1 Keep holiday giveaways to a minimum. The Seahawks have committed 11 turnovers in their five road games this season, eight of those interceptions...
Keys to Seahawks victory
1 Keep holiday giveaways to a minimum. The Seahawks have committed 11 turnovers in their five road games this season, eight of those interceptions. The Seahawks have committed just four turnovers at home, none interceptions. If Seattle is going to improve its road record over the final month and a half, it has to stop turning the ball over.
2 Make Miami pay for its blitzes. The Dolphins’ Cameron Wake ranks fifth in the league with 9.5 sacks, but Miami’s pass rush is more than just him. “They pressure more than anybody else we’ve played,” coach Pete Carroll said. That will open up opportunities down the field, and Miami allows 266.3 yards passing per game, sixth-most in the league.
3 Don’t get burned on special teams. Miami averages the fourth-fewest yards of any offense in the league, and it ranks in the bottom half of the league in yards allowed. But Miami does have excellent special teams. The Dolphins average 29 yards per kickoff return, second-most in the league. They’re No. 6 in punt returns. Miami’s offense has scored just one touchdown in the past two games, but the Dolphins can find other ways to score if Seattle’s not careful on special teams.
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Keys to Dolphins victory
1 Don’t get marched on by Marshawn. The Titans’ Chris Johnson rushed for 126 yards against Miami two weeks ago, the first time Miami allowed an opponent to reach triple digits in a game since Sept. 18, 2011, a streak of 22 consecutive regular-season games. Marshawn Lynch has gained more than 100 yards in four successive games, which matches Seattle’s franchise record. The Dolphins are a big-bodied defense that will present a formidable obstacle. “Their whole front is huge, so we’re going to have to deal with some problems,” Carroll said.
2 Change the tide of turnovers. The Dolphins have committed seven turnovers over the previous two games. “I don’t know if you can win at any level of football doing that,” said Joe Philbin, Dolphins coach. “So that’s job No. 1.” Job No. 2? Well, the Dolphins haven’t forced a turnover in any of their past three games, losing three in a row to fall to 4-6. “Let’s get back to basics,” Philbin said. “Let’s do a good job protecting the football, let’s take the ball away.”
3 Don’t get behind. Seattle has scored first in nine of its 10 games this season, and the Seahawks have shown an ability to close out games. They held the ball for 12 minutes, 5 seconds of the fourth quarter in Week 9 against Minnesota and for 12:11 of the fourth quarter in Week 10 against the Jets. That kind of ball control will make a second-half comeback tough, so Miami best not put itself in that position.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill vs. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. There are five rookie starting quarterbacks in the league this season, and this is the third game in which two of them have faced off. Wilson has passed for the fewest yards of the five rookies, but has the second-most touchdown passes (15). Only four of those touchdowns have been scored on the road, though, and all eight interceptions have come on the road. Tannehill has thrown for six touchdowns this season, fewest of the five rookies. He has been picked off five times the past three games and thrown for two touchdowns.
Miami was the site of Seattle’s last road win in the playoffs, but that was Dec. 31, 1983. Seattle is 1-5 in regular-season games played at Miami, most recently losing to the Dolphins 21-19 in November 2008. The Seahawks have won their last three games against the AFC East.