami Lightly

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IOctober 26, 2011

Dolphins vs. Giants: 3 Reasons Not to Take Miami Lightly

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    The New York Giants welcome the Miami Dolphins to MetLife Stadium, and by all accounts look like they will come away with a victory on Sunday. 

    However, we've already seen the ugly propensity of the Giants to play down to their opponent in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks

    Can they do it twice in the same season?

    The Giants had trouble in the early years under Coughlin after a bye week, but they've won the last three coming out of a bye week, so there is reason for optimism. 

    That said, they can't take any opponent lightly. As the cliche goes, on any given Sunday any team can win. 

    Here are three reasons that might work in Miami's favor this weekend, however unlikely it might be. 

Despite Being 0-6, Miami Has a Solid Defense

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    The Miami Dolphins rank 23rd in the NFL at 377 yards per game (right behind the Giants), but given the fact that they gave up 622 yards to the Patriots, that number is shocking. 

    After that game they've allowed a respectable 328 yards per game and no more than 26 points in a single contest. 

    Granted they are not the Ravens or Steelers (in looking at the stats, I was shocked to see that the entire AFC North is No. 1-4 in yards per game allowed, has that ever happened before?) but the Dolphins take pride in their defense. 

    They sacked Tim Tebow seven times this weekend; while the Giants offensive line is much better than the Broncos, it is something to be concerned about. 

Matt Moore Torched the Giants in 2009

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    It was a different offense for the Panthers, a different defense and defensive coordinator for the Giants, but nevertheless Matt Moore absolutely torched the Giants defense late in the 2009 season to the tune of 41-9.

    The defense had basically quit on Bill Sheridan and they didn't have Antrel Rolle or Deon Grant, but that isn't the point. 

    The point is the NFL is as much about confidence as it is about talent. If Moore waltzes in to New Jersey with a ton of confidence, he has a chance to move the ball. 

    Hell, Charlie Whitehurst made the Giants defense look bad. 

    I will officially give up on the season if this happens, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Moore starts the game out firing. 

Giants Run Defense Still a Concern

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    Over the last four games, the Giants have allowed 158 yards per game rushing, and the Dolphins' rushing offense has averaged 112 yards per game this season. 

    It doesn't exactly bode well unless the Giants find a way to fix that problem. One ray of hope is Justin Tuck probably returning to the Giants lineup this weekend; hopefully the captain can whip the defensive line in to shape. 

    One thing I will say is that despite giving up an 80-yard run to Fred Jackson, the run defense against the Bills looked pretty solid. Take out that run and the Bills had just 75 yards on 22 carries. 

    The Giants 4-2-5 defense is designed to help in the passing game, but they may have to begin switching it up if they can't stop the run.