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Ravens Opponent Breakdown: Miami Dolphins


MIAMI GARDEN, Fla. — The Ravens have a tough game in Week 2 against the revamped Miami Dolphins.

For some sort of answer to five major Miami-related questions, we turned to editor Alain Poupart of SI Fan Nation’s sister site, All Dolphins.

1) How much 0 coverage do you expect from the Dolphins in light of last year’s success?

PA: That’s the big question when it comes to this match, isn’t it? There are two schools of thought here, one being that the Dolphins should keep doing it until the Ravens prove they have an answer and the other being that maybe the Dolphins will want to give them some different looks to try and confuse Lamar Jackson and his offensive teammates.

The other important factor here is that Cover 0 is what the Dolphins do best and do as well as any NFL team. That said, I would certainly expect to see a lot of Cover 0 again, and it wouldn’t shock me if it happened with the same frequency as last year.

2) Why is Tua Tagovailoa such a polarizing presence?

PA: Let me start by saying that I would find it hard to believe there could be such a polarizing NFL player as Tua, and I broached the subject in an All Dolphins mailbag during the offseason. Essentially, it boils down to a combination of factors such as the Dolphins’ endless search for a franchise quarterback, exemplified by the fact that the team hasn’t had a Pro Bowl selection in that position since 1995, as well as Tua’s huge success in Alabama, which has convinced some fans that he will automatically be an NFL star no matter what.

But it’s gotten to the point around the Dolphins’ Twitter where it’s impossible to say anything non-complimentary about Tua without getting pushed back by his followers. I mean, there’s a Twitter account called Tuanon, for god’s sake.

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3) What did Tyreek Hill do for the attack?

PA: Speed, speed and more speed. What the Dolphins have done in the offseason brings a lot of speed, not only with Hill but also with Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert in the backfield. But they are actually slow compared to Hill, who is fast in video games. And now, with Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins probably have the fastest WR combo in the NFL, and defenses need to reduce their aggression to some degree or run the risk of getting burned deep.

Hill is also virtually impossible to cover one-on-one as DBs invariably give him plenty of cushion. So it helps in many ways.

4) Besides Cover 0, how will the Dolphins attack Lamar Jackson?

PA: I’m not exactly sure about that one, though I imagine they would have a spy to prevent the quarterback’s long runs. They could also try to confuse him and run back into the area, although that’s not their preferred method of playing defense.

5) Miami struggled with running play last week and the Ravens have one of the best defenses in the NFL. How will it affect the game if the Dolphins have to rely solely on throwing the ball against the revamped, but possibly injured, Ravens secondary?

PA: First of all, the Dolphins don’t want to rely solely on throwing the ball and they won’t get there until the score gives them a choice. Even if they fail to run the ball, they will continue as long as the outcome is uncertain. Despite all the speed on offense, head coach Mike McDaniel has made it clear he wants the running game to be an integral part of the game plan – while also stating it’s ultimately about moving the ball.

Tagovailoa is also better off with play pitches and RPOs than being put in obvious overrun situations. To make matters even more complicated if the Dolphins are put in unavoidable passing situations, are there any injuries along the offensive line.