WITH 4-7 BROWNS IN TOWN, DOLPHINS NEED WIN
The 2010 season for the Miami Dolphins started with such promise after road wins against the division rival Buffalo Bills and NFC Champion runner-ups Minnesota Vikings. The Dolphins were 2-0 and atop the AFC East. However, as the Dolphins now enter Week 13 of the regular season, they are aiming for the first time since Week 2, to have two more wins then they do losses. The Dolphins are 6-5, and are fighting to keep their realistically slim playoff hopes alive. The Dolphins need a lot of help in the form of losses, by teams such as the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Though the Dolphins can't just start scoreboard watching, they need to take care of their own games first.
The Dolphins really need to win their remaining five games to even have a shot at making the postseason and the road starts this weekend as the 4-7 Cleveland Browns make the trip to South Florida. This will be the Browns first trip to Miami since they lost to the Dolphins 10-7 in 2004. The Dolphins have lost the last two meetings with the Browns up in Ohio, but the Browns have not won in Miami since October 25, 1970, over 40 years ago.
The Browns bring to Miami one of the best dual threats in the league in running back Peyton Hillis. Hillis enters tomorrow's game with 1,319 total yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdown and has proven over the course of the year to be the entire offense for the Browns. If the Dolphins are able to zone in on Hillis and stop the run, Miami shouldn't have much problem keeping the Browns out of the endzone with quarterback Jake Delhomme making the start in place of the injured Colt McCoy, who is doubtful with an ankle injury.
The Dolphins looked dead in the water two weeks ago against the Chicago Bears, but looked like one of the best teams in the league last week in a 33-17 win over the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins offense, which had it's best day all season last week, should receive a boost with the return of Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the starting lineup. With games against teams like the Jets and Patriots coming up, this is a game Miami should win to keep their hopes alive.
A win against the Browns this week will go a long way with the Ravens and Steelers facing off on Sunday and the Jets and Patriots facing off on Monday. A win against the Browns would improve the team to 7-5, and the loser of the Ravens/Steelers game will fall to 8-4 and the loser of the Jets/Patriots game will fall to 9-3. The path to the playoffs is still a very long road for the Dolphins, but if they want to stay on that path, they need to take care of business this week against the visiting Browns.
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