How the west was won:
That’s a question the Miami Dolphins weren’t able to answer against the Seattle Seahawks, due to costly interceptions that limited them from taking advantage of their solid all-around play.
Now, as they sit at 1-3, it seems like this club is heading in the same direction as last season.
However, as crazy as the Dolphins’ remaining schedule appears, this week against the San Francisco 49ers will be their second chance in six weeks to figure it out.
Yes, that’s six consecutive weeks of West Coast teams Miami’s played back to back… to back to back to back to back… well, you get the point.
Jimmy G be back in action vs. Miami.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has officially been announced the starter for the 49ers’ Week 5 matchup against the Dolphins. This could turn out into a positive for the Dolphins, as Garoppolo hasn’t seen the field in 3 weeks. With many more key injuries, last seasons NFC East champs have only beaten the New York Jets and Giants, the 2 worst teams in the NFL thus far. Meanwhile, the 49ers have dropped games to the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles. None of the 49ers’ first four opponents have been particularly noteworthy, combining for a 3-12-1 record.
Miami’s opponents on the other hand, which include the likes of the New England Patriots (2-2), Buffalo Bills (4-0), Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) and Seahawks (4-0) combine for an 11-5 record.
All hands on deck.
The Dolphins, as we’ve seen in the first four games, are capable as is, of beating quality teams. I’ve seen this before many times in the NFL when teams that have reloaded their rosters go through a transitional phase of “almost” winning games. The Cincinnati Bengals did it early with Andy Dalton and AJ Green. The Indianapolis Colts with Andrew Luck and Frank Gore. The Eagles, Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Bills most recently, all went through a season of learning how to win by closing games and “almost” winning.
Miami is at that point now. However, they’re much different considering its quarterback situation.
Will Tua be the high-octane fuel Miami needs?
Personally, I respect coach Brian Flores’ approach not throwing rookie Tua Tagovailoa to the wolves just yet. I know many fans want to see what they have in the number 5 overall pick from Alabama. I just think Miami needs to get him more help to ease the pressure beforehand. Mainly a decent running game.
The Dolphins have yet to have anyone step up and take over a game in that department. Thus leading to Ryan Fitzpatrick having to assume much more of the weight that we can’t put on Tua’s hips just yet. This week, 3000 miles away from home and against a top-five defense definitely isn’t the time to try out the shiny new signal-caller.
I’d love to see a New Orleans Saints, Taysom Hill approach after the bye. I see that as Miami’s best bet. Put Tagovailoa in with a few specialty packages or quick simple plays to get him a feel of the professional game speed. Safe and slow. Dolphin fans have to accept they’re not winning a championship in 2020. Rushing into anything except the end zone isn’t helping anything that they can’t do at this point anyway.
Miami has a good chance to beat San Francisco Sunday but will need all their horses running. Especially the ones actually called running backs. Clean, physical, turnover-free play is always the key to any game, but spreading the pressure around and carrying it as a team helps each position, especially the quarterback. When they reach that point, the close games will start to go their way. Lots of west coast action in the next couple of months for the Dolphins and they need to rustle up as many W’s as they can.