Five things the Miami Dolphins (5-7) need to do to win their fifth straight game and beat the New York Giants (4-7) at Hard Rock Stadium in Week 13:
Make the attack of the giants one-dimensional
The Giants are averaging 90.8 yards and 3.84 yards per try this season, but those difficulties can be attributed to the lack of a healthy Saakwon Barkley for most of the season. The Giants player kicked off the season with a cruciate ligament injury shortening his 2020 season and then missed four games this year with an ankle sprain. He has slowly moved backwards in the last two games, making 65 yards with 19 carries and catching 10 assists at 44 yards. Earlier this season, the Dolphins gave Jonathan Taylor a breakout match for the Colts, and he has taken the league ever since. Miami, which allows 104.9 yards per game and 4.3 yards per try, cannot afford the other elite to come back to force them against them.
Make the Giants quarterback awkward
A neck injury could prevent Daniel Jones from playing Sunday’s game, but the approach shouldn’t change whether Mike Glennon starts or not. The Dolphins need to aggressively pursue the one behind the center of the Giants, who have a powerful attacking line with two talented qualifiers. But the Dolphins have a story with Matt Skura, who starts out as a left guard after a dolphin training camp and needs to know how to attack an offensive apprentice guard with turns and tricks. Glennon is a statue in his pocket, unlike Jones. During his eight-year career, he was fired 6.9% of attempts. But, to Glennon’s credit, he doesn’t intercept often (27 out of 1005 regular-season attempts).
Provide Tua Tagovailoa with adequate protection
Tagovailoa makes 70.5% of passes at 7.3 yards per attempt. He has thrown it 1701 yards on 10 touchdowns and six interceptions and has been sacked 10 times in eight games this season. The quick decisions he makes, as well as the pocket-sized presence and precision he possesses, have led to his success this season when he was healthy. The only thing that can derail this game is Miami’s terrifying offensive play. Last week, the Dolphins dropped two bags before pulling up. The Dolphins need to improve their attacking play further, especially in the attacking tackles of Liam Eichenberg and Jesse Davis, who collectively allowed 15 of the 29 sacks that Miami has given up this season. This year, the Giants have registered only 21 bags.
Score at least 21 points
The Dolphins have scored 22 points or more in the past three weeks, coinciding with Tagovailoa’s return to the starting lineup. Miami’s 42% conversion rate in the third drop has improved dramatically as Tagovailoa lags behind the center. His stable presence gives the team a chance to end the game with points. And Miami’s efficiency in the red zone (58% TD) and sharpness (75% TD) show that offense is improving. The Giants hit 38% of their third-down opportunities, and 52.2% of their redzone opportunities turned into touchdowns, corresponding to eighth in the NFL, three spots behind the Dolphins (51.1%).
Race over 100 yards
Last week, the Dolphins averaged over 100 yards for the fourth time this season, hitting 111 against 39 carries against the Panthers. While the average yards per try (2.8) was disappointing, the effort to maintain offensive balance was admirable. The appearance of Philip Lindsay in last week’s offense (42 yards on 12 clearances) indicates that there may be more former professional bowler who was called for a waiver. Lindsay could open up to play outside the zone, and that could benefit this offense, which is averaging 3.4 yards per carry (31st) this season. The Giants are ranked 27th compared to running, allowing 4.5 yards per try and 127.7 yards per game.