The Dolphins

The Dolphins

  • From The Athletic's Pat McManamon:

    "[Ryan] Fitzpatrick has faced the Browns six times in his career and won five, including five in a row...and he guided the offenses of the Jets and Bills to 86 points in the past three games (just short of 27 per game)...Fitzpatrick completed 71 percent and threw for 323 yards in Sunday’s loss to Buffalo."

    But he was also sacked seven times against the Bills and threw no touchdowns. The Dolphins scored 20 points but gave up 37 to a team that is below average offensively, averaging 21 points.

    The Dolphins are playing better lately, having won two of their last three, with wins over the Jets and Colts. They're averaging only 13.9 ppg for the season but have been way better the last three games, averaging just under 27 as McManamon pointed out.

    Their recent success has not extended to the running game. The Dolphins had 13 carries for 23 yards against the Bills. They're dead last in the NFL in rushing average at 3.0 ypc. They're also last in rushing attempts per game. They're terrible at running the ball and they know it. They only try about 20 times per game.

    Their passing game has improved dramatically since Fitzpatrick replaced Josh Rosen. Fitz's QB rating is 79.9 as opposed to 52.0 for Rosen. Fitzpatrick will turn 37 years old on Sunday. He's been sacked 18 times in the last four games. Since becoming a starter he's averaging almost 37 pass attempts per game. With Fitz starting the Dolphins are averaging 19.4 ppg versus 8.4 ppg with Rosen.

    The Bills have a good pass defense, ranking 4th in opposing passer rating. But Fitz has had two pretty good games against them, throwing for 282 and 323 yards. However, he only has one TD in 80 passes against the Bills while the Dolphins scored 20 and 21 points. He gets yards but not many TD's and he's been taking a lot of sacks. This season he has only 8 TD's in 253 passes. However, his success against the Browns in the past has me worried, especially with Garrett out.

    FWIW, Fitzpatrick is listed as questionable for this game. He was limited in practice today with a shoulder/forearm problem.

    The Dolphins defense is giving up 30.5 ppg, second worst. Their run defense ranks 25th at 4.7 yards per carry. Opponents run the ball 49% of the time, second only to Cincinnati. The Fins know the run is coming but they can't stop it.

    Their pass defense isn't much better as they rank 30th in opponent passer rating. Only Cincinnati and Arizona are worse. Since we have three games against them, Baker has a chance to really salvage his stats before the season is over.

    In term of sack percentage Miami is dead last and it's not that close. Baker should have lots of time to throw. Their secondary is down three starters. From ESPN:

    "The Dolphins placed veteran safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on injured reserve this week, making secondary a glaring issue for this team Sunday and moving forward. That makes three starters, including Xavien Howard, in the secondary gone for the season. Who will replace the two safeties? Versatile defensive back Eric Rowe is likely to move into a full-time safety role, with Steven Parker stepping in to the spot opposite him."

    They can't stop the run, they can't get to the QB, and their starting secondary is almost entirely wiped out. They just gave up 37 points to Buffalo. Wow.

    Miami is also last in turnover margin per game a -1.3. They're last in takeaways per game.

    Unfortunately for the Browns they won't have Garrett or Ogunjobi and Vernon did not practice Wednesday so it appears he won't play. Some backup DL's are going to have to step up against a QB that has consistently put up big numbers against the Browns, although with a better supporting cast, obviously.

    By the way, Landry, OBJ, Bitonio, Schobert, and Vernon are all listed as questionable.

    With the Browns playing at home and with 10 days to prepare there is no excuse for not having a big offensive day both rushing and receiving and blowing out the Dolphins. They obviously won't be able to get as much pressure on Fitzpatrick as when they had Garrett and Vernon, but the Bills got sacks from eight different players last week so the Browns should be able to look at that film and scheme ways to pressure him.

  • Discussion
  • As usual, I expect the Browns to play down to their competition. They'll win, but it'll be a lot closer than it should be.

  • "With David Njoku set to return this week or next, the Browns offense will have their entire complement of weapons at Mayfield's disposal."

    For the first time this season the Browns will have Njoku, OBJ, Landry, Higgins, Chubb, and Hunt all available to play in the same game.

    From the Fred Greetham column:

    "Freddie Kitchens thinks the offense is starting to turn the corner and play much better and more consistently than they did for the the first half of the season."

    So we have three things coming together at the same time: The offense starting to "turn the corner", the Browns getting ALL their skill position players back (except for Callaway who got cut), and the easiest portion of the schedule. Also, they just beat the Bills and Steelers - two teams with winning records. The elements are in place for a strong finish to the season. I don't expect them to beat the Ravens, who are playing better than any team in football, but they should win the other four five games, even the Steelers game in Pittsburgh.

    Penalties and turnovers are down. Mayfield is getting better protection and Hunt is making a big difference on offense. Both starting corners are back. The only negatives are the Garrett suspension and the Burnett and Vernon injuries.

