The Miami Dolphins would like to distance themselves from what coach Adam Gase deemed an “embarrassing” performance last week, and what better way to do that than to travel halfway around the world? The Dolphins look to ignite a sputtering offense against a team that has had little difficulty in that regard in the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London.
“I’m upset about the way our offense played. I’m just tired of watching it for two years. Just garbage,” said Gase, who saw his team fall flat in a 20-6 setback to the New York Jets last Sunday. Pro Bowl selection Jay Ajayi mustered just 16 yards rushing in that contest, but will look for a bit of home cooking as he returns to his birthplace of London. While Miami ranks 27th in total yards (280.5) and 30th in scoring (12.5), New Orleans hasn’t had much issue in that regard - notably a sixth-ranked offense that has accumulated 378.3 yards per game. Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns in a 34-13 win over Carolina last Sunday and faces a Dolphins defense that is yielding an NFL-worst 8.6 yards per pass and 31st-ranked 4.3 yards per play.
TV: 9:30 a.m. ET, LINE: Saints -3. O/U: 49.5
ABOUT THE SAINTS (1-2): History will note that Brees visited the Dolphins as prospective free agent in 2006, only to sign with New Orleans after the club made a six-year, $60 million offer. While Miami has seen 10 different quarterbacks under center in that time, Brees has passed for 54,630 yards and 391 touchdowns in addition to winning a Super Bowl with the Saints. Brandin Cooks departure to New England has opened the door for Michael Thomas, who leads the team in receptions (17), targets (26) and yards (221). Brandon Coleman has used his 6-foot-6 frame to catch a touchdown pass in each of the last two weeks, but his playing time may dip in favor of fellow wideout Willie Snead IV, as the latter is expected to return after serving a three-game suspension for an offseason DWI arrest.
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (1-1): After completing 72.7 percent of his passes in a risk-averse approach in Week 2, Jay Cutler struggled to find his rhythm against the Jets before avoiding the shutout with a 3-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker as time expired. Cutler will look to exploit a Saints defense that is ranked 30th against the pass by focusing on Parker (team-best 161 yards receiving), Louisiana native Jarvis Landry (averaging NFL-best 9.5 catches per contest) and former Saints wideout Kenny Stills. Miami’s defense has been taken to task by Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers and Josh McCown of the Jets, as the two have completed 79 percent of their throws and have a combined 116.4 passer rating.
1. New Orleans RB Adrian Peterson’s availability is in question after he missed practice on Thursday, one day after reportedly tweaking his knee.
2. Gase told reporters that Miami LB Lawrence Timmons is possible to play after he served a one-game suspension on the heels of failing to report for the team’s Week 2 contest versus the Chargers.
3. The Saints have yet to commit a turnover this season, the first time in franchise history that they have begun a season with three consecutive turnover-free games.
PREDICTION: Saints 31, Dolphins 21