It is still unclear whether the newly-acquired Bryant McKinnie will start at left tackle for the Miami Dolphins this week. At this point, the time it’s going to take for him to get acclimated with not only his new teammates but actually playing, as well, is unknown. One thing is for sure, whether he is starting this weekend versus the New England Patriots or not, the Dolphins must find a way to protect Ryan Tannehill if they have any chance at beating Tom Brady and company.
As expected — and deserved — much of this week’s discussion has be very critical of the team’s offensive performance collectively. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas combined for over 100 rushing yards, but they have to do a better job in pass protection to help the offensive line out. The tight ends, Charles Clay, Dion Sims or Michael Egnew, have to step up, as well. Losing Dustin Keller in the preseason has proven to be a nightmare for the passing game and running game, as there doesn’t seem to be a tight end on the roster capable of doing both.
It’s a horrible feeling being this pessimistic about the Dolphins, but it’s been an uncomfortable ride from the get-go. There was a lot of excitement going into the season, especially after their surprising start to it.
This week’s showdown in Foxboro features a 5-2 Patriots team who most recently lost to the New York Jets in overtime, and a Dolphins squad that has lost three-straight games, including the heartbreaking loss to the Buffalo Bills coming off the bye week. If the Dolphins hope to have any chance this weekend, they are going to have to be aggressive on offense and take some shots.
The Patriots are missing their big defensive tackle Vincent Wilfork which, in theory, should make it a little easier for his shaky offensive line. Despite their record, the Patriots come in ranking just 20th in points scored this season. There is no question that Brady misses the receivers he has had in the past like Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, though the latter did return last week, not being there to help him have his with opposing defenses.
The offense must play mistake-free football this weekend if they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive. After their battle with the Patriots on Sunday, the Dolphins will turn around and host the Cincinnati Bengals on Halloween night in Miami. Two playoff-bound teams in five days for the Dolphins. If they think they are serious about making the playoffs, then they must get a win this Sunday.