We’re about to find out a lot more about the Miami Dolphins.
A whole lot more.
The opponent Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium is the Seattle Seahawks, one of the elite teams in the league with a quarterback in Russell Wilson who has put together some staggering numbers through three games.
Other than a Week 14 game against Kansas City, I can’t think of a more difficult challenge facing the Dolphins defense this season. As improved as this defense looked last Thursday against Jacksonville, that was the Jaguars and this is the Seahawks and that defense better find another level in order to slow down Wilson and his big-play receiving corp.
The pass rush needs to get to Wilson, or at least bother him, the linebackers must make sure he doesn’t take off and run, which he does so well, and the secondary must play as close to a perfect game as it can. Even with all of that, the Seahawks can make you look bad in a hurry.
Conversely, the Dolphins’ offense must produce some long drives, some key third down conversions and generally do enough good things to keep the Seattle offense on the sideline for extended stretches.
I’m truthfully not sure this team can accomplish that so early in the season, with so many players trying to become familiar with one another and with one of their top cornerbacks, Byron Jones, missing time with an Achilles injury.
The only way I see the Dolphins winning is with four touchdowns and a couple of field goals on offense and even with that it figures to come down to the wire.
We knew the Dolphins were better than they looked during an 0-2 start. We were encouraged after that bounce-back performance against the Jaguars. But now the bar is raised several notches.
Now we get another important indicator of how this season’s journey could play out. Now we see if this team has the ability to play far better than they have in these first three games.
They’ll certainly have to. Anything less and it could be a long day.