Week 2 NFL Preseason Picks: Miami vs. Carolina: August 17th 2012
Week 2 NFL Preseason Picks: August 17th 2012
Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers
Current line: Carolina (-4/37)
Miami takes on Carolina at 8pmET from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Friday night. Miami lost to Tampa Bay in their opener, 20-7 giving 3 on Friday, while Carolina fell at home to Houston on Saturday, 26-13, laying 3. Miami beat Carolina last year at home in preseason, 20-10, giving 6.
Weather: 81 degrees, 30% chance of Thunderstorms.
Carolina is coming off a 6-10 SU season, and they were 9-6-1 ATS and 10-6 Over. Last year, they went 1-3 ATS in the preseason. Ron Rivera, in his second season, is 1-3 SU, 0-4 ATS and 2-2 O/U. Miami is coming off a 6-10 SU season, and they were 8-7-1 ATS and 4-12 Under. Last year, they went 3-1 ATS in the preseason while Joe Philbin is the new coach.
Miami adds Joe Philbin from the Green Bay Packers, who replaces Tony Sparano. The key for the Fins will be at quarterback where they signed David Garrard and drafted Ryan Tannehill, an athlete from Texas A&M. Matt Moore though is the incumbent. Unfortunately, Garrard suffered a knee injury (out of preseason). They are still a year or two away as they drafted top WR Brandon Marshall to Chicago and their lack a big back. Reggie Bush did show he could be a full-time back last year with 1,006 yds. Chad Johnson (no longer Ochocinco) will try his hand at the new west coast offense.
The Dolphins have had all sorts of drama, as they participate in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” documentary. On Sunday, they released wide receiver Chad Johnson. The move came one day after the six-time Pro Bowl honoree was arrested on domestic battery charges following an altercation with his wife.
Johnson’s departure leaves free-agent pickup Legedu Naanee and holdovers Brian Hartline, Davone Bess and Roberto Wallace as the top options of an uninspiring group of receivers, though Hartline’s attempt to win a starting job has been impeded by a calf strain that’s kept him out most of camp. Naanee spent last season with the Panthers, compiling 44 receptions and 467 yards in 11 starts.
Wallace, who owns just six career catches in two previous seasons, made a bid for a larger role by amassing a team-best 71 yards on four grabs against the Buccaneers.
Garrard’s injury whittles the three-man competition at quarterback down to two, with ex-Panther Matt Moore and 2012 first-round pick Ryan Tannehill locked in a battle that may be too close to call right now. Tannehill stated his case with a strong preseason debut in which the promising rookie completed 14-of-21 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown.
Moore, who started 13 games for Carolina from 2007-10 and 12 for the Dolphins last season, went just 7-of-12 for 79 yards with an interception while drawing the start in the Tampa Bay game. He’ll be visiting Bank of America Stadium for the first time since signing with Miami as a free agent prior to the 2011 campaign.
Philbin has yet to declare who will begin Friday’s contest, with both players receiving first-team reps during this week’s practice.
Carolina made some huge strides under QB Cam Newton, who actually struggled in preseason. They added some help with the addition of RB/FB Mike Tolbert but it’s the defense that needs the most help. LB Luke Kuechly from Boston College, will have to help right away. WR Steve Smith (79 for 1394yds) was rejuvenated last year. Defensively, they were 25th against the run and 24th against the pass last year.
The Panthers will also be out to improve off an unsatisfying result in their opener. Carolina’s three quarterbacks were sacked a total of eight times in Saturday’s 26-13 home defeat to Houston, while the defense surrendered 174 rushing yards and 375 total and the special-teams unit allowed a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown.
Newton operated under center for most of the first quarter, but the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year managed a mere 17 yards on 2-of-6 passing and led the offense to only a field goal on his three drives.
One bright spot for Carolina was Kuechly, with the No. 9 overall pick of this past draft recording four tackles and a forced fumble in limited action with the first-team defense. Wide receiver Louis Murphy had a good game as well, as the former Oakland Raider contributed a team-best 42 yards on a pair of catches.
Murphy, acquired by the Panthers via trade just before the start of training camp, is vying with the injured David Gettis to be the No. 3 receiver. Gettis has yet to be activated from the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a hamstring strain he sustained earlier in the summer..
Key Injuries: Miami: WR Brian Hartline (calf) is dbtful. QB D.Garrard (knee) is out. Carolina: LBs Jon Beason (hamstring) and Thomas Davis (calf) and cornerback Brandon Hogan (knee) are also likely to sit out a second straight week for Carolina. WR David Gettis (hamstring) is out.
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