Re: Dolphins scouting report
One reason Daunte has looked dominant is the lack of blitzing, scheming, and gameplanning by teams.
Thats not the case in Week 1. I think this will be particularly rough on Culpepper because he comes back after a season ending injury, gets playing time against vanilla defenses, and has his first real game against the most complex defense in the NFL.
Our run defense is still an unknown. Can Keisel hold the point of attack like KVOH? Remains to be seen. Its typically a strength, though.
Our pass defense is a mixed bag. Ryan Clark absolutely sucks. He sucked with Washington, he sucked in the preseason. He's slow physically and hes slow to react.
Troy Polamalu is a great wild card player, but hes been very poor in pass coverage and is severely overrated in that respect. If I had one major concern going into this season, it is that Polamalu will be exposed in the passing game. He also has a penchant for missing tackles. He doesn't wrap and tries to shoulder tackle.
That being said, when hes playing hes playing. Hes all over the field. And while he may get beat in man coverage against the bigger TEs/WRs, you better throw a perfect pass or he'll make a play. Don't forget his blitzing.
Our corners are great. One of the deepest CB classes in the league and one of the deepest ever in Pittsburgh. Taylor was a top 5 CB last year in his first year starting and Townsend is a solid vet who won't give up many big plays. McFadden is going to be an even better player than Taylor, but is a nickle back for now. Colclough has been beat, but he's getting better and better and won't be nearly as easy as he has been previously.
Our running game will be dominant as usual. However, a good run defense stops a good run offense.
Our passing game with Ben is explosive. I'd put behind Indy, Cincy, New England, and Carolina. With Batch, our passing game is adequate. You're not going to beat us by simply forcing us to pass and make mistakes. However, its less of a concern with Batch at the helm.
Miami running game vs Steelers run D - Big advantage Steelers
Miami pass offense vs Steelers pass defense - Slight advantage Steelers
Miami run defense vs Steelers run offense - Slight advantage Steelers
Miami pass defense vs Benless Steelers pass offense - Advantage Miami
Some wild cards:
Taylor vs Chambers - Can he lock him down? He shut down Marvin Harrison in both games (outside of that first play from scrimmage in the regular season, Harrison was non existant), he shut down Chad Johnson 3 times (no touchdowns in 3 games vs the Steelers).
Polamalu vs Daunte - Daunte has never faced Troy P. He's also going to be a bit slower with his reads. Will Polamalu sack Daunte/apply pressure? Confuse him and force him into mistakes?
Steelers blitz vs Miami O-line - If the Steelers get pressure, you're going to lose. Look at our playoff run.
Charlie Batch 13/22 176 yards 1 TD 1 INT
Willie Parker 24 carries 102 yards 1 TD
Verron Haynes 9 carries 28 yards 1 TD
Daunte Culpepper 15/26 203 yards 2 TD 2 INT
Ronnie Brown 18 carries 44 yards
Final score: Steelers 24 Dolphins 17