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Dolphins vs. Rams preview: Defense, special teams likely to be crucial for Miami

The Miami Dolphins can improve to .500 with a win on Sunday. To get past the St. Louis Rams they'll need the right game plan, especially on defense and special teams.

Andy Lyons - Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins take on the St. Louis Rams on Sunday looking to improve to .500. They have a good chance of doing that, but like any game in the NFL it'll take the right plan and proper execution.

The Rams will be without the services of Danny Amendola, their No. 1 wide receiver who will be out of the game with a shoulder injury. SB Nation's Dolphins blog The Phinsider breaks down where that leaves the St. Louis offense:

While Steven Jackson will likely have his hands full with the league's top rush defense, Bradford will look to take to the air early and often on Sunday. Though the Rams might not have a possession monster, they do have a handful of young talented wideouts who are looking to make a name for themselves in Amendola's absence.

I don't expect any of the receivers to get first down after first down on us, but Miami needs to be weary of the big play. I am looking with extra caution to speedster rookie Chris Givens, who burned an Arizona cornerback for a long TD last week. This is exactly the type of play that can swing the momentum of the game and force Tannehill into trying to do too much on offense.

Amendola is averaging 79 yards per game and has 2 touchdowns so far this season.
On offense, The Phinsider suggests that field position will be crucial:

The Dolphins desperately need to be weary of field position this week and look to control the field position battle. Their rookie kicker, Greg Zuerlein, awesomely nicknamed by Rams fans as "Legatron", has proved to be able to kick sixty yarders in his sleep. Knowing the Rams can essentially put points on the board from as far as midfield makes it that much more important to try to pin them in their own endzone throughout the day. Just like the Rams, one of Miami's best players is on their special teams as well... We will need Brandon Fields to continue with his all-pro year and look to continue to boot the ball out of harms way and give our D room to breathe.

Fields is currently averaging 50.3 yards per kick, good for fourth in the league. He's pinned opponents inside their own 20 seven times out of 23 punts, and opponents are averaging 10.7 yards per return against the Dolphins' special teams.

There's plenty more discussion of Miami's Week 6 contest over at The Phinsider, so be sure to check it out.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.