Buccaneers Opponent Film Study: 2017 Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins defense hasn’t been very good at stopping opposing running backs, and this bodes well for the Buccaneers as they continue to try and get their running game going.
Last week, Doug Martin tallied just over 50-yards rushing on 20 carries. Those aren’t very encouraging numbers. However, this could be a breakout week for the sixth year back.
However, this isn’t the biggest thing I saw when I watched the All-22 from Miami’s loss to Oakland earlier this year.
I chose this game, because I think this year’s Oakland team is the closest resemblance to the Bucs’ which the Dolphins have played in recent weeks.
Here’s what I saw.
For the record, I want to see this called as the Bucs’ first offensive play against the Dolphins this Sunday.
Here, tight end Jared Cook is lined up outside, and draws linebacker Kiko Alonso as his defender. The Raiders have three receivers lined up at the bottom of the screen to draw the attention of the secondary and essentially force the defense to either leave Cook one-on-one or leave the deep middle or left of their coverage open for faster receivers to take advantage of.
As the play develops, Derek Carr reads the safety crashing down to cover the middle intermediate portion of the offensive play while the Dolphins drop their other safety into single-high coverage. This puts both outside receivers in man coverage, and here Cook looks to be going into a break.
However, the double move is on, and because Alonso bites on the first move Cook gets great position on him and Carr drops the ball right over the tight end for a huge gain. In total, the play covers 35-yards and only ends because Cook isn’t quite agile enough to turn it up field.
While he runs out of bounds here, a tight end like O.J. Howard would have a shot at turning the reception up the sideline and getting substantially more yards before the safety reaches him.
Like I said, I’d love to see this play first thing Sunday with DeSean Jackson manning the other outside receiver position. If the Dolphins safety recognizes the action and cheats towards Howard, then Jackson would likely have a clear route to the deep part of the field for Ryan Fitzpatrick to hit him with a deep ball early on.
Must Read: Week 11 Fantasy Advice
This Cook mismatch on Dolphins linebackers would be seen again. And again. Oh, then there were the other times it was also seen in addition to those.
In total, Cook brought in eight passes for 126 receiving yards. His fantasy football owners were certainly frustrated by the lack of touchdowns I’m sure, but his team was more than happy to have his production help them pull out a 27-24 win.
Howard and fellow tight end Cameron Brate are each significantly more talented than the Raiders’ Mr. Cook, and should be able to find these same mismatches.
If planned out right, then the Dolphins will have no choice but to provide their linebackers with help coverage which just makes things easier for the likes of Jackson and star receiver Mike Evans.