Defense! Defense! Defense!
PREGAME: Dolphins vs Ravens AFC Wildcard Playoff Game
Sunday, January 4, 2009 1:00PM
Click this video to get your blodd pumping for today's game!
Today the Miami Dolphins need to bring the defense. I mean really, really bring it. The Ravens feed off of their defense and Ray Lewis and they have a way of coming into a game and just imposing their will on to opposing teams. It is almost like when Mike Tyson was invincible and opponents would be terrified and shell-shocked before the first bell because of the intimidation (which really became a myth). Miami's defense needs to stake its own claim to greatness. Much of the media and hype around this team has been on Chad Pennington, Ronnie Brown, the Wildcat formation and the offense. The defense needs to step it up and play playoff football and really take this game over. If Miami's defense can set the tone early and at least keep it close, I believe Chad Pennington can find a way to win down the stretch. If they allow Baltimore to run all over the place and force Miami to score a lot of points...it will be a long day.Here are my keys to the game today:
1. Make Flacco win it. Nothing deflates a team more than when an opponent just runs it down their throat with a power running game. That is what the Ravens love to do with McGahee and Mcclain. They then work the play action pass off of that and it makes their whole offense click. Miami needs to stack the box and make the rookie QB beat them against our improved secondary play. If the Baltimore's running game gets on track it is a long day for our Fns.
2. Throw early and often. Baltimore is tough against the run and they will be fcoused on the Wildcat. Miami needs to set the tone early by stretching the field a little. The Wide Recievers have to step up and play big today. Also I think Miami can get mismatches throwing to the backs against Baltimore's linebackers. They are very smart, very good...but also not as young as they use to be. CAUTION: We all love Fasano but be aware that Ed Reed is patrolling the safety spot. Reed is the best player on that defense and he is their playmaker. Chad can not give up the easy pick like he did in week 7.
3. Wildcat needs to be used sparringly. Baltimore has the speed to defend it. They know it. We know it.
4. Be Polite! When you have short yardage you use Polite. He is money.
5. Pressure the QB. Miami's pass rush has kind of disappeared here late in the year. We even had a hard time getting to Brett "The statue"" Favre. Miami has to get in Flacco's face and make him hit the ground often. Joey? Were are you?
6. Don't make the stupid mistakes. Penalties, dropped passes, missed opportunities (Ricky's dropped pass against the Jets!) turnovers. You know what I am saying here. They have to play like champions and be disciplined and execute. We can not give up yards and miss plays against a quality team like Baltimore.
I believe Baltimore can be beat and I hope Miami took a hard look at the Giants game from November 11th where the Giants thrashed the Ravens 30-10. Maybe when you are the Super Bowl champions you don't intimidate to easily, but the Giants handled the Ravens that day holding them to less than 20 yards rushing each for their big backs. Flacco only had 164 yards and threw two interceptions that day.
Me and my team are packing up to head to the stadium now. I am just jacked up to be in a playoff atmosphere in Dolphin stadium. Let's all scream our heads off and do what we can to bring a playoff win home!
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