For all the gargantuan shit stains Nick Saban left on the Dolphins' proverbial bed, no shit stain was as big a shit stain as the shit stain he left in the form of not signing Drew Brees when the Chargers made him available. Instead, Saban went with Daunte Culpepper. The rest is, of course, Dolphins shit stain history. Brees went to the Saints, where he is demolishing every passing record known to man, while Culpepper was an utter train wreck from day one. Saban eventually bolted after the 2006 season to the Alabama Crimson Tide, where he would be able to do what he could not in the NFL without repercussion -- namely, being a dick and bullying players.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, were left in shambles. Saban was replaced by the much more well-mannered yet equally inept Cam Cameron. The Fins went into a tailspin and crashed in a fiery heap until Bill Parcells arrived and fixed things. Such is the impact of one big idiotic decision by one very small douchebag.
Brees comes to town this Sunday for the first time since the Fins opted to suck. Here are the keys to the game:
Run Ronnie Till He Pukes a Shoe: The best defense against Drew Brees is
to keep him on the sidelines. And the best way to do that is to run the
number one running back down the Saints' crawfish-eatin' maws. All.
Day. Long. Ronnie Brown is averaging 4.8 yards per carry. And most of
the damage is being done via the Wildcat, the formation that everyone
seems to hate yet seems to be doing themselves. But no one
runs it better than Miami. And while the Saints D has been very good in
stopping the run, they're giving up an average of 8.2 yards to Wildcat plays. Ronnie needs to gorge on the
ball like Rex Ryan gorges on a can of frosting.
Sean Smith and His Balls Must Step Up: It's no secret the
Dolphin secondary has been craptastic. They give up
big plays and are notorious for making average receivers look like
Jerry Rice. But there have been flashes of promise. The Fins drafted
corners Vontae Davis and Sean Smith this year. Davis has already had
himself a pick-six this season. While Smith, the one most believe is the
better of the two, has held his own. When the Fins faced off against
the Saints earlier this year in a preseason game, Smith made a
spectacular one-handed interception in the end zone. Sure, it was
against Mark Brunell, not Brees. But still. That one play proved
beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sean Smith is a big heaping
sack of balls and has the athletic ability to shut down receivers. He
needs to step up this Sunday.
I, Robot: Chad Henne proved against the Jets he can hold his own
under pressure. New York looked to blitz and rattle
the young QB, but he answered with big touchdown drives using his
laser-rocket arm and built-in sensory control systems. If this
Sunday turns into a shootout, the Fins will have to again rely on
Henne and his poise (that's right, Deadspin. I said it.
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POISE!) to bail them out. All of this will of course depend on Ted Ginn
and his not running routes like he's being chased by a bee. Let's hope
that it doesn't come down to that.