The Miami Dolphins play their first playoff game of the season when they take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. Normally this would be an exciting time for the Dolphin faithful, especially considering that for Miami to be facing Seattle in a playoff game, it would have to be the Super Bowl. The problem is, it is only Week 12.
After losing the last three games in a row, the Miami Dolphins now find themselves in a position where every game could mean the difference between preparing for a wild card game, or preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on the team’s rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, who has increasingly been called upon to shoulder the weight of his team as his run support has dwindled to near nonexistence.
This week, the young quarterback takes the field opposite another rookie QB, Russell Wilson. Wilson has been the surprise of the rookie class, leading his team to a 6-4 record, a record that would place them in the playoffs as the sixth seed were the season to end today.
Wilson was propped up early by a solid running attack that is led by Marshawn Lynch, a fantasy football stud who has over 100yards rushing in each of the last four games. This success kept people from give Wilson too much credit, but as the season has progressed, Seattle’s rookie has shown he belongs in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. Still, the Seahawks are averaging just a tad over 30 yards more a game through the air then on the ground, which is a solid tell concerning Seattle’s offensive philosophy.
If the Dolphins run defense gets back to its stifling ways, Russell Wilson may find the game being placed on his shoulders. In this, the Seahawks rookie has the advantage over Miami’s.
Seattle’s secondary is ranked third in the league vs. the pass, and without a running game to keep them honest; it could be a long day for Tannehill. On the other side, Wilson will be facing a Dolphins secondary that is the sixth worst in the NFL.
If Tannehill gets some help from Reggie Bush and the rest of the running backs, the Dolphins will stand a solid chance of winning, especially taking into consideration the Seahawks 1-4 record on the road. If the Miami defense fails to slow down Lynch, expect the Dolphins to lose their second straight at home.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.