If the New Orleans Saints want to stay undefeated and beat the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football they will have to do it by going through the air. More specifically, they will have to feature tight end Jimmy Graham often.
Obviously, the Dolphins, along with every other team in the NFL, are well aware that Graham is what makes the offense tick. Yes, it is true that Drew Brees is what makes the high-flying offense soar on a weekly basis. However, it is Graham’s 119.3 receiving yards per game that gives Brees the edge he needs to lead the Saints to victory.
Considering the Dolphins allow an average of 263.3 passing yards per contest, which ranks 20th in the league, it is no secret Brees will throw the ball as much as possible. There is a good chance Miami is going to put double-coverage on Graham frequently. That means New Orleans must figure out a way to get him open. One way to do this is by moving him before the ball is snapped. Another is using multiple routes through the middle of the field to throw off defenders. Setting him up with a linebacker is how the Saints will be able to take advantage of matchups.
There is no question Brees has several other weapons to choose from if Miami is able to shutdown Graham. Wide receiver Marques Colston has made several big plays this season, while running back Darren Sproles is a huge threat in the flat. With that being said, Brees definitely would prefer to use his favorite target to help move the chains as well as get in the end zone.
Graham has posted 358 receiving yards and four touchdowns in three games this season.