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Fact or Fiction: Breaking down the Week 5 matchup


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

The Dolphins have the best offense the Giants will face this season

John Schmeelk: Fact – Aside from maybe the 2007 Patriots, this might be the best offense the Giants may have faced since that time. They are ranked first in the NFL in points, yards, pass yards, rush yards, EPA, EPA per pass, EPA per rush, success rate overall, pass success rate, 15+ yard passes, yards per play on first down, rush plays of 50+ yards, and pressure rate allowed. Somehow Tua Tagovailoa has the second-lowest average time to throw in the NFL (2.34 seconds behind only Joe Burrow), but leads the league in yards per completion and yards per attempt. They are explosive and efficient running and passing the ball. Tua has not been great throwing under pressure but he gets the ball out so quick, he has only been pressured on 35 drop backs this season, including five sacks, according to PFF. As a point of comparison, Daniel Jones has been pressured on 79 dropbacks. It is likely that by the end of the season, defensive coordinators will have figured out some of the things Mike McDaniel is doing and this won't look like the best offense of all-time, but right now, it sure does.

Dan Salomone: Fact – There's a strong case to be made for San Francisco's consistency, but you have to give it to Miami. Mike McDaniel's team is on track to have one of those special offenses that get talked about years later.

Lance Medow: Fact – The Giants still have to play the Eagles twice as well as the Cowboys again plus the Bills next week so you can easily make an argument for any of those three other teams but, from a statistical standpoint, right now, the Dolphins display the best offense in football. They lead the NFL in points per game (37.5) and total yards (511), passing yards (334) and rushing yards (177) per contest. What other numbers do you need to see to be convinced that Miami poses many different challenges on that side of the ball? Tua Tagovailoa & Co. put up a near NFL-record 70 points against the Broncos in Week 3 and can hurt you as much on the ground with Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane as through the air, thanks to the likes of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Despite a bit of a setback against Buffalo last week, the Dolphins still produced three touchdowns. Even on their off days, they're more than capable of sticking with teams because of their ability to rely on explosive plays through various facets.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Dolphins' offense could be the best unit we have seen in the NFL in years. Heading into Week 5, Miami's offense leads the league in both points and yards. Not only that, but they also have the No. 1 passing attack and the No. 1 run game. The Dolphins have gained 2,044 total yards of offense, the most by a team in their first four games in NFL history, including two games with over 530. With potentially the NFL's best WR duo in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and the league's top RB duo in De'Von Achane and Raheem Mostert, it's hard to argue against Miami having the best offense in the entire NFL this year.

The Dolphins' rushing attack will be tougher to defend than their passing game

John Schmeelk: Fact – You've already read about their passing game, so let's choose their running game here. The Dolphins are averaging an NFL-high 6.3 yards per rush. Their 20 runs of 10+ yards is tied for second in the NFL, and their seven 20+ yard runs is also second. They already have three runs of 50 or more yards in just four weeks. Raheem Mostert is their bell cow with 249 yards on 48 carries. Rookie De'Von Achane is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, with an otherworldly 11.4 yards per carry average and four touchdowns on just 27 carries.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – The real answer is both. That's what makes the offense historic through four games. But it's still a pass-first team.

Lance Medow: Fact – Miami showcases a two-headed monster in the backfield with Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane, who have already combined for 10 rushing touchdowns in just four games. Both players are physical with the ability to reach another gauge in the speed department once they hit the hole. Although Tyreek Hill is fast, slippery and elusive, given the Giants' recent issues with missed tackles, let's lean toward the ground attack. If they don't wrap up Moster and Achane consistently, runs that should go for about three or four yards will turn into big chunk plays and that will be a major issue as it will keep the Dolphins in favorable downs-and-distances and allow them to open up the passing game even more. Miami head coach Mike McDaniel came over from San Francisco where the Niners were known for pounding the ball and he's trying to implement that philosophy in South Florida this season. That's the facet the Giants need to slow down.

