Tonight will be a tough game. Tough to be on the road. Tough on a short week. However, Miami needs to rally and show the character necessary to pull off a win and return back to Miami at .500 with a chance to be in the mix come December.
Miami needs to get back basics to win this game. Here is what I would do:
1) Run the ball:
- Miami needs to get back to running the ball effectively. Show a commitment to pounding the rock. I would use Bush all night. See how he reacts to his benching. An issue that this team has had IMO is they have spread the carries around too much. Allow Bush to get into rhythm by getting the lion's share of the touches.
- I would attempt to run the ball on edges. Use Pouncey and the guards to get out and pull. The O-line needs to get to the second level and allow Bush to explode into the next level. Buffalo is tough inside, but by going to the perimeter it will get their bigs on the move. If Bush can get to the second level he can attack Buffalo's poor LB's.
- Mix in reverses and reverse action. By doing this it will freeze the second level of Buffalo's D. Start making the opposition react some to the window dressing and composition of the play.
- Finally, challenge the O-line. Let them ahead time they are going to attack the defense. Allow them to play going forward...challenge them to be physical which should be their best trait as a line.
2) Take Pressure off of Ryan Tannehill:
- By running the ball, it will take pressure of Ryan Tannehill. It will also set up play action. He will be attack outside the numbers to his receivers. More importantly, RT will be able to attack the hash area with Fasano and Clay. Miami needs to attack Buffalo's LB's tonight. Along with play action, running the ball will allow the Fins to bootleg. I want to see Sherman give Tannehill simple, half field reads tonight.
3) Have Drives End in Kicks:
- This team needs to take care of the ball. When they do they have a chance. When they don't they lose. Simple as that. There is not enough talent to overcome picks and fumbles. If Miami can have all drives end in kicks they will have a chance in the end. Be willing to punt. Utilize Fields. Hopefully the majority of drives end in PAT's or at the very least a FG attempt.
- Have in your back pocket a trick play. Maybe a flea flicker or half back option pass. However, be willing to try a high risk play available late in the game to blow the lid off of the game. Philbin has shown a "roll of the dice" attitude before on special teams. Tonight, perhaps Miami needs to show some trickeration on offense.
1) KISS Principle: Keep it simple stupid. Kevin Coyle needs to have a simplified game plan that allows his D to play fast. Something that allows them to play "fast". Allow the athletic talent to rally to the football.
2) Make Fitzpatrick go the Long Field: First, Miami cannot allow the big play. Whether it is a Spiller run or a long pass play, big plays are unacceptable tonight. If Buffalo is to score, force them to be perfect on a 10 play drive. My bet is Buffalo cannot consistently go the long field. They will mess up somewhere within the drive. Whether it would not moving the chains on a 3rd down or turning it over, make Fitzpatrick be consistent all night.
3) Create Turnovers: This defense needs some takeaways. 2 straight games without creating a turnover. By allowing the D to "play free" it will allow them to play physical and rally to the football. DB's and LB's need to attack the ball in the air.
1) Win the Field Position Battle: The Fins have to stay on a short field. Also, if the Fins are going to make Buffalo go the long field, the coverage units need to do the deed getting after Buffalo's explosive returners. The return game needs to play with technique and allow Thigpen to make yards.
1) Challenge the team, win or lose, to play physical, fast and hard. If a mistake is made, have it done at 100 MPH. Make plays with conviction.
2) Block and Tackle Better. Again, make it simple. Get back to basics.
Good luck Fin Fans. Tell me whatcha think...