It’s that time of the week again. Time to hit the film room for a little study session before Sunday’s game. Once again, all we have is highlights, so this lacks the depth of a realistic, NFL quality film study. Nevertheless, we can still pick up on some of the things the Dolphins and Vikings struggled with and had success with last week.
Week 1: Dolphins 15 Bills 10
Defensively, it’s tough to re-watch that blown coverage, because the Dolphins played too well on defense to have given up a touchdown. They surrendered the fewest yardage in the entire league in Week 1, after all. The Dolphins need to play mistake free football against the Vikings to have a chance at pulling off the upset. A blown coverage like that, or any costly mistake for that matter, will make winning in the Metrodome a near impossible task.
Offensively, we saw just how conservative Dan Henning and Chad Henne were through the air. I mean, if you would have told me Brandon Marshall was going to catch eight passes, I would have probably guessed he would have had at least 100 yards. But 53? Come on, let the man get you some chunk yardage down the field. I know, if it wasn’t for the Henne underthrow/Marshall drop on the one long ball, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But still, if the offensive line can protect for another split second, the Dolphins would be wise to develop Marshall’s routes a good three to five more yards down field. That will do wonders for the running game, and eventually give the short receptions more yards after catch opportunities.
Week 1: Saints 14 Vikings 9
We saw the Saints test that questionable Vikings secondary early on. That led to a beautifully executed opening touchdown drive. But as that second half went on, it become clear how important it will be for the Dolphins to establish Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. I don’t care who you are, Drew Brees or Chad Henne, you can’t just line up a throw the ball on every down against any NFL secondary. You’ve got to keep them off balance, and make them respect both the run and the pass. The second-half was a different story. The Saints were able to retain the lead with a heavy dose of Pierre Thomas with a little Reggie Bush sprinkled in. Yes, they only managed to score 14 points, but it would have been a respectable 20 if it wasn’t for a couple missed Brantley field goals.
On the other side of the ball, Adrian Peterson got his numbers, but Favre and the passing game really didn’t look like it was clicking. Some may point to Favre being a little rusty, and maybe he is, but it looked like the Saints were bringing the heat. If the Dolphins can do the same, we should see Favre make a few poor decisions. It’s what makes him great, but it’s also the reason why he’s thrown more interceptions than any other quarterback in the history of the game. Visanthe Shincoe is going to be tough to handle, though. Karlos Dansby, Chris Clemons, and maybe Benny Sapp will have their hands full all game long.