This is the last time the 'other' things going on with the Dolphins will be mentioned in this article, I think we're all sick and tired of that by now.
Some good news, the Dolphins will be facing the 0-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. The Bucs, who are starting rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, have improved since Glennon took over the position. They led the super bowl contending Seattle Seahawks for the majority of the game last Sunday, but collapsed at the end and came away with another loss. Glennon had a good game against one of the best defenses in the NFL, so if the Dolphins are going to come away with a victory they'll need to get inside the rookie quarterback's head, forcing him to make costly mistakes.
Getting to Glennon will be vital to a Dolphins win. The defensive tackle rotation of Jared Odrick, Paul Soliai and Randy Starks need to penetrate the middle while Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon continue their strong form of late. Closing the pocket will be just as important, though. Glennon showed his ability to keep a play alive on multiple occasions against the Seahawks.
Closing the pocket will mean that Glennon will have to get rid of the ball quickly, which is where the Dolphins' ballhawking starting cornerbacks come into play. Dimitri Patterson has come up with a pick in three of the four games he has played in this year, and both Patterson and Brent Grimes have the ability to close in on a pass and come into the picture at the last minute. Glennon tested Seahawks in this position multiple times and succeeded, but the chances of this happening against Patterson and Grimes is unlikely. What he needs to do is take advantage when Nolan Carroll is in the game. Carroll has improved this year, but he still struggles in contested situations.
One of the Dolphins defense's biggest weaknesses is defending the middle of the field, fortunately for them attacking the middle is what the Bucs struggle with. The improving Dannell Ellerbe should have plenty of opportunites to rush the passer with the safeties close in.
The Dolphins defense confused an Andy Dalton who had been playing lights out in the month of October, and unless they underestimate the N.C. State product, they should be able to do the same to Mike Glennon. Forcing Glennon into costly mistakes will be the key to winning this game with the offense looking poor recently.