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Sep 18, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) and Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase on the sideline as they take on the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins 31-24. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Preview: Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins will have their first home game of the season when they take on the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon. The early part of the season has not gone well for either team, with both off to an 0-2 start. Injuries have indeed plagued both of these teams, and while many may look past this game on paper, each team will be desperate to use it to get their seasons going.

The leading rusher for the Miami Dolphins is — Ryan Tannehill?

The running back position has been the Achilles heel for the team so far this season. Arian Foster’s injury is not helping things out either. Even when Foster is on the field, he has been kept to 47 total yards and 2.9 yards per carry. If anything, Foster’s status as doubtful for Sunday’s game will give the Dolphins a chance to give a full workload to Jay Ajayi and rookie Kenyan Drake.

Dolphins had success in the second half against the New England Patriots last week

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

One key thing to watch from the Dolphins this week is to see how they adjust their game plan after having a good amount of success in the second half last week. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was able to find his two stud receivers, Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker, often towards the end of the game. Both receivers finished the game with over 100 yards. According to Landry, the team needs to stop shooting themselves in the foot so they can play as well to start the game as they do in the second half.

Defensively, the Dolphins need to get Cameron Wake in the game more often. Wake has been held back due to the concerns of his ability to stop the rush. For Wake, he says he has plenty of footage to prove his efforts on passing and running plays. Either way, the former Pro Bowler has yet to appear on the stat sheet for anything.

Injuries are providing more opportunity to give the ball to Isaiah Crowell

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The third year running back Isaiah Crowell has had a great start to his 2016 campaign. After two games, Crowell is fifth in the NFL in rushing yards. A big chunk of those yards came from a 133-yard effort against the Baltimore Ravens last week. With injuries to Robert Griffin III and rookie Corey Coleman (broke his hand this week), the Browns have a perfect excuse to feed Crowell the ball even more.

Browns showed promise in the first quarter last week — then disappeared

The Browns started off last week’s game with three straight touchdowns. After a successful 75-yard opening drive, Crowell busted an 85-yard touchdown run followed by an interception that led to a third Cleveland score. After that, the team gave up 25 straight points. Veteran quarterback Josh McCown was able to find first-round draft pick Corey Coleman on big plays that lead to two touchdowns. However, mistakes by McCown and the lack of consistency on offense halted any momentum the team had. If the Browns want to reverse their fortunes, somebody has to step up as the leader of the offense.

 

The game will be aired on CBS with kickoff set for 1:00 p.m.

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