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Congemi’s Keys: Miami at San Diego
By on September 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

Through three weeks it hasn’t been too much fun for the coaches, players and yes, us, the fans of the Miami Dolphins. It must stop this Sunday in San Diego, period! The Dolphins have a chance to turn around their entire season with a victory out west, and restore some confidence inside the locker room going into the bye week. It isn’t going to be easy, but this is a league where nothing is given and everything is earned! Here’s my take on some of the keys to victory on Sunday.

1) Score 24! – Let’s face it, the Miami Dolphins offense has improved from last season, but this group isn’t taking advantage of it’s scoring opportunities. It’s been well documented how they have stalled in the red-zone and turned six points into missed field goals. San Diego hasn’t been a scoring machine on offense either averaging only 21.7 points through three games. Plan and simple, Miami cannot leave points on the field Sunday and win! The Dolphins are averaging 17.7 points per contest and that needs to change no matter who the opposition is week in and week out. This doesn’t only fall on the offense because San Diego is first in the league converting on third down (62 percent), so Jason Taylor, Cam Wake and the boys need to find a way to get off of the field as well. If Miami can improve on their execution in the red-zone, and score 24, they have a great chance for victory.

2) Kick’em While They’re Down! – In three games, the Chargers are minus six in the turnover margin and that’s a good sign for the Dolphins! Quarterback Phillip Rivers has played well, but not at his normal level and the numbers show it. Rivers is 20 points lower in his quarterback rating then his normal numbers, and has forced the football on multiple occasions. He’s also playing without his security blanket in tight end Antonio Gates, who is suffering from a foot (plantar fascia) injury. Gates sat out last week against Kansas City and hasn’t practiced at all this week. Safety Bob Sanders has been placed on injured reserve, and they only have five healthy defensive lineman going into Sunday’s match-up! It is imperative¬†that Miami starts fast on both sides of the football and gets field position on special teams, because the Chargers have already given up a kickoff return for a touchdown and big gains on punt return. Can anyone say Reggie Bush!¬†

3) Play With Confidence – Everyone talks about swagger and you need that “look” at game time! Sorry, but you only feel or look that way when you’re winning. That stuff is easy to say and much harder to do when you’re 0-3! Can Miami erase the feeling of losing and not finishing off games, and start fresh on Sunday at San Diego? That’s what needs to happen and that will be the job of this coaching staff and more importantly, the players on the field. As much as fans would like to blame management, coaching staffs, etc, the players on the field need to turn this momentum around and execute. It’s that simple, can Miami outperform San Diego on Sunday? Will someone step up and make a play that makes a difference in winning or losing. It’s the penalties, missed tackles, blown assignments that have held this team back. Take care of yourself and that should be enough to take care of the Chargers!¬†

What do you think is the #1 Key for the Dolphins on Sunday?

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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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chadhenneleadus2011 says:

victor why post or follow the team if they have no chance of winning? I dont understand some of these fans, claim to be fans but spew nothing but negativity. Their are 31 other teams u can cheer for if this one irritates u. If its the same as last year then u should be used to it by now so why are u surprised?

Victor says:

You want to believe,… We want to think it’s going to happen,… but it’s not
I am done believing the Dolphins will beat anyone after Cleveland, and no the offense is no better than it was last year. Sure there are new faces, and the team is running different plays, but it’s still the same offense. They can move the ball but they can’t score. They can’t convert 3rd downs, and they can’t deliver in the 4th quarter. The defense has also done little to believe they can overcome an injured yet high energy offense.

This team needs a new quarterback. I know Henne is NOT the problem right now, but all-in-all he’s not the solution either. In this league you either have solutions or you have problems at that position. I could not tell what disappointed me more (last week) the defenses last appearance or the offense.

So lets talk about what will happen:
Thomas will run well early and the defense will keep the Chargers flat for the better part of the 1st half. We’ll have multiple drives lead us inside the Red Zone, and we’ll capitalize with field goals. We’ll probably miss one too; probably outside of the 50 yard range. We’ll feel better with a nice 12 point lead or so, and maybe even a shut-out going. Then,… things will start falling into place.

Rivers will lead his team to a late 1st half touchdown drive. He’ll make it clear across the field in 45 seconds. The second half will start with repeated three and outs on offense, the defense will start allowing scoring drives, but not touchdowns. The offense may eat another 4-5 min off the clock pulling out another semi-impressive drive, and of course score a “field goal”.

As the time winds down to 4th quarter the Dolphins will still be on top, but by everyone will feel confident that the Chargers will win. Sure enough, this is the moment when the Rivers gets his big play with V. Jackson on the receiving end. The Dolphins will try to comeback, but they’ll ultimately turn the ball over (interception), when there is little time left on the clock. Time management will be a problem, at the end, and I don’t except we’ll have any extra time-outs to help us. We’ll turn off our TV sets as the Chargers are counting off the seconds until their 3 win of the season.

So, again, how is this stroy any different than last year,… time to turn the page

joezfins says:

It seems the Fans are getting fed up and I am on of them and I don’t blam them. Every year we are going through the same thing. and If you have been a fan as long as I have been, (Since 68) Then you would be frustrated too. Even with Marino we didn’t get a Superbowl win! Even in the Superbowl! So it’s got to it’s boiling point. These owners are cheap and disgusting. It seams that the dolphins are just a team that owners are just raking in the money and not putting it in to the team.
A proven fact that Ross is hording money. He is more worried about his celebs than his players. It’s actually a joke now especially if they lose this week, when the Finz go back home the seats should be empty, at least that’s what I would tell the fans to do! Why support an owner who does not want to put money into the team that the fans are paying good money to see win..it’s total B.S.