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December 7th, 2014 · No Comments

1:00 PM, Sunday December 7, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium

The NFL Playoffs may be several weeks away, but make no mistake: for both of these teams, the post-season push starts now. While Finfans may not be overjoyed with the way their team merely edged the hapless Jets on MNF last week, the loyal locals must be grateful for the chance to entrench themselves as a Wild Card frontrunner with a signature win against the Ravens at home.

The Dolphins are a 3-point favorite mainly because of the home venue, which will come in handy against a Baltimore team that blew a commanding lead at home last week only to suffer a devastating one-point loss to the Chargers (who we beat 37-0). There’s something else really huge in favor of the host team, and that would be the ginormous void in the Ravens’ DF which will be sans Haloti Ngata (suspended for year). Nagta is arguably the best NT in the league and the primary reason BAL is No. 1 against the run. So what can the Fins’ Defense expect from the Pro Bowl NT this week? Answer: Zilch, Zip, Ngata!

The absence of Ngata may indeed serve to alter the Fins’ offensive game plan going in. What otherwise may have been an all-out aerial attack on a young and vulnerable Ravens defensive backfield, may now present an opportunity for more balance and the prospect for play-action passes. The obvious beneficiary is the run-game led by constantly improving RB L. Miller and underrated backup D. Thomas. I would still expect QB Tanny to pick on the BAL DBs, especially with TE Clay possibly returning from injury, and targeting the Wallace-Landry WR combo ad nauseam. Just watch out for DE Dumervill and LB Suggs who can disrupt any passing attack while causing chaos-induced turnovers. The MIA O-Line will certainly have its hands full with this group.

The Fins’ D may get CB Finnegan back from injury as well, which would help out a great deal against QB Flacco and company. The Ravens feature the Smiths (Torrey and Steve – not related) who can burn opposing defenses deep and over the middle for chunk yardage. CB Grimes will need to play a solid game, and I expect he will. The question is will his CB counterpart be Cortland or RJ Stanford? Another key will be stopping red-hot RB J.Forsett who is among the league leaders in rushing yards. Forsett will be featured both rushing and out of the backfield on screens all day. Overachieving LB J. Jenkins will be called upon frequently to make plays to keep Forsett in check. Pressuring Flacco will be the other key, and in front of the home crowd, DE’s Wake and Vernon always seem to play their best.

Miami will have a full house with energy galore for this marquis playoff-feel matchup. The victor will likely make the Playoffs while the loser sits home come January. I believe Philbin’s group does just enough to get it done with a balanced effort on both sides of the ball. There is one X factor for Baltimore on special teams: Jacoby Jones. If MIA limits his production, 8-5 and a driver’s ticket to the postseason awaits.


12/7 1:00 ET At Miami -3 Baltimore 45.5 MIA
12/7 1:00 ET At Cincinnati -3 Pittsburgh 47 CIN
12/7 1:00 ET Indianapolis -3.5 At Cleveland 50 CLE
12/7 1:00 ET Houston -6 At Jacksonville 42 JAC
12/7 1:00 ET At Tennessee PK NY Giants 45.5 NYG
12/7 1:00 ET At New Orleans -10 Carolina 49.5 N.O.
12/7 1:00 ET At Detroit -10 Tampa Bay 41.5 DET
12/7 1:00 ET St. Louis -3 At Washington 44.5 STL
12/7 1:00 ET At Minnesota -6 NY Jets 40 MIN
12/7 4:05 ET At Denver -9.5 Buffalo 48 DEN
12/7 4:05 ET At Arizona PK Kansas City 40.5 ARZ
12/7 4:25 ET San Francisco -8 At Oakland 41 OAK
12/7 4:25 ET At Philadephia -1 Seattle 48 PHI
12/7 8:30 ET New England -3.5 At San Diego 51.5 NE
12/8 8:30 ET At Green Bay -12.5 Atlanta 56 GB


QB: Hoyer, Eli, Cam, McCoy, Kap

RB: Hill, Herron, Crowell* (Q), Ingram, Mason, Morris, Gore, Blount

WR: Wallace, Landry, T.Smith, A.Johnson, Britt, Stills, Wright* (Q), Crabtree, Garcon, Baldwin, Adams, Sanu, Moncrief

TE: Clay* (Q), Miller, Olsen, J.Reed, Rudolph, Gates

DF: Broncos, Lions, Texans, Eagles, Packers, 49′ers, Vikings, Saints, Cardinals

That’s all for now. Remember to Like me on Facebook; Follow me on Twitter @Footballnutsy, and read my blog at .

Good Luck!

Related posts:

  2. Miller’s Week 7 NFL, Fins & Fantasy
  3. Miller’s Week 10 Fins & Fantasy
  5. Miller’s Week 14 Fins Analysis and Prediction

Tags: Cool Topics · Eric Miller · Sports

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