Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back to the Game

Alright, feel better now?  If nothing else, applying myself to other interests over the past week has left me not only out of the loop about the Dolphins, it's also left me refreshed and ready for the rest of the season.  Well, week 6 anyway.

The Dolphins play their fifth game versus the Green Bay Packers, one of the best teams in the league.  However, the Packers haven't had a Bye Week yet, and they are suffering from injury woes, including the NFL's leading sacker, Clay Matthews, and one of the top TEs in the league, Jermichael Finley.  Aaron Rodgers, the QB who ousted some other famous QB from Green Bay, went down last week with a concussion.  Since he learned from the Primitive One, he has decided to 'shake it off' and play this week.  I don't expect the Miami Defense to play with Kitten Gloves on, so he may get rattled early and hopefully not last through the game.

The Packers' secondary is also banged up pretty badly, though Miami's got injury issues of its own.  Benny Sapp, of 'throw the ball to my guy, I'm not covering him' fame, missed practices late in the week and is likely out of Sunday's game. The good news is the Green Bay doesn't run a lot of 3 and 4 WR sets so we won't need to take 5 CBs to the game.  The better news is that Miami could get back the services of as many as 3 missing starters, namely, LB Channing Crowder, DE Jared Odrick, and OG John Jerry.  The Dolphins also get back recently suspended DE Tony McDaniel and RB Ronnie Brown's hamstring issues should be 2 weeks better off.

The biggest development however, is how the Dolphins coaching staff responds to their dismal performance in week 4.  Can they finally come to the game with a fully prepared and fully functional special teams unit?  Will they let David Lee go upstairs and call the offensive plays?  Will Sparano quit looking so confused on the sidelines and start being proactive?

Just as importantly, will Chad Henne be able to come into the game cool and collected, and play sixty minutes of mistake-free football?

I'll be honest, I'm not confident at all heading into this game - I need to see lights blinking and hear gears clicking again, something I didn't get from the last game, before I give the Dolphins the edge again.  However, I do think the game will be close, and it will likely depend on the turnover and special teams game - something the Dolphins should be wary of, because the Packers have a pretty good kick returner, and the Fins have a pretty shoddy coverage team.

My Prediction:   MIA  20  GB 23 (OT)

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