  • Use safety blitzes. Play the run on the way to the QB. Use the 3-5-3 and 1-5-5, as they can't run.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rowe

    Good vet defender.
    I'd almost be tempted to sign Whitehead again for depth but that guy was a turd off the field...ugh we need bodies.

  • Fitzmagic is the reincarnation of Dave Krieg. For those of you to young to remember - he was the streakiest QB of all time. He was either ice cold terrible, or the 2nd coming of Joe Montana.

    Don't give him chances to go deep or he will bomb the crap out of you. The Dolphins still have a competent WR core.

    They need to blitz the piss out of him early to get him out of rhythm.

  • shiplett77 said... (original post) Fitzmagic is the reincarnation of Dave Krieg. For those of you to young to remember - he was the streakiest QB of all time. He was either ice co...

    With no Garrett or Vernon I agree that blitzing may be the only way to pressure Fitz and I expect to see a pretty decent amount of blitzing by the Browns.

  • shiplett77 said... (original post) Fitzmagic is the reincarnation of Dave Krieg. For those of you to young to remember - he was the streakiest QB of all time. He was either ice co...

    I remember him! They they replaced him with Rick Mirer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXQPoTKywv4

    Quincy's breakdown:

    Browns need to limit mistakes, pass to a lead, and run to the win.

    Browns D is vulnerable but can manufacture pressure if we are smart. Taki and rookies need to step up.

    But getting to 5-6 would keep the team motivated and hungry going into the Steelers matchup.

  • kosartoslaughter said... (original post) I remember him! They they replaced him with Rick Mirer.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXQPoTKywv4Quincy's breakdown:Browns need to l...

    Dolphins run defense is awful. The Browns need to take full advantage and bludgeon them with Chubb and Hunt while mixing in some shots down the field. Landry should have a big day against his former team. I agree with the commentator who said this could be a coming out party for the Browns offense. They've been playing nothing but tough defenses and the Dolphins defense pales in comparison to what they've been facing. They've gone up against four top-ten defenses in four games since the break. Finally they get a defense they should be able to have a lot of success against.

    The Browns defense is depleted, missing three starters on the DL, but otherwise they're good. Burnett went on IR but he's nothing special. However, the video pointed out that Fitzpatrick has put up very good numbers from a clean pocket so Wilks has to make sure he doesn't have all day to throw or he will do some damage. I'm looking for a lot of blitzing. Mack Wilson has been effective and I also expect some corner blitzes.

    The video said the Dolphins are down to two cornerbacks. OBJ and Landry should be open. It will be interesting to see who the Browns' third receiver is - Higgins or Hodge. The Browns picked up Hodge because they like his speed and he got open deep and made a big play last week.

    Hunt could have another big game catching passes out of the backfield. He's caught 13 in his first two games and he can make tacklers miss.

  • I'm hoping this will be OBJ's breakout game. He's starting to emerge a bit. In his last five games he's averaged 5 catches for 71 yards - not what we expected, but getting better. Pluto had this:

    "Early in the season it seemed Beckham either wasn’t sure of all the plays, or Mayfield had a hard time figuring out what the receiver was doing when running certain routes. There were times early in the year when it appeared Mayfield or Jarvis Landry were helping Beckham know where to line up before the snap.

    It’s no shock Beckham and Mayfield have had trouble connecting on passes. Beckham missed nearly all of the voluntary workouts. He was battling minor injuries in the preseason, played in no exhibition games and missed a number of practices. He was not on the field much for 11-on-11 drills before the regular season.

    Even now, it doesn’t seem Beckham and Mayfield operate even close to the same level as Mayfield and Landry. It obviously helped that Landry and Mayfield are in their second season together."

    Considering he was dealing with minor injuries in training camp and missed a lot of drills and all the exhibition games, plus being on a new team, it's not surprising he and Mayfield got off to a slow start. Also, the Browns have been playing some tough defenses. But I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm hoping that the Dolphins weak and injury depleted secondary will be just what OBJ needs to have a big game and get him going for the stretch run.

  • FFS, they need to just have OBJ run some hitch-n-gos and fly routes. Not hard to know where he'll be on those, and Mayfield can just toss up the deep ball and let Beckham go get it. Work some picks out of trip formations and put him on a mid level slant or a deep post. If the complicated timing routes aren't clicking, keep it simple and let Beckham and Mayfield's natural talents take over until better chemistry can develop.

  • In simple terms, the Dolphins' defense is the worst in the league, ranking 32nd in DVOA. And they just put their two safeties on IR.

    Their offense is better, but not much, ranking 30th.

    They are last in turnover differential.

    If the Browns don't win this game convincingly, especially playing at home with 10 days to prepare, Kitchens should be fired on the spot.

