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Comparing Marshall & Bess to the Best of the Rest
By on July 6, 2011 at 11:39 am

There are plenty of defensive coordinators around the NFL that can scheme against one great wide receiver and completely take him out of the game. That receiver might have a couple of catches for a few yards, but never threaten to change the complexion of the game. They feel confident that they can handle the number two receiver, the tight end, etc. However, if you have a playmaker on the other side of the field opposite your alpha receiver, that creates stress on a defense, and can make it a long day for them.

Let’s look no further than the Miami Dolphins for a great example of what pressure can do if you possess a dominate number one and a productive, consistent number two. Everyone knows that when you play Miami, Brandon Marshall is someone that you must try to slow down. You must keep his run after catch ability in check, but also try and limit his touches by rolling the coverage his way and keeping a safety over the top of him. When teams do this, it really opens up opportunities for others to make plays, and the defense is betting that you can’t win enough times with other players to ultimately win the game. That’s where Davone Bess can make an instant impact and why he played a major role in this success last season. Davone’s abilities to move from the slot to the outside gives people problems. I’m looking for forward to the Dolphins new offense this year because I expect that Marshall and Bess will line up all over the field, in different formations, creating match-up problems for opposing defenses.

Their numbers really complemented each other last season, as well. Marshall had his usual 1,000 yard receiving season (1,014 and 86 receptions) and did this missing two and a half games. Bess had career highs in receptions (79), yards (820), and touchdowns with a team-high of five. If both of these productive players can produce stats like that again, the Dolphins will be hard to slow down, but two specific areas will need to change. They will need to create the big play by either stretching the field or making a reception and making someone miss. Marshall’s longest play from scrimmage was for 46 yards and Bess only had a long of 29 last year! Secondly, if they can improve in the red zone, everyone will be much happier.

Marshall and Bess are a terrific duo and their numbers match up favorably with some of the other top tandems around the league. Here are just a small sample of some of the best the NFL has to offer:

Dallas: Miles Austin (69 for 1,041yards, 15.1 avg, 7TD’s and long of 92 yards for a TD) & Dez Bryant (45 for 561yards, 12.5 avg, 6 TD’s and long of 46).

NY Giants: Hakeem Hicks (79 for 1,052yards, 13.3 avg, 11 TD’s and long of 46 for a TD) & Mario Manningham (60 for 944yards, 15.7 avg, 9TD’s and long of 92 for a TD).

Green Bay: Greg Jennings (76 for 1,265yards, 16.6 avg, 12 TD’s and long of 86 for a TD) & Donald Driver (51 for 565yards, 11.1 avg, 4TD’s and long of 61 for a TD).

Indianapolis: Reggie Wayne (111 for 1,355yards, 12.2 avg, 6TD’s and long of 50 yds) & Pierre Garcon (67 for 784yards, 11.4 avg, 6 TD’s and long of 57 for a TD).

NY Jets: Braylon Edwards (53 for 904yards, 17.1 avg, 7TD’s and long of 74 for a TD) & Santonio Holmes (52 for 746yards, 14.3 avg, 6 TD’s and long of 52 yards).

Pittsburgh: Mike Wallace (60 for 1,257yards, 21.0 avg, 10 TD’s, and long of 56 for a TD) & Hines Ward (59 for 755yards, 12.8 avg, 5TD’s and long of 43 yards).

Baltimore: Anquan Boldin (64 for 837yards, 13.3 avg, 7 TD’s and long of 61yards) & Derrick Mason (61 for 802yards, 13.1 avg, 7TD’s and long of 42yards).

Philadelphia: Jeremy Maclin (70 for 964 yards, 13.8 avg, 10 TD’s and long of 83 for a TD) & DeSean Jackson (47 for 1,056yards, 22.5 avg, 6TD’s and long of 91 for a TD).

Which team do you think has the best one-two punch at WR?

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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.
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Joel says:

i also didnt vote for the phins but wouldve killed to give ricky the career he coulda have if the joint wasnt so dank. same thing is gonna be said in order to have the great tandom at wr we need a qb…. vince young will you come to miami cuz if you can make kenny britt a no namer in my book a someone what do u think could happen to brandon marshall… if we have that deep threat then ricky and ronnie can do the damage we intend on giving and tony sporano plz get rid of the wild cat cuz miami is a mud and guts team since day one can we come back to that and play smash mouth football…
1 love (miami)

Spurticus says:

Life long Dolphins fan in Colts country. I didn’t vote for the Fins. :( I hate to sound like a naysayer but, you have to block up front and give your QB time to pass and or have some sort of running game to set up the pass. You can’t count catches and TDs if you are fighting from behind against a (for lack of a better word “prevent” defense and don’t win the game.
Voted for Dwight Stephenson for best offensive lineman. Goooooo Dolphins!!!!!!!! Make us proud!

I think I’m going to be going to a TON of games this year! Excitement is in the air!

crableg says:

i am a life long phins fan since 1971 . i would have voted for them ,they had great stats except the one that matters all the other tandems had at least 12 and one had 20 touchdowns phins only had 8.