The Miami Dolphins are set to travel west this weekend and lock horns with the Denver Broncos for an AFC clash that holds plenty of weight for the Dolphins in the AFC conference standings. Miami moving to 7-3 this weekend would provide some critical breathing room between Miami and some of the other AFC playoff hopefuls, who will be playing one another this weekend. But all of that potential is for not if the Dolphins don’t take care of their own business. How can they best do so?
Here’s three areas of focus for the Dolphins’ offensive attack for Week 11:
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) drops back to pass against the Los Angeles Chargers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, November 15, 2020. (ALLEN EYESTONE / THE PALM BEACH POST)
Continue the RPO surge
The Dolphins are steadily starting to pivot their offense to feature more RPO concepts. Last week’s contest against the Chargers saw plenty of run plays with pass routes attached and on a number of occasions rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa pulled the ball and looked to throw. The timing wasn’t always where it needed to be and they just narrowly missed a few big plays to DeVante Parker on such concepts — but Miami needs the flexibility to give and take between the run and pass as opposing defenses allow it. By calling RPOs at a higher clip, Miami can force the defense to be wrong on any given play.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant (19) returns a punt for 88 yards and a touchdown against Los Angeles Rams at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, November 1, 2020. (ALLEN EYESTONE / THE PALM BEACH POST)
Continue to target Jakeem Grant
Jakeem Grant has enjoyed an uptick in opportunities and for the first time in his Dolphins career he appears ready to rise to the occasion. Grant has had chances in the past to make a splash but durability has been a problem — but Miami has reached Week 11 and Grant is only now starting to see his role increase. The diminutive Dolphins receiver has a career high of 5 receptions in a game (2018 versus Titans) and has caught 4 passes six times in a single game. But of those six games with four receptions, three of them have come during this Dolphins win streak, including in each of the last two weeks. Tagovailoa’s accuracy seems to pair well with Grant’s suddenness and ability to separate at the top of the route.
Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jesse Davis (77), center Ted Karras (67), offensive guard Ereck Flowers and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) lead players onto the field after the playing of the National Anthem at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 4, 2020. [ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post]
Stay committed to the run
Denver has allowed over 200+ rushing yards in two of their last three contests, which is very bad for anyone keeping score at home. The Chargers, Falcons and Raiders were each able to tally 20+ first downs in the Broncos’ last three games and with so much of that success coming on the ground, look for the Dolphins to stay committed to running the football — even if it comes with a little less success than what Dolphins fans would prefer with a young, budding quarterback behind center. This is the way, Miami.