    The Browns are the only NFL team wtih no turnovers in the last three games. Penalties have also declined significantly. If they can continue those trends today it's hard to imagine them losing.

    Penn State was only able to keep the score respectable against Ohio State because the Buckeyes lost three fumbles. As long as the Browns don't cough it up three times this should be a W.

    The one potential problem is the fact that the three missing defensive linemen (Garrett, Ogun, and Vernon) account for 18 of the team's 30 sacks this year, or 60%. Ryan Fitzpatrick ranks 12th in the league passing from a clean pocket, according to ProFootballFocus. If the Browns are not able to pressure him and he has time to throw he's capable of throwing for 400 yards. He's won five of his six starts against the Browns. I'd be a lot more confident if Garrett and Vernon were suiting up.

    But they're not, so I'm expecting something of a high scoring game. This isn't Mason Rudolph with his top two receivers and his starting running back out. I think Fitz is going to do some damage through the air. The key will be to prevent TD passes - he's only thrown eight this year. He's better at gaining yardage than putting points on the board.

    David Njoku isn't active. Apparently Freddie is leery of rushing a player back onto the field as soon as he's cleared to play. They did that with Callaway and it was a disaster.

    Chubb should have a big day, possibly taking over the NFL rushing lead. He's behind the leader by 48 yards.

    For the first time this year the Browns get to play a bad defense. So far this season the Browns have faced defenses ranked 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, and 21 in DVOA by Football Outsiders. Six of ten games against top-10 defenses and three more against above average defenses. The worst defense they've played was the Seahawks, ranked 21st. The Browns scored 28 points against them without Kareem Hunt. Miami is 32nd and now the Browns have Hunt. This should be interesting.

    This post was edited by PROSECUTOR 2 months ago

  • Being a Browns' fan, I will always find a reason to worry. This morning it's our depleted pass rush vs Fitzmagic. Phins have decent receivers, we let the Harvard Beard sit back in the pocket too long and we night find ourselves in a shootout.

    I do agree though, we need to dominate. A narrow win won't feel that good at all.

  • Pros - "If the Browns don't win this game convincingly, especially playing at home with 10 days to prepare, Kitchens should be fired on the spot."

    GF - "I do agree though, we need to dominate. A narrow win won't feel that good at all."

    While I admire the optimism....and hope like hell you guys are right....I don't think this team has earned the right to think they can walk over any team in the league. The Dolphins may be lacking in talent....but, they've won 2 out of their last 3 including a road win over the Colts, they play hard, and Fitzpatrick is 5-1 against us lifetime (that's sad).

    In addition, we've got a defense devastated by injuries and suspensions. I'll take a win any damn way we can get it....and be happy about it. Altho, I won't be complaining if we do manage to really get over on em.....Lol.

    This game has all the makings of a potential trap game....coming in between the two Squeeler games and on top of all the emotion that has been expended on the Myles incident.

  • TheDutchman said... (original post) Pros - "If the Browns don't win this game convincingly, especially playing at home with 10 days to prepare, Kitchens should be fired ...

    SD

    Preach ........

    Thinking we’re better than another squad on paper has brought us too this point we can’t lose another game .

    Not disputing the Prosecutirs math , but Game has more than valid reasons for his trepidation outlined earlier by Poppas quip expecting us to play down to our competition

    Myself I see both sides but I think we roll these muthas today

    Finally these pups grow up

  • Happily, the fears of a letdown were largely unfounded.....altho, the 2nd half was a little disconcerting. They did what they needed to do.....put a bad team out of their misery early and then coasted to the house.

    Sets up a big one next week.....the Squeelers benched Rudolph in the 2nd half today so we may not even see him next week. I wish we could bottle some of the calls that we got today, that we don't normally get, and save em for next week.

  • The pups on the DL stepped up. Some of these names I've never heard of. Somebody named Ankou started at DE. He's a UDFA signed off the Jags' practice squad. Brandin Bryant, age 26, played in his first NFL game yesterday after being cut by two teams. Bryan Cox, age 25, is the veteran of the group, playing in his 20th game.

    Mayfield shredded the Dolphins secondary and Chubb rushed for 106 yards. Things pretty much went according to plan.

    There were some problems. Tretter snapped the ball when Mayfield was looking the other way, resulting in a 19-yard loss that stopped one drive. A trick play was botched, putting the ball on the ground but Mayfield fortunately recovered. Good thing Baker has been practicing fumble recoveries. Mayfield also underthrew a wide open Higgins in the end zone which allowed the DB to get a hand on the ball and cost us four points. He also made a terrible pass on a slant to OBJ that was picked as the Browns were moving in Dolphins territory.

    If not for these mistakes the Browns would have put 50 on the board. All in all it was a good day on both sides of the ball. Now we just need Seibert to figure out how to make field goals in the windy end. Anybody got Matt Stover's phone number?