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The Dolphins need to plan for Dion Lewis for Week 1
At long last Miami Dolphins football is here Miami Dolphins Hats , and the team opens the 2018 season at home against the Tennessee Titans. Miami has won two of the last three matchups since 2015, including a 16-10 win last year.The Titans include a bunch of new faces such as Harold Landry, Rashaan Evans, Malcolm Butler, offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, head coach Mike Vrabel, and running back Dion Lewis.Last season, Lewis rushed for 890 yards and six touchdowns while also putting 214 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. He took over as the starting back for the Patriots in the second half of the season, and non coincidentally that’s when he looked his best. Incredibly, as a runner Dion Lewis finished first in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement with 273 DYAR, and was also first in Pro Football Focus’ elusive rating thanks to 49 missed tackles and 3.17 yards after contact. For both stats, his means he was higher than guys like Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara.[Imagen: nike_dolphins_158.jpg]

This doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a better player than anyone of those guys, but what it highlights is how high quality of a player he is.Dolphins fans should know. After all, Lewis shredded the Dolphins defense in week 12 last year for 112 rushing yards on 15 carries. Miami was able to better defend him in week 14—where he only had 17 yards on five carries, but he still added 50 receiving yards on five catches.While Corey Davis, Delanie Walker and Derrick Henry will likely have big roles on Sunday—as well they should—a close eye needs to be kept on Dion Lewis. Lewis is more than just a third down back, and it can be argued he’s a better player than Derrick Henry. While Lewis has had his issues with staying healthy, when he is on the field he’s a phenomenal Miami Dolphins Hoodie , highly efficient talent.Of course, this clip is from the aforementioned week 12 matchup at New England. You can say Lewis is hard to tackle because he’s slippery, but it’s also because he runs at a great pad level. His ability to wear defenses down combined with his quickness and speed make him a dangerous player in addition to one that’s fun to you may have guessed, Lewis’ quickness is also lethal in the passing game. His performance against the Raiders was a turning point in the Patriots’ backfield last year, as he solidified his spot as the team’s starting back. Here, Lewis is running a simple route in the flat against zone coverage. He accelerates forward past the line of scrimmage before out-breaking on his route. Tom Brady throws to him and Lewis puts himself in a perfect position to get the first down and yards after the catch. As soon as he cradles the ball in his hands, he plants on his left foot, pushes backward, and drags his right foot away from the defensive back. From there, Lewis accelerates forward then cuts inside, diving head first for a phenomenal touchdown. Lewis definitely gets credit for his quickness and agility, but what’s so understated about him is how powerful he is for someone of his size (5 ft. 8, 195 lb.) soon as Lewis gets the ball on this play, he uses his quick vision to cut through a hole up the middle in a flash. He’s able to slip by a tackle—again running at a fine pad level—and then cutting the corner, where he then applies a vicious stiff arm on the safety Jordan Poyer. Obviously Lewis’ ability to quickly exploit gaps is noteworthy, but for someone of his size, the power he’s able to showcase on some of his runs is extremely impressive.Dion Lewis will be a big test for the Dolphins’ linebackers in the pass game. Lewis must be contained in the underneath game because that puts more pressure for Marcus Mariota to connect with the receiving corps, which—aside from Delanie Walker—have not had a lot of experience and remain unknown and unproven at this point. Matt LaFleur was part of a highly creative coaching staff in Atlanta and Los Angeles that prioritized heavily on his receiving backs, so you can bet he’ll do the same for Lewis.As a runner, Lewis is also really good Customized Miami Dolphins Jerseys , so the front is, of course, also put to the test. If Lewis can be defended as well as he was in week 14 last year, that puts more pressure on the skill players elsewhere to contribute. Expect option plays and creative route combinations to be part of LaFleur’s attack, though, so it might be easier said than done. Either way, containing the talented Dion Lewis will put Miami one step closer to attempting to secure a home victory to start 1-0 on the year. The Miami Dolphins’ offense has struggled this year. They are 26th in the league in total offense, averaging 334.3 yards per game, 23rd in passing offense with 226.3 yards per game, 17th in rushing offense with 108.0 yards per game, and 23rd in scoring with 21.8 points per game. They have been beaten up on offense, playing games with starters at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, and along the offensive line. They have struggled to find a rhythm this year, and they are not the high-powered, speed based offense that was originally designed before the season.But, that does not matter because a dominant defense will carry the team. Except, that dominant defense has yet to show up. This defense, where the only real preseason question was the linebackers , has turned into a mess with presumed starters falling off the map, Pro Bowl players struggling, and no one in the secondary seeming to know who to cover. The defense ranks 27th overall, allowing 408.0 yards per game, 20th against the pass allowing 264.9 yards per game, 30th in the league against the run with 143.1 yards per game given up, and 27th in the league in scoring defense with 27.4 the average points allowed this year. Miami’s vaunted defense is quickly collapsing on itself.“It’s not good on defense,” head coach Adam Gase said after Thursday night’s 42-23 loss at the Houston Texans. “I mean they did whatever they wanted.”Miami allowed 188 yards on the ground on Thursday, with the Texans averaging 5.4 yards per carry. “Right now, I am going to have to look at everything,” Gase said of Miami’s inability to stop the run. “It’s about the only good thing about playing on Thursday night is it’s like an extra bye week. Go back this weekend and try to look through everything, see where a lot of the problems are and look at it as a whole, not just one game, and try to get an answer.”Gase discussed his current trust level with the defense, explaining, “Well, I know those guys work hard, and they try to get everything patched up as fast as possible. I mean, these guys were hired because I liked them when we were coming into this situation we were in. When Vance [Joseph] left, I trusted Matt [Burke] to get this thing going in the right direction and prove from there before. There was a lot of good thing sthat happened over the last two years. We’ve just got to figure out what is our issues. I mean Miami Dolphins T-Shirt , it is players? Is it scheme? We have to evaluate that. We can’t be afraid to change if we have to.”Gase has not ruled out anything - or anyone - being changed. Asked if he would consider any changes to his coaching staff, Gase answered, “I’m going to reevaluate everything this weekend. We’ve got the extended weekend. We’ve got to figure out how to get better on defense. We’ve got to figure out how to sustain drives and put it in the end zone on offense.” Directly asked if defensive coordinator Matt Burke’s position could be in danger, Gase did not definitively say no as he replied, “I haven’t even thought about that. In my head, I’m saying I don’t see that happening. We need to go back and figure out what is going on to where we’re giving up these massive amounts of yardage in the run game.”Burke has - rightfully - taken a lot of heat from the fans and media as the Miami defense continues to collapse. Gase addressed if he feels he has to take more of a personal role with the defense, stating, “I’ll get to that after tonight. I’m not there yet.”The Dolphins have to find a way to fix the defense. There are plenty of issues on offense, but the defense should not be giving up 188 yards on the ground routinely. Right now, it feels like that is the norm. It is not only the rush defense, as Miami gave up 239 passing yards with five touchdowns, but the ground game definitely feels like the most immediate issue to be addressed. If they do not find answers during this 10-day break, this season will go from frustrating to abysmal very quickly. Whatever those answers are - coaching, scheme, players - they have to make those changes now.
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