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Browns @ Dolphins Keys To Game

After an impressive win last week against the mediocre Oakland Raiders, the Dolphins return home this week to face Peyton Hillis and the dangerous Cleveland Browns. While the Browns are only 4-7, they possess the type of team that can ruin a teams playoff aspirations late in the season. Led by Hillis and his MVP-type year he is having, the Browns will be looking to end any hopes the Dolphins have at getting into the playoffs this year tomorrow in Miami.

3. Play Your Style of Game:

With the Browns coming into tomorrows game looking to run the ball and keep the Dolphins offense off the field, Miami will have to try and run the ball themselves, and stick to the gameplan. This Browns team is pretty much a poor mans version of our offense the past two years, trying to emphasize the run and keep the other team off the field, only with Cleveland’s defense slightly  better. With the league’s ninth best rusher in Hillis leading the way against Miami, they will be looking to run the ball, and most likely will gain over 100 yards with our best run-stuffer (Channing Crowder), out for the game. So it will be up to the offense to do their thing, and come back with touchdowns, and not just field goals. We know as good as anyone, that when you let a run-oriented team hang around, they will sooner or later make you pay or at least make it interesting, as we have much of the past two seasons. This is why coming into the game with a gameplan and sticking to it for once. We can not abandon the gameplan this week and try to pass the ball against this team. They will simply keep running the ball down our throats until they win the game. So why not run the ball ourselves and give them a taste of their own medicine with the R&R Express?

2. Brandon Marshall’s Homecoming:

Even despite the big contract and a new team this off-season, wide receiver Brandon Marshall has had some trouble this season, although it has come on the field rather than off of it. Marshall said before the season that he does not care how many touches he gets, as long as the team wins and he gets touchdowns. Well so far this season Marshall has been getting a lot of touches and not enough touchdowns. In fact, he has one. So his comeback this week from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Dolphins victory last week, look for him to be determined to get the ball in the endzone. Not getting him the ball in the red-zone may be one of the biggest factors in our failure to end a drive with 6 points instead of 3.

1. Set The Edge Against Hillis:

Peyton Hillis is at his best when he is able to break tackles on the outside of the field, when he is running towards cornerbacks and safeties. But when he is forced to run inside and the front seven can get him down, that is when he is limited in the extra 4-5 yards after contact that has made his season. So nose tackle Paul Solia will have to have the game of his life tomorrow and set the tone against Hillis. Getting hands on him early on in the run is huge because it slows down his momentum just enough for a linebacker to swoop in and get him down. Allowing him to bust a run outside could be trouble though because of his size advantage over the smaller corners and safeties. While Channing Crowder will miss tomorrow’s game, Tim Dobbins will get the start in his place. The front seven’s main focus will be to simply stop the run at all costs, but if they can set the edge, this means you Cameron Wake and Koa Misi, their jobs will be all the more easier.

Final Prediction:

While the Browns serve as a comptetitive opponent, the Dolphins just have overall more talent than them, and with Jake Delhomme starting for Cleveland, the Dolphins should be able to contain the passing attack and make them one-dimensional. Miami’s main worry should be stopping Hillis, and if they can do that, I think that Miami takes this game, 24-14 and improve to 7-5 on the season.

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