The Dolphins Will be a Good Test for Vikings


Aug 20, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports.

Needing to start the QB3 usually does much to undermine a team’s chances of victory. Unfortunately, it looks like that may be the case for the Dolphins. Regardless, the Dolphins are still going to present a challenge for the Vikings.

Miami began the year wonderfully, capturing 3 victories in 3 weeks. By no means were these wins unimpressive. In fact, they came against the Patriots, Ravens, and Bills, three of the most respected teams in the AFC.

In Week 4 and 5, the Dolphins saw their record descend to 3-2. Obviously, the main concern at this stage rests in ensuring that Tua Tagovailoa gets back to full health; his recovery is far more important than the outcome of any football game(s). As he recovers, the team is doing its utmost to get back to its winning ways.

Last week, Skylar Thompson – the QB3 – had to play due to Teddy Bridgewater’s injury. Cole Smith wrote about the young QB for Purple PTSD. His assessment, as long as I’m understanding correctly, is that it was tough circumstances for the late-round rookie. As a result, it makes sense that there were a some mistakes.

The Vikings will still need to prepare for what the Dolphins can throw at them (Bridgewater may be available).

The Dolphins are near the bottom of the NFL in terms of points allowed. On average, opponents are scoring more than 26 points per game. They’re in the top half of the NFL for how much they blitz – 27% of the time – but they still only have 9 sacks for the year. If the OL can continue to play well, Kirk Cousins should be able to capitalize on this reality. One more blitzer means one less man in coverage. If the pass rush doesn’t get home, then it can be an advantage to the offense.

For whatever it’s worth, PFF has given some nice grades to several of Miami’s defenders. The rankings suggest Melvin Ingram III and Jaelan Phillips are playing reasonably well. Christian Wilkins has also had a nice start to the season.

On offense, the Dolphins will be hoping Tyreek Hill – the #3 WR on PFF – and Jaylen Waddle – the #13 WR on PFF – can create a ton of separation. Sure, the play at QB may not be as crisp, but passes can still be completed when men are wide open. Patrick Peterson and Cameron Dantzler will need to be really sharp in this one.

Finally, let’s not forget that the game is being played on the road. That may sound minor, but it’s still a factor to consider. If Minnesota wants to be viewed as legit contenders, they need to be able to defeat teams with a winning record, even if the game is on the road.

Heading into the bye at an impressive 5-1 record would be an excellent reversal of recent seasons. A couple years ago it was 1-5 and then last year was 3-3 heading into the Week 7 bye. Perhaps Kevin O’Connell can shepherd his Vikings to the much more impressive start.


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