With injuries looming on the offensive line, the Miami Dolphins need to find a way to step up their game. The Los Angeles Rams aren’t the strongest team in the NFL, but they’re also not the weakest. If Miami doesn’t bring everything they have the game could quickly slip away. Miami needs key contributors to step up.
Ajayi needs to prove that the run game isn’t built on the success of the offensive line. He’s had a breakout year with the starters healthy. However, Miami will be without starting tackle Brandon Albert and center Mike Pouncey is doubtful. The run game needs to establish it’s dominance against a defense that allows 103 yards per game. If Ajayi can run as hard and fast as he has all season, Miami may have dodged a bullet.
Miami needs their top playmaker to be just that. Adam Gase met with the media and took the blame for Landry’s lack of production. Miami will find ways to get the ball to their top receiver this game more so than the past few weeks. With an injured offensive line, backups will force the offense to work at a faster pace. Expect Ryan Tannehill to either deliver the ball quickly or eat a lot of sacks. Landry will have to find his ways to get open and make short passes big gains.
Now that Dion Sims is no longer in concussion protocol and he’s had a game back under his belt Miami will need him. The tight end position has struggled this year for Miami. Jordan Cameron is lost for the year, Sims missed time with a concussion as well, leaving backups to do the work of starters. While Dominique Jones and MarQueis Gray have done great filling in, Miami needs to have production from the tight ends. Sims have shown his speed and ability in the past, now that he’s atop the depth chart it’s time for it to pay off.
While Miami struggled in the passing game against the Chargers, Tony Lippett still ended up with two of Miami’s four interceptions. The Dolphins need cornerbacks who want to step up and earn the starting job, not only for this season but long term. None of Miami’s defensive backs have shown to be dominant on the field, but as a former wide receiver, Lippett is making strides. Having two interceptions against a quarterback like Philip Rivers can boost a young athlete’s confidence. Should Lippett build on the success of that game, it could be the turning point of his NFL career.
Another star player who could use a turning point in his career. While Parker has struggled with injuries, he’s always shown flashes of talent. Consistency is key for the young receiver. Can he get into a rhythm and connect with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. In what appeared to be a breakout game, Parker had five catches for 103 yards. His longest of the day was 56 yards that put Miami in a position to tie the game. Fans have been waiting for Parker to show why he was selected so high in the draft. A healthy Devante Parker could mean trouble for the Rams.
Now that he’s back in the starting role, Cameron Wake always needs to be accounted for. The Rams don’t have a solid offensive line in front of rookie quarterback Jared Goff. Goff may or may not have the talent to be an NFL star, but he may not be ready. One of the key staples of Wake’s game is the strip sack. Of his 76.5 career sacks, Cameron Wake has 19 forced fumbles(24.8%) and 2 in November so far. If the Rams offensive line breaks down at any point, keep an eye on the ground for the football.
If the Dolphins aren’t careful, they could end up in a trap game. While thinking ahead to your 5th consecutive win, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. Even if star running back, Todd Gurley is hurt he’s still a player the Dolphins will have to be accountable for. Miami needs to keep their heads on this one and needs all their stars to produce. The Rams are hungry to get back on track, and the Dolphins can’t afford too many mistakes. Playmakers need to step up if they want to stay on track.