The Dolphins look for their first two-game winning streak since they beat the Bills and Vikings in their first two game of the season as they host the Cleveland Browns at Sun Life Stadium. At 6-5, the Fins are heading into the homestretch of the 2010 season with very little wiggle room if they wish to qualify for the playoffs.
The Browns, on the other hand, are 4-7 and looking to spoil. Having already defeated the Saints and Patriots this season, Cleveland is looking for another feather in its cap.
This is the 16th meeting all-time between the Dolphins and the Browns (including the previous incarnation of the Browns, prior to their move to Baltimore). The Fins have won nine of the previous 15, though the Browns have won two straight in the series. The last Miami win came the day after Christmas, in 2004.
Keep reading to see what our experts think about this must-win game for the Fins. Keith Sims will break down the Dolphins offensive aspirations; Sam Madison will give you what he thinks the Dolphins’ defensive gameplan should be; and John Congemi will discuss Miami avoiding a letdown…
The Dolphins are coming into this game fresh off not only their best offensive performance of the season, but their most complete game overall. The Dolphins piled up over 180 yards on the ground and still found a way to get another 307 through the air. Top all that off with a gaudy time of possession of over 41 minutes. And remember the Dolphins top receiver didn’t even make the trip to Oakland!
Has the Dolphins offense finally found it’s groove? Let’s hope so. They are definitely headed in the right direction. The Fins need to keep finding ways to run the football and get Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams 30+ productive carries per game. The passing game needs to keep spreading the ball around even with the likely return of Brandon Marshall. If the Dolphins can continue the offensive formula they started in Oakland, then we all should have plenty to celebrate as the final seconds tick of the clock.
The Cleveland Browns are ranked on an average of 23rd in every stat on offense except for rushing. Josh Cribbs and Peyton Hillis both missed some practice time this week. Jake Delhomme has been a little gun shy the last few years and it seems to have carried over to this year as well. Hillis, the modern day Mike Alstott, has 11 rushing TD’s and two receiving TD’s. Think about those numbers this way: Hillis almost has as many TD’s as every running back and wideout combined for the Dolphins.
The attention of the Browns running attack will be a big focus for Mike Nolan. Making the Browns one-dimensional plays in favor on the Dolphins, with the unleashing of Cameron Wake off the edge.
The Miami Dolphins have put themselves in a position with last weeks win in Oakland to continue there playoff push this week vs. Cleveland! A win this Sunday doesn’t guarantee anything concerning the playoffs, but it will keep alive the opportunity of the “P” word for one more week! In my opinion, there is no way Miami will have a letdown this week because each week now becomes more important that the last. A win against the Browns sets up another opportunity to play a divisional opponent in the Jets, and depending on the NE/NYJ & Balt/Pitt results, the Dolphins will know exactly who will be wearing the bullseye on their backs for Miami! No need for Tony Sparano to use the mouse traps in the locker room or put out a cheese tray this week. The Dolphins know precisely what needs to happen each and every week from now until the end of the season. Just win, because that’s all that they have control of from now until they travel to New England…and hope that trip means something!
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.