The Los Angeles Rams take a long road trip to Florida for a date with the Miami Dolphins for Week 8 of the NFL season. All of the attention will be on Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. His long awaited debut will occur against the Rams in this one. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t take the news of his demotion too well, but fans are going to get what they’ve been wishing to see for a while now.
I think the play of Justin Herbert in LA with the Chargers is causing Dolphins’ fans to get a little anxious about Tua. Herbert has been great for the Chargers, and they want to see what Tua is capable of doing. If you recall, Tagovailoa was selected ahead of Herbert. Their careers are going to be compared to one another years from now. Sort of in the same way that Eli Manning and Philip Rivers’ careers have been interwoven, Herbert and Tua will likely be similar.
If Tua doesn’t pan out correctly and Herbert does, then Dolphins’ fans are most certainly going to say they should have selected Herbert. Up to this point, it looks like the Chargers made the right decision with Herbert, but things can change in a hurry in the NFL. I’m excited to see what Tua has to offer in his first ever start. The Dolphins are not easing him into the starting role. They are giving him a pretty sizable challenge versus the Rams, though.
It helps that Tagovailoa gets the Rams at home in Miami. Flying to California for a matchup against the Rams at SoFi Stadium would have been a different challenge altogether. However, it doesn’t matter where the game is being played, Tua must contend with the DPOY Aaron Donald. Tua cannot afford to hold onto the ball too long, and the offensive line is going to need to give him some help when he drops back. That’s going to be the key to this game for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins are coming off two impressive wins, with a 43-17 victory against the San Francisco 49ers and 24-0 over the Jets two weeks ago. I know it’s the Jets, but a shutout against any opponent is something to feel good about. The Dolphins also had extra time to prepare for the Rams, as they’re coming off a bye week, while the Rams are coming off a 24-10 win over the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Head below for our free LA Rams vs. Miami Dolphins pick for November 1, 2020.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Miami Dolphins NFL Week 8 Betting Odds:
Rams vs. Dolphins Prediction:
The Rams are going to get pressure in this game, but one of the most underrated offensive lines in the NFL has been the Dolphins. The Dolphins have conceded 10 sacks for a sack percentage of 4.78%. That ranks 11th in the NFL, which is respectable no doubt. Enough to keep Donald down for four quarters?
Probably not, but maybe enough to keep Tua on his feet long enough to make some plays. It isn’t like the Rams have any tape on Tua. Looking at tape of Ryan Fitzpatrick is fairly meaningless, and what Nick Saban did at Alabama isn’t what Brian Flores has in his playbook for the Dolphins. Not to mention, the Rams haven’t had much time to prepare for this game anyway.
They are coming off a physical battle against the Bears on Monday night. The Rams are a terrific defensive team, but that game versus the Bears might have taken something out of them. They’re going on a week following this game, so could be looking ahead to that a little too early with what they perceive as an easy challenge on Sunday in Miami.
The offensive line isn’t the only underrated aspect of this Miami team. Their defense has been flying under the radar in 2020. Through seven games, the Dolphins have allowed just 18.8 points per game for third in the league. They’ve also been solid in the yardage department, with 360.2 yards conceded per contest in the 2020 campaign. The Dolphins have been more than adequate against the pass, with 236 yards allowed per contest. Jared Goff has passed for 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 67.7% passing in 2020.
He’s been nothing like his form in 2018, but looks better than a season ago. The Super Bowl hangover seemed to be a real thing for the Rams. Goff should have a fine game on Sunday, But I expect the Rams to not take this Dolphins team too seriously. On a short week against a rookie quarterback, they might already be looking towards that week off instead of full preparations for Tua and the Dolphins. Look for the Dolphins to play this game closer than expected with the Rams at home.