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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Jay Ajayi is quite the revelation. Another monster game from the guy that a few weeks ago was considered another bust with no future. Now he is only the 4th running back in NFL history to have back to back 200 yard rushing games, joining O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams. The J-Train leads the NFL in yards per carry and has vaulted to 6th in rushing yards based off two monster games.
The offensive line has mounted a huge turnaround. With all 5 starters finally being healthy, there has been a huge difference in performance both in run blocking and pass protection. In particular, the interior offensive line has done an excellent job in creating cutback lanes for the running backs. Mike Pouncey and Laremy Tunsil have been unstoppable, Jermon Bushrod has also done a good job of moving off and getting contact at the second level. And after an initial rough start, Juwuan James has turned his game around. From a pass blocking perspective, you can see the difference the pass two weeks as Tannehill has been sacked once in two games and is generally finding himself with more time to throw.
The run defense has also improved greatly. With the additions of Cam Wake and Andre Branch at end, two players not known for their run defense, and with some tweaking at the linebacker position, the run defense is getting stronger. The Bills vaunted run game, the backbone of the offense, was held to just 60 yards and 3 yards per carry.
The pass rush is showing up as well. Cam Wake looks like his old self, with 1.5 sacks.
Coaching has played a big role in this short turnaround. Adam Gase has taken control of this team. Benching underperforming players, cutting dead weight. He has sent a message and players are starting to realize there is a new sherriff in town. Vance Joseph has also demonstrated his ability to adjust. The Dolphins were dead last in run defense at the end of week 5 but have been much stouter the past two weeks.
If not for terrible special teams play, the Bills would probably not been in the game the way they got dominated on both side of the trenches. But with a punt block allowed and a terrible holding call on Kenyan Drake that led to a rekick and a nice return for the Bills, it helped to equalize the game for a while. Darren Rizzi's units are usually solid, if unspectacular. But they were spectacularly bad against the Bills.
Penalties need to be cleaned up. Despite winning time of possession 37 minutes to 23 minutes and besides winning the rushing battle 256 rushing yards to 67, the Bills were leading at the half and were in this game throughout. That was because of poor special teams plays and untimely, stupid penalties. I like that the Dolphins are playing with more passion, but they need to know how to walk the line.
With the schedule seemingly getting much easier, the Dolphins may be in position to go on a winning streak and compete for a playoff spot. Two things have to happen for that to continue. The Dolphins need to continue running the football and they need to continue stopping the run. With Jay Ajayi on fire and the defensive front playing better, this is very possible. But one thing the Dolphins have proven over the years is that they can be consistently inconsistent. Let's see if Adam Gase can change that bad habit.
Did anyone see that Steelers beat-down coming? I sure didn't or I would have gone to: click here to bet on American football matches and dropped several Benjamins on the Miami Dolphins. Everything Miami has done poorly all season was played correctly last Sunday.
The key to it all? Blocking. Miami had their 5 offensive line starters for the first time this season. After our loss to the Titans the team was criticized for not being with the times. They said that investing a lot of money in the offensive and defensive lines was old school. I don't think so. The Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and they are winning with a rookie quarterback. A quarterback must have the time to throw the ball, the receivers must have the time to run their routes, and a running back needs a hole to run through. So, take that, sports writers.
Gase: Saban 2.0
In Coach Saban's first year with the Dolphins, he was frustrated by the lack of effort that the team was putting on the field. After a 22-0 loss to the Cleveland Brown Coach Saban sat the team down and told them that from then on out he was evaluating each player for the next season. Anyone that did not put forth the expected effort would not be back with the Dolphins. The Dolphins ripped off 6 straight wins to finish off the season. Three of those wins were AFC East opponents: Jets, Bills, and Patriots.
Coach Gase didn't wait until late November to send that message to the team. He benched defensive linemen Mario Williams and Jason Jones, and called out the team for not playing hard. The Dolphins had their best defensive effort against one of the best offenses in the NFL.Coach Gase cut the three stooges first thing after the Titans loss: Billy Turner, Dallas Thomas, and Jamil Douglas. Ju'Wuan James responded with his best blocking game of the season. You have to give a big "attaboy" to Gase for sending a message to the team. Now, the question is, "Can this carry on to the rest of the season?" We will see Sunday against the Bills where our defense seems to make any of their quarterbacks look like Pro Bowl quarterbacks.
Ajayi: AFC Offensive Player of the Week
Finally ... we got to see the running back that I promised you in the offseason. With a hole and a chip on his shoulder, Ajayi ran for 204 yards on 25 carries with 2 touchdowns for the game. He ran hard from the first play until the very last play of the game breaking many tackles. Ajayi fell to the 5th round in the 2015 draft due to concerns about his knee, but you have to remember that he ranked behind Gurley coming into the draft for most yards after contact. He broke a lot of tackles in college, and he showed off a little on Sunday steamrolling over a tough Steelers defense.
Check out this touchdown run that put a stake in the heart of the Steelers late in the game. Simply "Ricky-like".
Suh Didn't Get Fined?
Say what? Come on. If you watch the video you will see that Ndamukong Suh is manhandling his opponent but sticks his leg out in an attempt to trip or simply distract Roethlisberger. It's the first cheap shot that I've seen Suh do in a Miami Dolphins uniform. While it disappoints me to a point, I do see him fighting hard through double-teams on many plays trying to get to the quarterback. I'm going to have to get a Suh jersey at some point. He and Reshad Jones play very exciting football every single play of the game.
He’s trying to figure out a way to get to the quarterback. I don’t know if I can comment on it past that. I just know how I’ve watched him play. He just goes as hard as he can and he does everything he can to try to sack the quarterback. (Adam Gase @ Miami Herald).
Anyways, the NFL is still looking into the Suh play, but it didn't stop the No Fun League from handing out $12,154 to Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams and Ju'Wuan James. So, let me get this straight: getting penalized 15 yards is no longer good enough, so, now the NFL is fining players for unsportsmanlike conduct on the field. I think the NFL front office needs a serious makeover. Why don't we fine the NFL front office and take food out of their kids mouths for excessive force.
DE Dion Jordan underwent another operation - out indefinitely
I swear that I get so tired of hearing that Jordan is trying hard to get back on the field. At this point I think it is just lip service. As a fan I am sick and tired of hearing about his "potential". I've been watching the NFL since 1970 and I have never seen anyone get paid this much for doing absolutely nothing. How many clean slates has this guy gotten? Trade him for Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon and a conditional draft pick. Swap the losers and give the fans a fresh start.
Right now there is only one name banned on our forums and that is Tom Olivadotti. He the former defensive coordinator who kept Dan Marino from winning a Super Bowl. John Knighton (AFCMiamiEast) is suggesting that I put Dion Jordon on the forum ban list and I am heavily considering it.
We are going to miss Reshad Jones.
No lie there. The Dolphins want us to get excited about Michael Thomas, but he isn't playing well at all in my opinion. If you don't believe me then take a look at Pro Football Focus' stats on our safety position. The Bills have been winning by running the football, and if they past our front 7 it may turn into touchdown fever for the Bills. Michael Thomas needs to step it up big time.
There's more to talk about, but I'll have to catch you all on our Dolphins forum. Do me a favor and do not have a meltdown on our Dolphins forum feeling the need to talk about the two idiots running for president, global warming, or even religion. Take it to the offtopic section. I had to ban someone this week who decided to take a walk to crazytown about Global Warming and insulted everyone who didn't share their exact opinion on it. There is medication for that (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that). Go solve the world's problems somewhere else.