Disturbingly, I have seen many Dolphins fans lashing out against Ryan Tannehill's "poor" performance versus the Washington Redskins on Sunday. I addressed this issue in my previous post, but let me take a second to discuss this again. Tannehill didn't play up to the level he showed he is capable of last season, but Sunday he led his team to a win, posted a 93.6 passer rating and completed 65 percent of his passes. Was he as sharp as usual? No. Did he make bad decisions? Two poor throws that could have been interceptions, yes (one was a completion). But the fact is this team will only go as far as Ryan Tannehill takes them, so if you are a Dolphin fan relax. Sunday will be a good opportunity to rebound against a weak Jacksonville team. No need to panic. Ryan Tannehill's ability to get the ball away quickly will come in handy against a poor pass D and as he gets more comfortable with his new targets the offense will begin to click.
Here are some other keys to victory on Sunday:
Sacks For All
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a hard time protecting Blake Bortles. In week 1 Bortles was sacked 5 times. This is a trend continuing from 2014 when he was sacked 55 times in 13 starts. The Miami Dolphin's pass rush was effective last week, but only recorded one sack. You can bet Cameron Wake and his fellow pass rushers are licking their chops looking to put plenty of notches in their sack columns. The more you get to Bortles (like most QBs) the more prone he is to make mistakes, last season against the Dolphins Bortles threw two pick 6s. You can bet the Dolphins would love a similar outcome.
Get Well Soon
The Jaguars injury list is LONGGGGGG... but its the notables that the Dolphins have injured that will really impact this game. Cameron Wake, Reshad Jones and Derrick Shelby are all listed as questionable for Sundays game, and while the Jaguars O-line may be flimsy enough to push around even with out Wake or Shelby, the loss of both would be tough to overcome.
As for Jones, he swears he is playing on Sunday. That better be the case. A perennial top NFL safety, Jones had one of his best games last week. He was making big tackles all over the field. His loss on Sunday would force the Dolphins to start Michael Thomas and Walt Akins, two young safeties who lack in experience as well as consistency. Needless to say it would be a tough blow.
It's a Balancing Act
We started this post talking about Tannehill and his performance, but there really has to be more of a focus on getting the ball to Lamar Miller. With out the run game Tannehill's job is much harder. Sunday, look for Bill Lazor to have more balance in his offensive scheme. More commitment to the run game will help take some of the pressure off Tannehill and also help to better open up the passing game. Too often this team abandons the run before even giving it a chance to shine. Miller has the potential to be a successful back, but he can only do that if he gets the ball.
Here are 3 picks I think will win in week 2:
New England 24 @ Buffalo 27 This may end up being the game of the week. The scariest defense in the league will take on Tom Brady in Buffalo in what promises to be a slug-fest. The difference here will be Rex Ryan. Rex always game plans well for the Pats and this year he has the team to execute that game plan to perfection. I believe Tyrod Taylor has another okay performance and the Buffalo D will stop Brady just enough to squeak out a week 2 win.
New York Jets 24 @ Indianapolis 17 Yes, I am picking my least favorite team in all of sports, but here is why. Todd Bowles isn't stupid... In fact he is a gifted defensive mind in his own right. I am sure he saw what Rex did to Andrew Luck last week, disguising coverage and blitzing relentlessly and knows that he has the personnel to do something similar. On offense Ryan Fitzpatrick will have no problems against the shoddy Colts defense and while he will probably throw a pick or two I see the Jets coming out on top.
Seattle 17 @ Green Bay 33 This IS NOT a revenge game... It is just a game. It is a game where the Packers will be going against a Seattle team that just doesn't have it together yet. Seattle's offense wasn't good last week despite scoring 31 team points in a game where they gave up 34 points to the Rams... In Lambaeu I expect Aaron Rodgers to put the Seahawks on notice and send them to an unfamiliar 0-2.
So that is all I have for you until after the week 2 games are complete. Look for my Dolphins recap on Monday and if you want to join the conversation hit me up on TWITTER!