Which team will remain unbeaten after Monday Night Football? Check out our preview here.Week 4 is set for a Monday Night Football matchup between two 3-0 teams when the Miami Dolphins take on the New Orleans Saints. Who will come out on top and stay undefeated? Let's take a look.
Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints
When and where: Tuesday 1st October, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans.
Coverage: LIVE ESPN, 10:40 am AEST
The Miami Dolphins enter this game with a dream start under their belt. After a big splash in free agency during the offseason they're 3-0 for the first time since 2002. Last week was a particularly impressive win after second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill led them to a last-minute win against the Falcons, 27-23.
This Dolphins' team on paper is extremely talented, but their perfect record still sits as a surprise to some. However, in a division which has been dominated by the New England Patriots for so long, the Dolphins have made a statement and a win on the big stage will really have people taking notice.
The offense is only 26th in the league in yards-per-game, but some of this can be attributed to the inconsistent play of wide receiver Mike Wallace and running back Lamar Miller. If both can get going on MNF then the Dolphins can win. But the most impressive aspect of the offense is the play of Tannehill, and I like him to have another solid outing in this one.
Thankfully for the Dolphins, their defense has been good, but top pass rusher Cameron Wake is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Miami will need him to give it any chance of containing the Saints' offense by pressuring star quarterback Drew Brees.
The Saints, on the other hand, were finally reunited with head coach Sean Payton this season after serving his year-long suspension in the bounty gate case. And it's clear his return to the sidelines is already paying dividends.
Brees is his usual brilliant best and tight end Jimmy Graham has been outstanding so far. Just take a look at last week in the Saints' 31-7 rout of the Arizona Cardinals. One thing to be mindful of is Brees' protection, after the play caller has been sacked 10 times this season. He'll need better protection in this game against a strong Dolphins defense.
Speaking of defense, the Saints statistically had the worst defense in NFL history last season. But since the introduction of new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan we've seen a huge improvement in the unit. Of course, it couldn't get much worse, but Ryan has done a great job so far despite losing veteran pass rusher Will Smith to a season-ending knee injury in the preseason.
New Orleans' defense could very well be the difference in this game, as we all know what to expect from their offense. Being at home should help the team continue its impressive run but it certainly shouldn't underestimate Tannehill & Co.
Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan has been a nice surprise in registering three sacks so far this season and gives New Orleans a much-needed pass-rushing threat in this one.
Watch out for: Dolphins running back tandem Miller and Daniel Thomas will need to be effective in this game to help keep the Saints offense off the field as much as possible. Also, will Pro Bowl defensive end Wake be ready to go? If he's not it'll be a huge loss for that Miami defense.
For the Saints, rookie strong safety Kenny Vaccaro has been very impressive this season and the team is very high on him. It's no wonder why, based on his play to start the season. TE Graham is always worth watching out for, too.
Final word and prediction: This is a tough one to call. The Dolphins were great last week in knocking off the Falcons and Tannehill can show us all just how good he can be on the national stage. But the Saints are on fire on all fronts, and playing at home should give them the win 21-17.
Agree or disagree? Where will you be watching the game? Let us know in the comments below.