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Behind Enemy Lines: Insider Analysis on the Miami Dolphins

SI/Fan Nation's All Dolphins Team Publisher Alain Poupart offers some additional insight into the Miami Dolphins, who host the Giants in Week 13.

SI/Fan Nation's All Dolphins Team Publisher Alain Poupart gives us an insiders look into the Miami Dolphins, winners of their last four games. 

Don't forget to check out All Dolphins this week to see what I had to say in response to Alain's questions.

Tua appears to have come through a rocky start to his career rather well. What are some of the things the coaching staff has done to help him get into a groove and feel more comfortable back there?

Tua indeed has been playing very good football lately, as evidenced by his well-publicized completion percentage in the victories against the Jets and Panthers. What the Dolphins have done to help Tua is maximize what he does well (short and intermediate passing) with a lot of RPOs and quick throws. It's a ball-control offense that minimizes chances for mistakes and it has been produced positive results, so I see no reason for the Dolphins to get away from it.

What is the X-factor in this game as far as the Dolphins are concerned?

This is easy: overconfidence. Yes, it sounds weird to suggest a 5-7 team could be overconfident, but the Dolphins have been on a roll lately, particularly on defense and they have their bye coming, so the chances of the players overlooking the Giants is real. Maybe it's why Brian Flores made it a point Wednesday to list practically every player on the Giants roster as somebody who really could cause problems Sunday.


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What matchup with the Giants has you the most concerned?

If you're talking worrisome matchups for the Miami Dolphins, it's more than likely it's going to come down to their offensive line being involved. And that's the case here, with Leonard Williams versus the offensive line the one matchup that could be problematic for the Dolphins. There really isn't anything that really jumps out here.

What has been the biggest difference with the Dolphins of late that they were able to stop their losing streak and suddenly get hot?

There have been a few factors, probably none bigger than the defense looking very much like the 2020 version instead of what we saw for most of the first half of 2021. The Dolphins have been relentless in attacking opposing offenses, which has helped them hold three of their last four opponents to 10 points or less. The offense also has been able to hit big plays in recent weeks, including Tua's 58-yard completion to rookie Jaylen Waddle against Carolina, and that's something that also was absent earlier in the season.

This is Brian Flores’ third season as an NFL head coach. Where has he made the most growth since his first season in terms of overall game management, team management and the Xs and Os?

This is an interesting question, but one without a clear answer because I'm not sure I see many differences in Flores now as opposed to 2019 Brian Flores. From the start, Flores has been good with his X's and O's (though not without some clear mistakes, like every coach) and it's always been clear he's the guy in charge. And the pattern also has been every year that his team gets exponentially better as the season progresses, which is exactly what we're seeing in 2021.

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