The Miami Dolphins will attempt to put week five’s embarrassing loss to the New York Jets behind them as they prepare to host the Minnesota Vikings come Sunday. The Dolphins will of course be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa once again, as he was ruled out earlier this week. Mike McDaniel’s squad will be put to the test against one of the league’s best offenses to start the season.
The game kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. It will be broadcast in South Florida on CBS4.
Miami’s week 5 loss to the Jets has fans worried as the team prepares for a two-week homestand. Along the lingering concussion situation with Tagovailoa, Miami also lost backup Teddy Bridgewater on the first play of the game. McDaniel has already announced third-string rookie Skylar Thompson as the starter for this Sunday’s matchup against the Vikings. Bridgewater will attempt to play but is said to still be dealing with symptoms from last week’s blow to the head.
Thompson will look to build off his 166-yard performance from last week come Sunday. The rookie turned heads during the preseason when he ultimately forced Miami to give him a roster spot due to his play. The seventh-round pick had some bright moments in Sunday’s loss, but two costly turnovers ultimately led to the Jets building momentum and running away with the game.
McDaniel made a conscious effort of giving Raheem Mostert carries after his backup quarterback went down. Mostert finished last week’s game with 18 rushes for 113 yards and a touchdown in one of the best rushing performances for Miami in recent history. The Dolphins should look to utilize Mostert as well as Chase Edmonds and Myles Gaskin against Minnesota this Sunday. The Vikings are prone to big games on the ground allowing an average of 120.4 rushing yards per game this season. Establishing a run game will be pivotal, allowing Thompson to ease into the game and his nerves to settle.
The Vikings are coming off a big win against the Chicago Bears in week 5. Miami native Dalvin Cook has started the year reminding fans why he is still one of the top running backs in the league. Additionally, Kirk Cousins and third-year receiver Justin Jefferson have picked up right where they left off last season with some amazing numbers to start the year.
After giving up 40 points to the Jets last week, Miami’s defense needs to regroup and find a way to return to the form they showed to start the season. Luckily, the defense is expected to have all-pro corner Xavien Howard back from injury and he should lead the charge to try and stop Jefferson from continuing his remarkable season. Miami also allowed for Jets’ rookie Breece Hall to have a big day on the ground, so it will be interesting to see the adjustments they make to try and limit Cook’s contributions in this game.
The Dolphins must make an effort of getting their playmakers, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the ball in space to open up the field. Thompson has already proven he has the arm strength to hit on the deep ball, and after a full week of practicing with the starters, more chemistry between him and his receivers should be evident. Tagovailoa was also around the team again this week and his presence as a captain of the team will be important for his team as they look to avoid losing three straight.