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Week 10: Bills at Dolphins
It's what the Miami Dolphins are lacking, and it's what is needed to get back on course, because right now the Dolphins are off course. From Joe Philbin, to Kevein Coyle to Ryan Tannehill there is a lack of leadership, someone needs to step up as a leader to keep this franchise from floundering.
Coyle is being criticized by the defense, Philbin is being criticized by Tannehill, Tannehill is being criticized by Philbin, a lot of finger pointing to go around, and it's what can happen with a lack of leadership, born out of frustration. The answer is easy, get a strong leader, but easier said than done. Leadership is much more than being appointed as the leader, in our day to day jobs that's usually enough, but on an NFL team that isn't enough.
True leadership is measured by being someone others will follow, it's not just being in charge, it's those you're in charge of, wanting you to be in charge. Some one to rally around, some one who's banner you will fly proudly, some one who has the right answers.
The Dolphins need a real boost of leadership, this would get everyone on the same page, clearly they are not on the same page right now, and things will most likely get worse before they get better if no one steps up as a leader. There's not much good to talk about right now about this team, a win in old London town against the Raiders would be a start, not a fix, but a start, but an emerging leader, that would be a fix.
Lamar Miller had a 100 yard day, 108 yards rushing on 15 carries for a 7.2 ypc. He also caught 4 passes for 24 yards.
Jelani Jenkins had 15 tackles, 1.5 sacks (including a safety) and 2 QB hits. Jenkins has been around the ball often since beginning to get significant playing time.
The playcalling on offense seemed like a repeat of last week. The Dolphins had 19 called runs to 48 called pass plays. As was documented in last week's blog, the Dolphins ran the ball 21 times to 53 called passes against the Bills. This means the Dolphins have called 40 runs to 101 passes in the past two games. What is especially frustrating about this is that the Dolphins ran the ball at 7.1 yards per attempt, which is unheard of and still only ran it 19 times. Meanwhile the Chiefs ran the ball 41 times to 30 called passes at 4.2 yards per rush. The playcalling has to get a lot more balanced for Miami to have success.
Miami's receivers, the highest paid in the league, dropped 4 passes in the first half and had trouble getting separation in the second half.
Miami's tackling was bad.... really bad. While the defensive line got pressure on Alex Smith, the Chiefs went to the running game more and were able to make Miami defenders miss. The Chiefs stubborn dedication to the run got the Miami defense tired and helped their offense score 34 points. Interesting that the one week that the Dolphins ran the ball more than they threw it, the Dolphins won by double digits.
The right side of the offensive line had pass protection issues all day long. Jawuan Jakes had a hard time with the speed rush of Justin Houston and Dallas Thomas simply looked awful at right guard.
Ryan Tannehill should have been in The Good. Yes, I know that will get some Tannehill bashers upset, but he is not the reason the Dolphins lost today. Not even close. For the entire first half, Tannehill's ball placement was good, but his receivers dropped 4 passes. This has been a common theme all season and in this particular game, ball placement cannot be cited as a reason for his receivers struggling. The coaching staff let Tannehill down by abandoning the run despite it being extremely effective. The right side of the offensive line let Tannehill down by pass protecting poorly. And most of all, the receivers let Tannehill down by dropping perfectly placed passes that would have gained more yards after the catch.
Special teams were so up and down today. While the Dolphins did manage to get 3 punts inside the 20 and Jarvis Landry did have a 74 yard kick return, he also had his mistakes on punt returns and the coverage teams looked shaky. Throw in Caleb Sturgis missing a field goal. It is disappointing to see special teams struggling given how good they were last year.
What started off as a promising season after thumping the Patriots is now approaching full on crisis as the Dolphins got beat soundly by a bad team. The Chiefs are missing some of their best players, they can't cover or stop the run and their offense is mediocre. And yet they still put a 19 point whooping on the Dolphins. One more game left before the bye week, and the way that Raiders defense looked against the Patriots today, I have my doubts that this Dolphins offense will be able to get it together against them.