Sunday's Matchups From "Rocky Mountain News"

Muck

Now completely imaginary
Hammered
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Messages
30,528
Reaction score
7
Location
Elsewhere
Matchups
October 11, 2002

When the Broncos run Advantage: EVEN

• Analysis: The Dolphins' defensive philosophy against the run is predicated on defensive tackles Tim Bowens and Larry Chester keeping offensive linemen away from middle linebacker Zach Thomas, left, allowing him to make tackles. It's working. Thomas, with 49 stops, has 10 more than any other Dolphins player. Only the Colts' Edgerrin James (34 carries, 138 yards) has enjoyed significant success rushing against a unit that ranks No. 4 in the league. Denver's Clinton Portis might be able to find success using his exceptional speed on the edges because Miami's outside linebackers aren't particularly active vs. the run.

• Fast fact: Portis leads all Broncos with 357 yards from scrimmage (306 rushing, 51 receiving).

When the Broncos pass Advantage: DOLPHINS

• Analysis: The Dolphins have the best cornerback tandem in the NFL in Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain, who returned Sunday after a two-week absence and immediately made an impact with an interception. Broncos quarterback Brian Griese will attempt to continue the good rhythm he has had the past six quarters. During that span, he has completed 50 of 72 passes for 548 yards, with three TDs and three interceptions. Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith is nursing a shoulder separation.

• Fast fact: Madison is tied with Oakland's Rod Woodson for the most interceptions in the NFL the past five seasons with 23.

When the Dolphins run Advantage: EVEN

• Analysis: Ricky Williams, left, already has four 100-yard games in five weeks, putting him one short of the Miami record with 11 games to go. Playing at 230 pounds, 20 pounds lighter than his 2001 weight, Williams also has shown speed in the open field. He carried a season-most 36 times Sunday against New England, averaging 2.9 yards an attempt in gaining 105. Denver's per-play yield of 3.2 is best in the NFL.

• Fast fact: Baltimore's Jamal Lewis (25 carries, 78 yards) is the only running back this season to carry the ball more than 14 times against Denver.

When the Dolphins pass Advantage: BRONCOS

• Analysis: Because Miami has trailed only once this season, it has been able to keep quarterback Jay Fiedler out of situations where he is called upon to win the game largely himself. Wide receiver Chris Chambers has been hot the past two weeks (12 catches, 164 yards, one TD), but rookie tight end Randy McMichael is the team's go-to receiver with three of Miami's five receiving TDs. Denver's pass defense ranks 18th overall but that number is misleading. Opponents have been forced to throw because they can't run, and the Broncos are allowing only 8.9 yards a completion, seventh best in the league.

• Fast fact: Denver's Deltha O'Neal has three interceptions, tying him with two others for second in the AFC. Kansas City's Greg Wesley leads with four.

Special teams Advantage: BRONCOS

• Analysis: The Broncos rebounded from their horrid performance at Baltimore with a punt block for a safety against San Diego and a solid effort in coverage. Deltha O'Neal, left, also seems to have gotten the message and gone more north-south on punt returns, with 24- and 14-yard efforts the past two games. Miami lost punt and kickoff returner Albert Johnson because of a knee injury and Sunday split those duties between Travis Minor and Dedric Ward, who fumbled against New England. The Dolphins' Olindo Mare has missed three field-goal attempts, one more than his 2001 total, and had an extra point blocked. Jason Elam has been money inside 42 yards but struggled recently from long distance, with misses from 49, 57 and 43 yards.

• Fast fact: Elam's first extra point Sunday gave him 1,000 career points in his 145th game. Only Gino Cappelletti (140) reached that milestone quicker.

Intangibles Advantage: DOLPHINS

• Analysis: The Dolphins have won 12 of 13 regular-season games against the AFC West since 1997, with the only loss coming to Kansas City on Sept. 29. That streak includes three consecutive wins against Denver, which hasn't beaten Miami in non-postseason competition since Oct. 27, 1968.

• Fast fact: The Broncos have gone 4-0 when leading after three quarters this season and 66-7 overall since Mike Shanahan arrived as coach in 1995.

Lee Rasizer's prediction

• Broncos 20, Dolphins 17

These teams are a lot alike, with effective running attacks, stingy run defenses and passing games that emphasize sound management and few risks by their quarterback. Both teams will attempt to shut down the other's rushing attack and make the opposing quarterback try to do too much. Brian Griese gets a slight nod over Jay Fiedler if that's the case in what could be a physical, low-scoring battle.




BTW - Sorry, but the link doesn't seem to be working.
 

dolphan39

Maria & LauRen Aha!
Joined
Sep 4, 2001
Messages
13,973
Reaction score
2
Age
57
Location
CT
Originally posted by Muck
Matchups

Fast fact: The Broncos have gone 4-0 when leading after three quarters this season and 66-7 overall since Mike Shanahan arrived as coach in 1995.

BTW - Sorry, but the link doesn't seem to be working.
I cannot find it either :rolleyes:

solid analysis just got the score wrong, it s/b 20-17 Phins ;)

We betta get a lead before the 4th Q...
 
Top Bottom