So here we are, Saturday again and for fans of the Miami Dolphins it is a big one. A win could calm a storm that has been brewing and growing since the team squeaked by Washington in week 1, while a loss could usher in a brand new era in Miami Dolphins football. How will it go? Well, in all honesty, I have no idea. This team has been as disappointing as any Dolphins team in recent memory and they have been brutally hard to figure out, with huge flaws in every facet of their game. Here are my thoughts on tomorrow's 9:00 am kickoff against the Jets in London.
Same Game, Different Name
The Jets come into to tomorrows game at 2-1 and pose an interesting match-up for the Dolphins. They are a team with a run first offence and quarterback questions led by a big time pass rush and opportunistic secondary. Sound familiar? It should the Jets after 3 weeks are eerily similar to the Buffalo Bills. This bodes well for New York as Miami looked all but helpless against a Bills team that came in and dominated Miami. The Dolphins O-line is once again without critical pieces, so Ryan Tannehill will have a long day ahead.
There was a time, last week... a time before the Dolphins lost big to the Bills, when I said a loss would certainly start the conversation of moving on from Joe Philbin. Little did I know how bad the loss would be and how deafeningly loud the calls for Philbin's job would get. This can go one of two ways. Either the rumors and speculations will make its way in to the ears of players and staff and galvanize them, making them come out and play with a fire and desperation to win that has, to this point, been missing. Or, they could remain status quo, maybe this team isn't as good as I and many others (fans and media alike) thought they would be. Maybe the Jets will have their way with the Dolphins o-line and defense and the Phins will fall to an uninspired 1-3. At that point, if rumors are to be believed, a loss means Philbin and staff will be jobless come the bye week and Miami will be looking for someone to helm the team in the interim.
To be fair Joe has had a TON of chances to get it right and at this point its time to go or get of the potty. Mid-season coaching changes rarely do anything positive for a team, but sometimes it is worth it, just to feel like you have finally done something productive.
If anyone wants to have a big day, it will be Brandon Marshall. Marshall is always a gamer and you can bet come Sunday, he will be itching to catch the football. Dolphins smaller finesse corners are going to be challenged to cover the large bodied wide out, this will be an interesting match-up to watch and could cause a lot of problems for the Miami defense.
Last week I predicted a Bills blow out and got an even bigger one than I anticipated. With the Jets mirroring the Bills in so many significant ways a part of me really believes a similar outcome is in store, but I have to go with my gut. This exact time last year Miami was headed to London 1-2 and amid the swirling winds of controversy when the team snapped out of its malaise and pulled out a big win. Here we are in a similar spot again. Joe Philbin is a terrible coach, but he always does just enough to keep his job, so I think Miami is going to win this one in ugly fashion 27-23.
3 Picks for Week 4
New York Giants 17 @ Buffalo 24 It is very difficult to go into Buffalo to play that defense and put up points. Eli is going to have a lot on his plate and with out Victor Cruz it may just be too much. I expect the Bills to do just enough on offense to get by the Giants and improve to 3-1.
Philadelphia 24 @ Washington 20 There is no way around the fact that this game will be ugly. It will probably comedown to which QB will make the fewest or least costly mistakes. If that is the case Sam Bradford at this point in time is simply more reliable than Kirk Cousins. It's going to be a close one, but I think Philly gets out on top.
Minnesota 28 @ Denver 16 In all honesty, I am making this pick not with my head, but with my heart. I really want to see Minnesota succeed. They have a fun young team with a ton of potential on offence and while they are going up against a great defense, I see them being able to put up more points than the lack luster Broncos offence led by the elder Peyton Manning.
That is all I have for now. Let's all hope the Dolphins save their season (and Joe for now) with a victory. You can get at me HERE on Twitter. Should the Phins lose, look for a special coaching thread come Sunday evening.