By Maximillian C. Burgos | Staff Writer
Both the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins have had their fair share of struggles so far this season. The Dolphins dropped a divisional game last week against the hapless New York Jets, while the Saints won their first game in a blowout win over the Carolina Panthers. This game should be interesting to watch.
Last week, the Dolphins were simply embarrassed by the Jets. Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi was shutdown. He was held to only 16 yards on 11 carries, before leaving the game with an injury and is questionable for this upcoming game.
Beyond that, the Dolphins defense looked flaccid in its attempted to stop the Jets weak offensive attack. Second-year wide receiver Robby Anderson absolutely blazed the defense for a 69-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Anderson finished the day with three receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler did not look horrible during the game, but he did turnover the ball once with an interception, but he really was not helped by the Dolphins complete inability to run the ball and the defense’s inability to get the ball back for the offense.
One of the only bright spots for the Dolphins was wide receiver DeVante Parker, who caught eight passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Across the field, fellow receiver Jarvis Landry was held to six catches for 48 yards. Kenny Stills did not have a good day either, dropping balls and being held to 51 yards on four catches.
The Saints, on the other hand, are coming off a huge win over the Panthers. Drew Brees threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 22 of his 29 passes. Brees hooked up with Michael Thomas seven times for 87 yards and a touchdown.
The win marks the first for the Saints on the season. The Saints rushing-by-community strategy worked for a decent result against the Panthers. Mark Ingram was the leading rusher with 56 yards on 14 carries. Adrian Peterson also got in on the action with nine carries for 33 yards. Peterson still has not managed to live up to his former workhorse status.
The Saints defense also took some strides this past week sacking the ever-so-elusive Cam Newton four times and forcing three interceptions. Safety Marcus Williams showed his worth as he picked off Newton in spectacular fashion. Williams was known for his ball-hawking ability in college. He barely reeled the ball in with one hand before it hit the ground for his first NFL interception.
After this past week’s performance, the Saints passing attack is still one of the top five in the NFL with their rushing game is now middle of the pack. They are almost Top Ten in scoring, but rank amongst the bottom three in points against. Though, the Saints took some steps forward this past Sunday, there is still a lot of work to be done on defense.
Both teams will be traveling to Wembley Stadium in London, England for this game, yet the Saints are still the heavy favorites according to covers.com. The Saints took two out of the last three matchups by putting up a lot of points up on the board in a hurry.
In the last matchup between these two teams in 2013, the Dolphins secondary was absolutely scorched allowing 387 yards. Both teams are almost completely different from 2013, but the Saints passing attack is still one of the best in the NFL.
This game is going to come down to defense. If the Dolphins defense can hold up against Brees and his dominant passing ability, the Dolphins may stand a chance in this game. If the Saints can bottle up the Dolphins running game and force Cutler to make passes under pressure, the Saints will have this game in the bag.
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