Dolphins Talk Big Before Bucs Game - NBC 6 South Florida
Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

Complete coverage of the two-time Super Bowl champs

Dolphins Talk Big Before Bucs Game

Five questions facing the Dolphins as they take on Tampa Bay

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Dolphins Talk Big Before Bucs Game
    Getty Images

    With two preseason games in the books, the Miami Dolphins hit the home stretch Saturday night at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Head coach Tony Sparano told the Sun-Sentinel Thursday, "I think we’re one of the good teams in this division, and I think anybody that doesn’t believe that is probably going to make a big mistake."

    So far, it's been easy going for Miami in the preseason. The first-team offense and defense looked downright competent last week against Carolina, jumping to a 17-0 halftime lead before yielding to the backups.

    But that was against a team that went 2-14 last year and started a rookie quarterback. Tampa Bay went 10-6 in 2010 and are a trendy sleeper pick for the NFC Super Bowl representative.

    Here are five questions to ponder ahead of Saturday:

    1. Can Vontae Davis walk the walk? Davis told the Miami Herald Thursday he and Sean Smith are "the best [cornerback] tandem in the league." His proof? "Because I feel that way, and I know it." The rest of us will use numbers to decide whether to agree. Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams will pose a tough task, having caught 11 touchdowns in 2010.

    2. Will Tampa's defense rebound from a weak showing last week? The Patriots trounced the Bucs 31-14, with Tom Brady picking apart the Tampa secondary for 118 yards and two touchdowns in one half of play. Will Chad Henne be able to take similar advantage against a Buccaneer secondary with Aqib Talib returning to action?

    3. Tight Kellen Winslow also gets a lot of passes thrown his way, can Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett keep him covered? Burnett has earned a lot of praise in training camp, but Winslow might be the best tight end the Dolphins will have faced in the preseason.

    4. Will Larry Johnson get a chance to show he still has something left in the tank? Miami picked him up for tough short-yardage situations. If they get the ball inside the five-yard line, he will see some action. Johnson gained 2 yards on 5 carries in 2010. He'll need to up his average by a thousand percent or so if he wants to stay on the roster.

    5. Will another receiver stake their claim to a starting job opposite Brandon Marshall? Clyde Gates, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess all have a shot to start, but they are running out of preseason games to impress Sparano. Bess has the statistical advantage so far.

    Kickoff is Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.