Matt Citak: Fiction – It wouldn't be fair to classify one area of the Dolphins' offense as tougher to defend than the other; they are both incredibly difficult matchups. Next Gen Stats tracks the maximum speed reached by players on every play. When looking at the top five fastest ball carriers of the 2023 season, they have one thing in common – they are all on the Dolphins. Achane (twice), Hill (twice) and Mostert make up the five fastest recorded speeds in the NFL this season, while Waddle is only a little bit further down the list. If you have to give the edge to one area of the Miami offense, lean toward the passing game. There's a reason why Wink Martindale referred to the Dolphins as the "2023 supersonic" version of the Rams' Greatest Show on Turf.

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 5 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

Daniel Jones will need to be responsible for at least four touchdowns in order for the Giants to win on Sunday

John Schmeelk: Fiction – An initial thought here was to say fact, but the Giants can get points in other ways through the running game, or perhaps they will get their first special teams or defensive score in the game? Unless the Miami offense really underperforms the Giants are going to have to score in other ways to keep pace. Simply relying on the offense will not be enough. This is going to be a team effort to overcome the Dolphins offense that is averaging 37.5 points per game.

Dan Salomone: Fact – With the offensive line situation, Daniel Jones will need to shoulder a lot of the weight again this week. And we've seen him rise to the occasion in particular on the road, where some of his best games have come throughout his career.

Lance Medow: Fact – The Dolphins' offense can easily put points on the board as they're averaging nearly 40 per game so if you're going to compete with that, it's really simple, you need to score. That's been an issue for the Giants as they've only manufactured 15 points in the 14 quarters outside the second half against the Cardinals and have accounted for just five touchdowns (two passing, three rushing) in four contests. Miami has produced at least 24 points in three of their four games so a minimum of 28 is a realistic target to give yourself a chance to compete. The Dolphins' defense has had its fair share of ups and downs thus far, but Vic Fangio's unit has also held both the Patriots and Broncos to 20 points or less in consecutive games in Weeks 2 and 3.

Matt Citak: Fact – Miami is averaging 37.5 points per game this season. While a lot of that is due to their 70-point outburst against the Broncos, everything that was written above goes to show just how talented this offense is. As Martindale told the media Thursday, the Dolphins are going to make some plays on offense, regardless of how well the Giants' defense is playing. Jones and the rest of the offense are going to have to keep up, and that will likely require at least four touchdowns from Jones, whether that's through the air or on the ground. This is especially true considering Saquon Barkley's status for Sunday remains up in the air.

Kavyvon Thibodeaux will have a sack for the third consecutive week

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Tua Tagovailoa gets rid of the ball so quickly it is going to be difficult for anyone to sack him on Sunday. But give a better shot to the Giants' interior rushers since their distance to the quarterback is so much shorter than their edge rushers. Figure the Giants dial-down their blitz tendencies a bit since Tagovailoa gets rid of the ball so quickly. It wouldn't be helpful to send extra rushers if the ball is coming out early anyhow.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Sacks come in bunches, but will the takeaways follow? That's the real question heading into Sunday.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Although the Bills recorded four sacks against the Dolphins in Week 4, that was an outlier as in the first three games combined, opponents managed just one sack against Tua Tagovailoa. Miami has also been effective in limiting pressures and should get its starting center Connor Williams back this week after he missed the Buffalo game, which will help. The Giants have collected only four sacks in four games so until that pace dramatically changes, Iyou can't pen in any specific player to continue a trend.

Matt Citak: Fact – After being sacked just once in the first three games, Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa was taken down four times by the Bills last Sunday. All four sacks came after left tackle Terron Armstead was forced out of the game with a knee injury. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel told reporters at the start of the week that Armstead's absence is looking more like "weeks not days," which makes it unlikely that he will suit up Sunday. Thibodeaux has three sacks in the last two games, in addition to eight total pressures, according to PFF. The second-year outside linebacker looked like a man on a mission Monday night, and with Armstead likely out for Week 5, Thibodeaux will make it three straight games with a sack.

View rare photos of the all-time series between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins


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