NFL Week 12 Preview: Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos


Oct 5, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) celebrates his second touchdown with quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos look to get back on track Sunday afternoon as they host the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field. Denver is coming off a disappointing 22-7 loss to the St. Louis Rams last weekend, raising questions about the teams toughness and coaching staff. Not to mention how shaky the offensive line has been of late.

What: NFL Week 12 Preview: Miami Dolphins (6-4) vs. Denver Broncos (7-3)
When: Sunday, November 23rd
Where: Sports Authority Field (Denver, Colorado)
Time: 4:25 PM EST, 2:25 PM MST

Denver managed to score just seven points on the road last weekend and it’s not what you expect out of this high-octane offense. One thing that hampered their play was losing Julius Thomas (ankle), Montee Ball (groin), and Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) to injuries as their weapons were limited.

The play of Peyton Manning this September has been worrisome; he hasn’t looked like himself. Denver is currently 1-2 in the month of November with losses to New England and St Louis and their win was against Oakland. Over those three games, Manning has thrown 8 touchdown passes compared to six picks; he had just three total prior to the month. It’s not all completely on Manning as his line has been shaky, but some of his passes have been airmailed or off the mark. I’d expect Manning to pick up his play this week at home vs. Miami.

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Denver hasn’t been too great at covering tight-ends this season which is why you should keep an eye on Dolphins TE Charles Clay. The fourth-year pro out of Tulsa has caught 39 passes this season for 346 yards, resulting in two touchdowns. Clay was limited at practice this week with a knee injury but should be a go come Sunday afternoon.

Miami is coming off an impressive showing on Thursday Night Football (Nov. 13th), defeating the Buffalo Bills at home by the final score of 22-9. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 26-of-34 passes for 240 yards, collecting two touchdown passes en route to victory. Their run game was effective as well with Lamar Miller carrying the ball 15 times for 86 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

One thing Denver has to do this week and for the rest of the season is to establish the run. Many fans clamored for Denver to sign either Ben Tate or LeGarrett Blount this past week but that’s not the problem. The offensive line needs to be better period. If you watched last Sunday’s game vs. St. Louis, Manning was forced to move from the pocket numerous times because the pocket collapsed. Manning throwing on the run is not his strong suit by any means; they need to be more aggressive and nasty protecting him.

The defense needs to be more aggressive as well – I’m looking at you Jack Del Rio. Dial-up more blitzes, whatever you need to do to help get the team off the field on third downs. Denver is letting the opposing team convert far too many first-downs on third-down plays.

Kickoff between the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos is scheduled for 4:25 PM EST, 2:25 PM MST from Sports Authority Field.