By Abraham Gutierrez
When the Miami Dolphins welcome the New York Giants to Sun Life Stadium on Monday night, there will be a some problem areas for Dan Campbell to address, as Tom Coughlin is sure to focus on the Fins’ weaknesses as the G-Men’s point of attack. Truth is that, on paper, this matchup plays right into the hands of the visiting team in a number of facets.
For starters, there’s the fact that Miami’s defense is among the worst in the National Football League entering Week 14. While New York hasn’t exactly set the world on fire offensively, Eli Manning & Co. will unquestionable challenge the Dolphins in at least two aspects of the ballgame.
From an offensive standpoint, the Giants rank seventh in the league in both, points per game and passing yards per game. Coughlin’s bunch enters Week 14 averaging just under 26 points per game, and put up around 276 passing yards per game. This has to be particularly troubling for Fins fans, as Miami’s defense ranks 24th in the league in points, surrendering exactly 25 per game. The other problem for the Dolphins defense is how it matches up against the Giants aerial attack. With 12 games in the books, Miami comes in allowing an average of 256 passing yards per game, which ranks 22nd in the National Football League.
The remaining two areas that need to be discussed are total yards per game and rushing yards per game. Much like in the categories of passing and points, these statistics also favor the visiting squad. In total yards per game, the Giants come in averaging 355 yards, which ranks 15th in the NFL, while the Dolphins defense gives up 390 yards per game (NFL rank: 27th).
It’s worth noting that while Miami has struggled significantly against the rush, New York’s biggest offensive weakness is also on he ground. It’s no secret that Campbell’s squad hasn’t been able to stop anyone from running wild, as the defense averages 135 rushing yards per game, which is good enough for 30th in the league. Luckily, the Giants prefer to throw the football rather than throwing it. This team comes into Week 14 ranked 29th in the NFL in running, averaging an anemic 88 rushing yards per game.
Miami’s offensive struggles have been well documented, as have been the Giants’ defensive woes. However, if the Dolphins are going to have a chance to win this game, they are going to have to rely on Ryan Tannehill and the Fins’ receivers to rack up the yards through the air. That’s because the Giants’ defense comes in ranked 31st (423.2) and 32nd (314.5) in total yards and passing yards per game, respectively. Despite their most recent struggles to get the passing game going, the Dolphins’ are 22nd in pro football at throwing the rock (230.7).
The final two statistical categories to mention also favor Coughlin and the visiting Giants. The G-Men’s defense is 19th in rushing yards, allowing 108.8 yards per game, and 22nd in points scored with 24.7 points per game. How Miami stack up in these areas? The Dolphins offense is currently averaging 95.5 rushing yards per game (NFL rank: 23rd), and an even 20 points per contest, which ranks 27th in the NFL.
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.