The Miami Dolphins may present another matchup where Tarik Cohen could get loose
After his breakout performance in Week Four, everyone is wondering whether or not Tarik Cohen is going to give you the occasional big game here and there, or whether if he is becoming a piece of this offense.
As he has every single time when asked this question, Matt Nagy has had that personnel usage will vary based on game script. This is the sign of a good coach and is understanding when you consider the relationship between Jordan Howard and Cohen. However, when looking at the matchup, it could very easily be calling for a second straight Tarik Cohen game,
When looking at efficiency against running backs in the passing game, the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks rank 12th and eighth respectively. Their success in this area is likely why Cohen was not involved much. The Cardinals ranked 25h against running backs, but that game was a poor performance all the way around.
Still, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sat at 30th in the NFL at passes to running back. Matt Nagy knew that and pounded that home in a game to hopefully get Cohen ‘s confidence up.
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However, the kink in the Dolphins defensive success has been their ability to slow down pass-catching running backs. This theme has risen in their two-game losing streak where Joe Mixon and James White put in big performances through the air. Mixon had three receptions, one going for a touchdown, White had eight, one finding pay dirt, and even Jalen Richard put up six receptions for 59 yards, the best game of his 2018 season.
The Dolphins are incorporating Jerome Baker, a rookie from Ohio State into the lineup. Baker has a lot of speed, and they are hoping that they can put him next to Raekwon McMillan, a second-year linebacker to form a young, up and coming duo. However, as Baker gets his feet wet, the team is relying heavily on Kiko Alonso to hold up against running backs in the passing game.
Alonso was once known as a fast linebacker but has had a few knee surgeries in his time. While he is a smart linebacker who will mentor Baker and keep him in line, it is clear that he does not have that step to hang with the Richard, Mixon and White type of speed.
So, while Jordan Howard is doing better as a pass catcher, his speed in the open field is not mind-blowing to punish Kiko Alonso. Tarik Cohen in a one-on-one matchup with Kiko Alonso is a win for the Chicago Bears.
Considering the other matchups in the passing game, this has to be an area the Bears attack early and often.