NFL Preseason: Miami Dolphins vs Minnesota Vikings
When: 8:00 PM EDT, Thursday, August 31, 2017
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lines: Minnesota -3
The AFC East meets the NFC Central as the Miami Dolphins head to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota to grapple with the Minnesota Vikings in the final preseason game for both teams. Miami is 1-2 in the preseason after falling 38-31 at Philadelphia last week, while the Vikings are off a thrilling 32-31 win over the Niners and have now gone 2-1 in the preseason.
Cutler Looks Good In Loss To Philadelphia
The preseason brings about the possibility of injuries and Miami suffered a big one before their first preseason game as they lost QB Ryan Tannehill for the year. The Dolphins had to scramble for a QB so they went out and signed Jay Cutler and he finally had a good outing for them in their 38-31 loss to the Eagles last week. Cutler hit five of eight passes for 105 yards and a TD in that game. He gives the Dolphin offense hope, especially after he hit just three of six passes for 24 yards in the 31-7 loss to the Ravens the week before. The Dolphins have good weapons at the wideout spots and Cutler has the arm to get them the ball. The Dolphins put up just 120 total yards in the loss to the Ravens, but they were able to put up 312 yards on the Eagles. Not great, but better. This offense should be fine as they have a passing game to go along with RB Jay Ajayi, who is one of the better backs in the league right now.
The offense looks to be in good shape, but the Dolphins have to worry about their defense after they allowed 69 points and 808 yards of total offense their last two weeks. That is not good defense and Miami is now 26th in the league in yards allowed in the preseason and 32nd in the league in points allowed, giving up 29.7 ppg. The Dolphins must get their defense in order or in could be a long year for them, especially after they ranked 29th in the league in yards allowed and 18th in points allowed, giving up 23.8 ppg last year. The Dolphins did address their need for defense as five of their seven players taken were on that side of the ball, but it hasn’t helped them yet.
Minnesota Needs Their Running Game To Improve
The Minnesota Vikings had all sorts of issues on offense last year and it started with the loss of Teddy Bridgewater in the preseason. They brought in Sam Bradford, but he didn’t really do a whole lot for them, and Minnesota finished ranked 28th in the league it total offense and 23rd in scoring, putting up just 20.4 ppg. A big reason for their struggles was a ground game that averaged just 75 ypg on the year and a reason for that was the loss of Adrian Peterson in the 2nd game of the season. This year they drafted RB Dalvin Cook with their first pick, plus they have upgraded their offensive line, in hopes of first getting the running game going and also protecting Bradford, who had to run for his life a lot last year. So far they gave averaged under 80 ypg on the ground and if they don’t fix the running game then the offense will struggle as a whole.
Bradford did look good in the game against the Niners as he hit 17 of 21 for 134 yards, but he had no TDs and Minnesota could not score at all in the first half when he was in there. The Vikings will be led by their defense this year, but it did not look good against the Niners as they allowed 31 points in the game and their defense really struggled in the second half of the game as San Francisco backups moved the ball pretty easily on them. This defense should be fin in the regular season, though, as they are loaded on that side of the ball. Minnesota won the game against the Niners as Taylor Heinicke led them on the game-winning drive and then score the two-point conversion with no time left in the game to win it 32-31. It was one of the most exciting preseason games you will see.
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on fieldturf
- 22-7 ATS in their last 29 home games
- 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games on fieldturf
The Vikings come in off a very nice come from behind win over the 49ers, while Miami is off a tough road loss to the Eagles. The Dolphins’ offense looked good in that game, especially Jay Cutler, but he will not be in there that long and the offense could sputter after that, especially against a good defense like that of the Vikings. Minnesota will be looking to have a good showing in this one so they can head to the regular season with some momentum and I feel that they can get the win. They have better depth on defense and the Dolphins have allowed 808 yards and 69 points in their last two games. This should be a good game with the Vikings coming out on top by at least six points.
The Minnesota Vikings will be a very good defensive team this year, while the Dolphins look like they will struggle on that side of the ball. That makes an OU Pick on this game a bit tough. Still, I will give it a shot. The Vikings looked bad on defense last week against the Niners when their 3rd and 4th stringers were in there and those guys will play a lot in this one. The Dolphins defense has allowed 69 points and 808 yards in their last two games and the Vikings showed against the Niners that their backups can put some points on the board. I look for this to be a fun high-scoring game.