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We're already into Week 6 of the NFL season and things are really starting to get interesting. Our game, Washington at Miami, may not look like much on its face but a lot of people will be paying close attention to it on Sunday. I say that because the Redskins fired Jay Gruden after starting the year 0-5, replacing him with former Raiders head coach Bill Callahan (on an interim basis).
Miami hasn't won a game yet either, so that adds another interesting wrinkle to the game. Someone is going to exit the field on Sunday with their first win of the year. The game will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami at 1:00 P.M ET on FOX.
In addition to the internal issues they're going through this week, the Redskins will also be facing a team that's had an extra week to prepare, as Miami had a bye week in Week 5.
New Regime in RedskinsThe last time Bill Callahan was starting a head coaching job, he wound up in the Super Bowl. That was a long time ago, back in 2002 with the Oakland Raiders. His current assignment is much different, as he's been tabbed as the interim head coach of the Washington Redskins after they let go of Jay Gruden. Callahan has a 15-17 record as an NFL head coach and a 27-22 record as a D-1 college football head coach.
Callahan has quickly put his stamp on the team, emphasizing the run game and conditioning more than Gruden.
"Conditioning, to me, is important," Callahan told reporters on Wednesday. "As you get in the month of October, and late in October, and November, that kind of erodes a little bit. You know, teams get away from that."
"What comes to mind for us is our stamina and our energy late," he added.
Watch Live: Interim Head Coach Bill Callahan Speaks to the Media https://t.co/OKU4s8bbDs— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) October 9, 2019
Callahan is right. The Redskins have been a much better first-half team this year. They blew a 20-7 halftime lead in Week 1 to Philadelphia, losing 32-27, then in their last two games, they've been shutout on offense in the second half. On the flip side, their defense allowed 28 second-half points in the last two weeks.
QB Colt McCoy started last week for Washington, but if Case Keenum, their starter coming into the season, is healthy, he'll start vs. Miami, per reports.
Dolphins Focusing on "Process"Despite being the laughingstock of the NFL, the Miami Dolphins are focusing on the process. Judging from the moves they made before the season, unloading assets for draft picks, the team is looking to win down the road instead of right now.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Flores stressed "process" and added that "development is very important" for his team.
Dolphins Live: Coach Flores meets with the media. https://t.co/Wdg17O54wi— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 10, 2019
One of the main guys who's development is newsworthy is Josh Rosen, a first-round pick last year and their starting quarterback. Flores signed off on Rosen for the rest of the season this week, so now he can stop looking over his shoulder at Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Neither quarterback has been particularly effective this season but at least there's upside with Rosen. He's young, smart, and able to make most NFL throws. What he hasn't had since coming into the league is a solid o-line or weapons, but that's out of his control. He'll have to make do with what he has from here on out. Coming off a bye week, I expect the Fins to have some new wrinkles installed to give him a chance to win.
In four games, the offense has scored two touchdowns, both through the air. They haven't scored a TD on the ground yet. On defense, they're allowing 40 points per game.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 6.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a bye week.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight-up loss.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I don't say this often, but taking the Miami Dolphins this week is a golden opportunity to cash in. The Dolphins are in a great spot, and regardless of what their roster looks like, they're all professional football players. They've had an extra week to prepare, their opponent is going through major changes, and they'll have a major home-field advantage on Sunday.
Prediction: Miami Dolphins +3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Against a defense that's allowing 30+ points per game, Josh Rosen is finally going to have his NFL coming-out party. He's coming off his most-accurate game as a pro (70.9 completion percentage) and his second-best game in terms of yards per attempt (7.5). With an extra week to prepare, he'll be more in sync with his skill players, leading to a season-high point total for the offense. On the other side, Case Keenum has done some good things for the Skins, throwing seven touchdowns in Washington's first three games. Five of their last six meetings have stayed under so we're all due for a Washington-Miami over. With two awful defenses, it makes sense.
Prediction: Over 40.5