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Monday Night Football Preview: Dolphins at Saints

MNF Preview

Whether you are a fan of the teams doing battle, have fantasy football or gaming implications, or you’re simply looking for creative ways to increase your alcohol intake during the Monday Night Football telecast, we’ve got you covered.

MNF Dolphins Saints

Welcome to the Gridiron Experts Ultimate Guide to Monday Night. Whether you are a fan of the teams doing battle, have fantasy football or gaming implications, or you’re simply looking for creative ways to increase your alcohol intake during the Monday Night Football telecast, we’ve got you covered. Both the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints enter Week 4 with unblemished records and each is making the first of two 2013 appearances on Monday Night Football.

Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints (-6.5)

After four straight losing seasons, the Dolphins are 3-0 for the first time since 2002, having notched victories on the road at Indianapolis in Week 2 and in comeback fashion against the Falcons last week. Ryan Tannehill entered Week 4 with a top-10 quarterback rating and looks to keep the momentum going against an improved Saints defense. Prized free-agent acquisition Mike Wallace has been off to a slow start in Miami, trailing both Brian Hartline and Charles Clay for the team lead in catches and receiving yards. But in a return to his hometown of New Orleans and in his first primetime game as a Dolphin, we project Wallace to break through as a top-20 fantasy wideout for the week. Miami will likely need him to do so, in order to keep up with the Saints’ high-powered offense.

New Orleans gave up an NFL-worst 440.1 yards and 28.4 points per game in 2012, leading to the quick ouster of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who spent just one season with the team. However, with Cowboys castoff Rob Ryan at the helm, the Saints ranks among the league’s best defenses thus far in 2013, giving up less than 300 total yards per game. Add in the continued mastery of Drew Brees on the offensive side of the ball and it’s easy to understand how the Saints are undefeated. The 13-year veteran signal caller entered Week 3 behind just Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers for the most passing yards on the season, and we expect to him to have a huge game against the Dolphins on Monday night. The primary beneficiary of Brees’ success should continue to be Jimmy Graham, who has been targeted 31 times in the last two weeks, with 19 catches, 313 yards, and three touchdowns. Not a bad fortnight for the best tight end in the game.

My Prediction:

The Saints are justifiably known as one of the top offenses in the NFL, but the Dolphins are actually averaging more points through the first three games of the season. Neither team has had much success running the ball in 2013, so an aerial showcase could be on tap. In recent years, the Saints have been unbeatable at home on Monday nights, having won their last eight MNF appearances dating back to 2008. Still, I think Miami will put up a good fight before ultimately losing by less than a touchdown. I’ll take the Dolphins plus the points in this one.

New Orleans 27, Miami 23


MNF Drinking Game

The matchup on the football field doesn’t have to be the only game in town on Monday night. Get a group together, grab your favorite beer and a bottle of liquor, and enjoy the Gridiron Experts MNF Drinking Game.

  • Take one drink for every sack
  • Take one drink for every punt
  • Take one shot for every pass play of greater than 20 yards
  • Take one drink for every incomplete pass thrown by Drew Brees
  • Take one drink for every rushing attempted by Ryan Tennehill (includes scrambles)
  • Take one drink every time ESPN shows someone wearing beads
  • Take one shot for every reference to “Bountygate” on the telecast
  • Take one drink every time Rob Ryan is shown on the telecast
  • Take one shot every time Jon Gruden uses a cross-sports reference (for example, “Miami needs to get LeBron James to guard Jimmy Graham”)

Beer of the Week

Picture%20020The Beer of the Week represents a tasty offering from the city/region hosting the week’s Monday Night Football contest. Feel free to incorporate the Beer of the Week into the MNF Drinking Game.

Abita Turbodog – The Abita Brewing Company, located about 45 miles north of New Orleans in Abita Springs, Louisiana, attributes some of its unique flavor profiles to a brewing process that utilizes water from local artesian wells. The craft brewery’s flagship beers include Turbodog, a dark, English-style brown ale made with pale, caramel, and chocolate malts, along with aromatic Willamette hops. The result is a mild, malty brew with a sweet chocolate and toffee-like flavor that pairs well with spicy Louisiana jambalaya or Monday Night Football on the bayou. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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