Miami Dolphins: 5 Players That Will Shine in Week 2
Miami Dolphins: Five Players That Will Shine in Week 2
The Miami Dolphins are coming into Week 2 of the NFL season with a 1-0 record, which is rare for them. It's just the second time in the last eight years that they have won their first game and been able to carry momentum into their second game.
Last week against the Cleveland Browns, they struggled to get any rhythm going in the first half of the game. They couldn't gain any yards on the ground and were forced into completing many second and third down situations with large yardage to go. In the first half, they got three interceptions from their cornerbacks. Dimitri Patterson, an ex-Brown, had two interceptions and Nolan Carroll had the other one. From a team that only had only three interceptions from their corners last season, this was a welcome surprise.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill found an early target in Charles Clay at Tight End and went often to receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson in the second half. Tannehill's numbers didn't do him justice for the kind of game he played. He went 24 for 38 for 272 yards, one TD and one Interception. He was sacked four times and pressured very often by the aggressive Cleveland Defensive Line that made the running game a complete non-factor. Tannehill had to throw the ball the entire second half and everyone in the stadium knew he was going to. He proved he could take his team down the field in the fourth quarter to win a game, something he struggled with much of 2012, and won the game with his No. 1 receiver only catching one pass.
The Defensive Line was the big story in Week 1. They registered a combined six sacks and 16 hits on Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden. As the game went on, they got more physical and were able to pressure Weeden on every throw. They also made Trent Richardson a non-factor on the ground and were able to limit his touches in the fourth quarter when they went up by two scores.
For the Dolphins to go to 2-0, these five players are going to have to shine against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
5. Caleb Sturgis
The Miami Dolphins had no trouble moving the ball down the field against Cleveland in the first game of the season. However, with Dustin Keller out for the season, it may be difficult for them to score in the red zone against the Indianapolis Colts. They have a great young kicker in Caleb Sturgis that will make sure they come away with points every time they get into the red zone.
4. Reshad Jones
The biggest weakness on the Miami Dolphins defense right now is their inability to cover the other teams Tight End. Jordan Cameron had a career game against them last week and look for the Colts Tight Ends to be the big target for Andrew Luck. It will be up to Reshad Jones to cover them at times and other times make sure he brings them down with the first tackle and doesn't give up yards after catch.
3. Mike Wallace
Everyone was happy after the win last week against Cleveland except for Mike Wallace. He only caught one pass for fifteen yards and wasn't targeted at all during the first half. The Miami Dolphins are going to want to take care of this issue early on Sunday and make sure it doesn't linger. I look for them to get him involved early with some screen passes, quick slants and maybe even an end around just to get him going and keep him happy.
2. Cameron Wake
Cameron Wake matched up against any Right Tackle in the NFL is a mismatch. He will be able to pressure Andrew Luck often but may not record a sack. The size and athleticism of Luck may keep Wake from getting a sack this game, but he will disrupt the QB's timing and force him to get rid of the ball earlier than he wants to.
1. Ryan Tannehill
Right now, the scoreboard is Andrew Luck, 1 Ryan Tannehill, 0. This will be a long time rivalry in the AFC for the two young QBs and I look for Tannehill to pull out all stops to even it up. With the Miami Dolphins not able to gain anything on the ground, Tannehill will be relied on to win this game for them. He will go to Mike Wallace early and finish the Colts off with Brian Hartline. Don't be surprised if he throws for over 300 yards and two TDs in a Miami Dolphins victory.