In week 2 of the regular season, the Miami Dolphins will swim into Minnesota for a tough matchup with a preseason Super Bowl favorite on their home turf. The Bottlenose usually sees a half-full glass, but even we couldn’t chalk up a victory for our Dolphins at the Purple People Eaters.
Minnesota’s defense was 2nd in the NFC last season. They were also an offensive juggernaut in 2009, with Grandpa Favre slinging it as well as ever, and Adrian “Crazylegs” Peterson pounding it on the ground.
Today, with just 27 days to go before the Soflo Sea Mammals hit The Land of 10,000 Lakes, the aerial attack of the Vikes is a question mark. Percy Harvin has been struggling mightily with migraine issues, even collapsing and being hospitalized this week (seriously, hang in there, Percy). Now word comes that Minnesota’s lead receiver, studly 2009 revelation Sidney Rice, will be out for half the season or more following hip surgery.
Rice had over 1,300 yards for the Vikes, to go along with 8 TDs. He and Harvin made up over 2,000 yards of the offense, scoring 16TDs. Missing one or both could leave Favre leaning heavily on their other targets, or perhaps force Minnesota into into a more one-dimensional game plan. riding the shoulders of Adrian Peterson.
If it’s the Adrian Peterson show ’til the receiving corps is fully healed, then so be it. Let’s crowd the box and slug it out. That is much easier to deal with than an offense at full strength both in the ground and the air.
Or, Favre could keep wingin’ that pigskin to the targets still at his disposal. He’s perfectly capable of it. Shiancoe’s a solid TE. Bernard Berrian’s no slouch. Javon Walker was just brought in. Not to mention Harvin should still be able to suit up on Sundays (though migraines are notoriously unpredictable).
Our trip to Minnesota still figures to be one of the toughest matchups of the year. They’ll still be dangerous on offense, and their defense is among the elite. Still, just the Sidney Rice setback will have The Bottlenose thinking just a wee bit longer before we throw down our final season predictions.
Go Dolphins! – And feel free to follow us on the Twitter machine, @thebottlenose