The Miami Dolphins (0-7) have been getting closer to putting a 60-minute effort together and capture win number one on the 2011 season. It doesn’t get any easier this Sunday as the Dolphins travel to Kansas City (4-3) to play the Chiefs at 1:00pm. Arrowhead Stadium is not an easy place to play for opposing teams, and the Chiefs are riding a four game winning streak! The Dolphins have split the all-time regular season series and have won seven of the last nine meetings between the two teams. Here are a few things that must happen for Miami to get victory number one!
1) Need Defensive Turnovers – This must be the game that the Dolphins defense makes the difference between winning and losing a football game! Closing out games is a problem, and has been holding this entire team back the last two weeks. The offense must put points on the board in the second half, and the defense must find a way to get off of the field late in the fourth quarter. Opponents are out scoring the Dolphins 59-25 in the fourth quarter, and this defensive unit has only come up with three turnovers through seven games! That must end this Sunday if Miami is going to get the victory. Pressuring Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions) will be paramount, and getting tight coverage on wide outs Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and rookie Jon Baldwin is a must. Bowe (6′-2”) and Baldwin (6′-4”) are tall receivers and we can’t allow them to win the vertical battle for the ball in the air! Pressure equals opportunities for the linebackers and defensive backs, and it’s time to turn up the heat!
2) Slow Down Hali And Flowers – If there are two players on the Chiefs defensive unit to pay particular attention to, it would be outside linebacker Tamba Hali (six sacks, one forced fumble) and defensive back Brandon Fields (four interceptions, one returned for a touchdown). Hali can be a disruptive force coming off the edge because he plays with a blend of strength and speed! He will provide a challenge for either Jake Long or Marc Colombo. Quarterback Matt Moore must stay elusive in the pocket and protect the football at all times this week. He must also account for Fields, who will probably be matched up against wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The Chiefs defense have forced a total of 13 turnovers and have returned two interceptions for defensive scores, so winning the turnover margin as always will lead to success.
3) Continue To Build On The Positives – The Miami Dolphins have played well enough to win over the last two weeks, but haven’t come away with a victory. Last week, the offense found a way to improve in the red-zone (two for two) and converting on third downs (five for seven early, zero for six late) seemed easy in the first half against the New York Giants. Running the football with chunk yardage from Reggie Bush (runs of 35 and 28 yards) helped this offense stay on the field and keep the opposing offence on the sidelines. One unit that must have a great afternoon is the offensive line, not only providing running room, but also allowing Moore to convert down the field and on third downs.
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