Today marks the final game of the preseason for the Miami Dolphins who will travel north to face the Minnesota Vikings. Starters typically see little to no action in the last preseason game but the Dolphins have a few kinks to iron out before opening day.
There are multiple positions up for grabs on both sides of the football and the Dolphins will use tonight’s game to determine who emerges victorious.
1. Matt Moore’s play was nothing short of abysmal in Week 3 of the preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles as he tossed two interceptions, finishing the game 5 of 11 for 43 yards. Moore typically has a short memory and typically bounces back after making critical mistakes. Moore will have weapons and opportunity necessary to lead the Dolphins’ offense down the field to solidify his position as the No. 2 quarterback on the roster.
2. There has been a hole at the left guard position since projected starter Ted Larsen exited the lineup with a torn bicep. Larsen is expected to miss a significant portion of the season and Jesse Davis and Anthony Steen are still battling for the starting spot. Steen and Davis should see time with the starters in tonight’s final preseason game to determine who gets the nod in Week 1.
3. As a result of his 99-yard touchdown in Week 1 of the preseason, Damore’ea Stringfellow leads the Dolphins in receiving yards with 130 on just four receptions. Stringfellow will have every opportunity during tonight’s game to lock up a spot on the Dolphins practice squad with one final productive outing against the Vikings. If he is able to showcase knowledge of the offense and consistent hands, he’ll be a virtual lock to remain in Miami.
4. The Dolphins have been in a state of flux at the linebacker position since the injury to Raekwon McMillain. The Dolphins bought in 30-year old linebacker Rey Maualuga to fill in at the middle linebacker spot but he is still rounding himself into playing shape. Mike Hull has been filling in at the middle linebacker spot since the injury to McMillain. While Hull is instinctive, his inability to get off blocks, or consistently beat blockers to the spot with quickness are evident. Hull will need to put forth a herculean effort to stave off the charging Maualuga for the starting middle linebacker spot
5. The Dolphins have questions at the cornerback position opposite Xavien Howard as a result of coverage busts against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Byron Maxwell who finished last season on a high note has again found himself in the doghouse and the coaching staff is again evaluating others to fill the position. Alterraun Verner – who has very good footwork and is seemingly always around the football and rookie cornerback Cordrea Tankersley appear to be in the running for the job. Maxwell has worked himself back into the starting lineup after falling out of favor with the coaching staff in the past, and he’ll likely do it again.