Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weather Will Factor In At Mile High

When you are going to Denver in November you always pack your gloves and scarf and winter jacket.  That's a no brainer.  You expect cold temps and are prepared for that.

Tomorrow's weather, though, has an added degree of difficulty. 

Wind. Gusting winds. Up to 21 miles per hour.

So it will seem even colder in the first half due to the wind chill factoring in.

When those shadows get longer as the sun drops and those lights come on at Mile High Stadium, the wind will die slightly but not enough to warm those souls on the turf.

So with cold and wind, what you should hope to do is run the ball to set up a short passing game.

Who benefits from that?

As much as the talking heads have mentioned that Denver, losers of 2 of their last 3, will be fired up and need to get back to running the ball, its just not in their DNA.

Denver has run the ball the 6th least of all 32 teams.  Only 243 times. 

For 3.7 yards per carry.

If you can remember, Jimmy Johnson used to call Dan Marino his Candy Jar.  He was so sweet that you had so much trouble trying to pass by and not stick your hand in there.

With Peyton Manning, Denver's John Fox has a sweet tooth.

Why drive when you can fly?

Miami on the other hand, is ranked in the middle of the pack in rushing but has had much greater success by pounding the ball 272 times for 4.7 yards per attempt.

Denver's defense has only faced 222 attempts and is giving up only 3.3 yards per carry.  Of course most teams are chucking the ball trying to keep pace with Manning and company.

Denver's opponents have thrown the ball 423 times.  And that's the most in the entire league.

Why drive when you have to fly?

Miami's defense is ranked 1st against the pass.  Yep, We're # 1! We're # 1!

That stat alone has meaning and it may just get us through this game and hopefully, at the very least, keep it close.

Denver's pass defense, despite all the attempts against it, is ranked 16th.

They, like us, are averaging 6.1 yards per attempt.

Ok. Where am I heading with this?

How many times have we read or heard or wrote or said "I am sick and tired of our dink and dunk passing game!" 

Well, with 21 mile per hour winds, you better believe we will be dink and dunking it all day.

Its what we do anyway.  It plays to our strengths.

Run the ball efficiently and control the game clock with short passes.

Despite all the talk of Denver needing this game and they have to rebound from losing to the Rams and they will be home and they have KC next week...yada, yada, yada...we can win this game.

Our defense is designed to travel well.  Our offense is starting to click.

And more importantly, our special teams are playing so much better now.

Philosophically, we will be in this game.

Physically, we will be in this game.

And emotionally, we need the damn game too!!! So, we will be in this game.

I expect a game with lots of short passes and whoever plays better in the red zone will win.

I think, Denver isn't as great as many think. 

I think, we are better than many think.

And I think the flight home will be a happy one for our Dolphins.

After all, we'll drive in the late Denver afternoon only to fly home in the evening.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
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4 comments

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GREAT piece Carl! Personally, I don't have much time for the ones complaining about our offensive style. WHAT IT IS, IS A SIGN OF A VERY GOOD OC! Takes a look at what he has; where are the qualities; and molds his offensive style to the capabilities of those players. Did it in Philly. Doing it in Miami.
I liked that you pointed out that Denver is not as good as everyone thinks & Miami is better than everyone thinks! I have felt it building since the trip to London! We had those 2 really poor games, and then we started to understand the offense. They aren't out there to appease fantasy football players; winning the game is the objective!
Question: You pointed out we're #1 against the pass: 1) Do you feel that way when Cortland is not playing? 2) You're info about the weather, or actually how it will be Sunday, could help Taylor if the wind is too strong for long passes(yes-no)?

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Finnegan has missed some games anyway. Grimes is key. He has to stay healthy. But our pass rush will be there no matter who plays corner.

The problem with long balls is trying to be accurate whether with or against the wind. Either QB will have problems.

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Carl,

Good analysis. This Miami team does indeed match up well with Denver. I think the Dolphins win if they come out of the gate focused and ready to play. A slow start can bury them.

My big concern is the cold. Miami is certainly built to handle the weather better than Denver, but we've seen other Dolphins teams in the past "freeze up" when it gets cold. There really is something to living in cold weather day to day thickening the blood.


Go Phins!

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I hear you linearz. I live in Jersey so when you get hit with your first cold spell of 40° its tough. You certainly feel it. After a few weeks, you dont really notice it unless it drops to 20°.
if i were Denver, I wouldnt run any hurry up offense. I would make us stand around in the cold and think about it. Luckily for us the whole nation had experienced the polar vortex falling down so even Miami had relatively cold weather.