Sunday, September 29, 2013
W2W4: Dolphins at Saints
By James Walker
NEW ORLEANS -- The undefeated Miami Dolphins (3-0) will travel to play the New Orleans Saints (3-0) in a huge game on “Monday Night Football.”
Kickoff is scheduled at 8:25 p.m. ET. Here are three things to watch from Miami’s perspective:
1. Controlling the pace: The Dolphins have a tall task of keeping the high-powered Saints under control. New Orleans will feed off its rowdy crowd and try to put the game out of reach early. It will be up to Miami to control the pace. The Dolphins must run the ball much better, play tough defense and control the clock. Miami has been a second-half team all year, outscoring opponents 41-16, and has a chance to pull off the upset if it is within striking distance late. This will be a big game for Dolphins running backs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas.
2. Tannehill Time: Miami second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill will play for the first time on “Monday Night Football.” Tannehill has been one of the NFL’s pleasant surprises through three weeks. He actually has a higher passer rating (94.3) than New Orleans Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Bress (91.4) thus far. Tannehill will need another strong performance against the Saints. He already owns head-to-head victories over Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan this season.
3. Guarding Graham: The Dolphins have had issues defending tight ends. That’s bad news for Miami’s defense. The Dolphins will attempt to slow down New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham, who is arguably the best tight end in the NFL. Graham is coming off a monster game in Week 3. He caught nine passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Arizona Cardinals.