Tale Of The Tape: Miami Dolphins At New Orleans Saints

Miami Dolphins
New Orleans Saints
Miami Dolphins v Houston Texans
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Dolphins are undefeated and surprising a lot of observers around the AFC East, but they are not an overpowering team. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a smart, accurate quarterback who flies beneath the radar, but he finds a way to win games. He has completed nearly two-thirds of his passes and does not make a lot of poor decisions.
Winner The Saints are making up for lost time after their disastrous 2012 season. In addition to their explosive offense, they are also playing with a lot of intelligence and cutting down on mistakes. It starts with Drew Brees, who is once again lighting up the scoreboard with 1,021 yards passing and six touchdowns. He has a quick release and he delivers the ball on the numbers.
The Dolphins are virtually bereft of superstars on the offensive end and they manage to move the ball fairly well any way. The running game is ordinary with Lamar Miller, but wide receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace are quite productive. Hartline knows how to get open and will not drop the ball, while Wallace has gamebreaking speed.
Winner The Saints offense has been good, but it has not been operating at peak efficiency. They could get a lot more from their running game since Pierre Thomas leads the team with 100 yards through three games. Jimmy Graham is the best receiving tight end in the league and Marques Colston is a dependable receiver. Lance Moore has not been at his best and he is battling a wrist injury.
The Dolphins have been finding a way to win games, but their defense has been fairly generous, ranking 20thin yards allowed. The Dolphins will need to put a lot of pressure on Drew Brees, and that will be difficult without defensive end Cameron Wake, who will miss 2-3 weeks with a knee strain. Middle linebacker Daniel Ellerbe has a team-high 30 tackles and is involved in most plays.
Winner The Saints have been getting it done on the defense side of the ball in a shocking manner as they rank fourth in yards allowed. Defensive end Cameron Jordan keys the pass rush and he has 3.0 sacks so far this year. Keep your eyes on unheralded strong safety Kenny Vaccaro who has 17 tackles, three passes defensed and one interception.
Special Teams
Winner The Dolphins have been getting excellent play from their special teams coverage units so far. Caleb Sturgis has made all six of his FG attempts and looks like he might thrive under pressure. Brandon Fields is one of the best punters in the league and he is averaging 49.0 yards per kick.
The Saints’ coverage teams have been middle-of-the-pack so far, Darren Sproles has the quickness to elude tacklers on punt and kickoff returns, but he has yet to break a long one yet. Garrett Hartley has made 7-of-8 FG attempts, but he has not attempted a field goal of 50 yards or longer.

The Winner Is

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner New Orleans Saints
3 out of 4

These two undefeated teams find themselves in the Monday night focus, and it should be advantage, New Orleans. They hold the statistical and physical edge in all key areas and they also have the home field advantage in the raucous Superdome.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

    The Broncos square off against their former QB as they welcome in Brock Osweiler and the Texans.

  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Patriots are riding high and now face a Steelers team who will be without their starting QB.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live