Dolphins at Seahawks
It’s finally time! The regular season is about to begin, as the Miami Dolphins make the single longest trip in the NFL this year to take on the Seahawks in Seattle. There’s plenty to talk about on both sides of the ball, so let’s get to it.
I get it. Seattle’s offensive line is a question mark. There’s been hundreds of articles on the subject. It’s still a work in progress, and suffered a real setback this week with the injury to Jermain Ifedi. That could be a real problem against the biggest strength of the Miami Dolphins, the defensive line. Not only does the combination of Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, and Ndamukong Suh lead the league in name recognition, they all happen to be excellent football players too. While injuries have prevented that group from spending much time together in the preseason, there is no reason to doubt they will be one of the better units in the NFL. This has the biggest potential to be an issue for the Seahawks.
When looking at the rest of the offense there’s not much to worry about. Russell Wilson will most likely make up for the lackluster line, while the Rawls/Michael Combo should be able to generate yards without much help. The receiving core should be able to take advantage of very average corners. Don’t be surprised if Doug Baldwin in particular is able to use his quickness to create space and make some key plays. Jimmy Graham is probably on a limited snap count, but I don’t expect that to matter much.
Here’s where we have a big mismatch. Dolphin’s Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is still learning the offense of new head coach Adam Gase, and his very first test is a road game throwing into the Legion of Boom. Not a recipe for success. Their best offensive weapon from last year, Lamar Miller, is a Houston Texan now so he’s unlikely to be much help. While Miami possesses a pretty decent offensive line, they are badly overmatched with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and the emerging Frank Clark lined up on the defensive front. Even if the Miami offense has improved, they aren’t prepared for a defense like Seattle Possesses.
The Seahawks haven’t had a slow start to a season in recent years and there is no reason to expect this game to go anyway other than a Seahawks victory. The Seahawks defense is too stifling, the offense has too many weapons, and Russell Wilson is entering this year as a legit MVP candidate. This won’t be a blowout, the Miami defensive line is too good for that, but expect the Seahawks to win handily.
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