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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Now that Philbin has been fired, back to our regularly scheduled program.
Have to start with Cameron Wake and the defense. Wake had 4 sacks, including a strip sack that began the turnover parade. Before this game, Wake had zero sacks. There's one sleeping giant that woke up. Reshad Jones was a missile as always with 8 tackles. Throw in a pick 6 that pretty much sealed the deal. Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins were everywhere from the linebacker spot, combining for 15 tackles, including three tackles for a loss. And Brent Grimes overcame a shaky start early to nab himself a beautiful pick late in the game.
Overall, the defense allowed 299 yards, including 63 yards rushing after being ranked towards the bottom of the NFL in rush defense most of the season. The defense also forced four turnovers, sacked the QB 6 times, stopped the Titans 8 times on 10 third down conversion attempts and, most importantly, held the opposition to 10 yards. This is the unit we were expecting since we signed Ndamukong Suh. We finally got it today. Interestingly enough, while Suh only logged 1 tackle, he did have two passes defended. The pass rush was ferocious and the run defense buckled down as the game went on.
Lamar Miller and the offense also showed up today. Miller rushed the ball 19 times for 113 yards (5.9 ypc) and 1 TD. The offense gained 434 total yards on offense, with 180 of those yards coming on the ground. Pretty impressive stuff for a team that couldn't run the ball for four weeks. Rishard Matthews caught all 6 of his targets for 85 yards. But the play that set the tone for the offense was a short catch early in the game in which he was crushed by two defenders and still held onto the ball. A shout out goes to the offensive line for only allowing two sacks and paving the way for those 180 yards.
Even though he caught a TD, Jordan Cameron had a rough game, drawing a holding penalty, causing one Ryan Tannehill interception while not being on the same page as Tannehill on the other interception. Cameron also dropped a couple of passes.
Tannehill's stat line looks rough. While he did complete passes to 8 different receivers and completed 75% of his passes, he had a couple of instances where he and the receiver were not on the same page. One led to an interception in which Jordan Cameron went one way and Tannehill threw the other. The other was with Lamar Miller. Same thing. Guys need to know their assignments, but Tannehill ultimately needs to protect the ball. Definitely something to work on there.
Olivier Vernon took that "walk the line" meme too far as he was flagged twice for roughing the passer penalties. Expect him to be fined by the NFL for his low hit on Mariotta.
There are still things to work on. The defense looked shaky early and the secondary and that zone coverage left receivers wide open at times. There were still some missed assignments on the offensive line. And obviously, the QB and receivers always need to be on the same page.
Congratulations to Dan Campbell on his first win. Talk about a coming out party. I am sure this went better than he ever imagined. So his talk about aggressiveness and waking the sleeping giant paid off this week on the road against a young, talented team that is still getting it together. The result from changing approach is remarkable as this Dolphins team lost to a hapless Jacksonville Jaguars team just a couple of weeks ago but totally thrashed the Titans. Does this serve to highlight just how much of a problem Philbin's approach was? Obviously, the early results are that Philbin was in over his head and these guys needed to be motivated and pushed.
But, this is only one game. The expectations just went way up for Dan Campbell. Next week, the Dolphins go into Houston against a team they have never beaten. Can Campbell keep the giant awake and do something the Dolphins have never done before?
The 1-3 Miami Dolphins, coming off a bye week and coaching change, travel to Nashville to take on the 1-3 Tennessee Titans, coming off a tough 14-13 loss at home to Buffalo. As we all know, the Dolphins fired HC Joe Philbin after the loss to the New York Jets in England, and hired TE coach Dan Campbell as the interm coach. DC Kevin Coyle was also released. The game begins at 1:00 on CBS.
The question all Dolphins fans have right now is with this coaching change, will anything change for the Dolphins. Sure, we have heard from the players about how happy they are for Campbell and are ready to go to battle for him, but we all know what REALLY matters. What this team does on the field today and the rest of the 2015 season. With that said, let take a look at how these teams matchup.
Miami comes into the game offensively generating 314.8 yards per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. The passing game is generating 245.5 yards per game, which comes in at 14th, while the running game is producing only 69.2 yards per game, which ranks 31st. The Dolphins are only scoring 16.2 points per game, which also ranks 31st. They face a pretty solid Titans defense that is giving up only 283.5 yards per game, which ranks 3rd in the NFL. The Titans are giving up 166.5 yards per game in the passing game, which ranks 1st, while giving up 117.0 yards in the rushing game, which ranks 23rd. The Titans are giving up 22.8 points per game, which ranks 17th.
Needless to say, you look at those ranking for this Dolphins offense and you realize that this team has taken a HUGE step backwards. First and foremost, the offensive line issues for the Dolphins still remain a HUGE problem, specifically the OG play. Also, OLT Branden Albert has not been able to stay healthy, and that has had a negative effect on this unit as well. He will play today, and him remaining healthy will be a big key to the remaining 2015 season. QB Ryan Tannehill has been hit a lot, but he still does have accuaracy issues, and that has to improve. The run game, so good in 2014 is nowhere to be seen in 2015, and that has got to change. We also need to see what we have in 1st round pick DeVante Parker. I will be interested in seeing this unit and what they do today. Can't get any worse.
Defensively, the Dolphins come in giving up 399.5 yards per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. They are giving up 239.0 yards per game passing, which ranks 15th, while giving up 160.5 yards rushing, which ranks 32nd in the NFL, DEAD LAST. The Dolphins are giving up 25.2 points per game, which comes in at 20th in the NFL. They face a Titans offense that is generating 350.8 yards per game, which ranks 16th in the NFL. The Titans are generating 232.0 yards in the passing game, which ranks 22nd in the NFL, while generating 118.8 yards in the run game, which ranks 14th. The Titans are scoring 25.5 points per game, which comes in at 8th.
If there is a unit in football more disappointing than this Dolphins defense, someone PLEASE POINT THEM OUT TO ME. Miami defensively has been one of the worst defenses in the NFL, when going into the 2015 season, you thought it would be one of the best. Where do you begin? From having only 1 sack, let me repeat that, 1 sack, to ranking DEAD LAST in the NFL against the run. With the talent on this unit, this should not be anywhere close to being this abysmal, but they are. A lot was said about DC Kevin Coyle and his inability to use his players and play to their strengths. New DC Lou Anarumo is expect to cut the Defensive Line loose and let them be disruptive and aggressive, something that fits Ndamakong Suh best. Time to see what these players can do now that they perhaps will be put in better positions to make plays.
I am hoping, like all Dolphin fans that Dan Campbell can light a fire under this team. They have taken underacheiving to a new level in 2015. Can this team FINALLY play to their potential? We will find out today.
Dan Campbell says we're about to see the sleeping giant awakened. I'm so ready for that; however, the serious part of me understands that is part of the hyperbole he needs to use to motivate the team. Reasonable expectations for Campbell and company would be a competitve team that plays hard, irrespective of the record at the end of the season. The faithful can hang their hats on watching a new coaching staff and players come together. It would be important for him to start winning more than he's losing at the end of the season if he's going to keep his job. I'm already sick of reading the articles about his replacement. Didn't be send Todd Bowles packing in favor of Philbin? This once-storied franchise is in full ruin. It is like the inner city infrastructure of Detroit..... rubble. It just doesn't need a tweak. It needs a complete engine overhaul. Ross has brought this here. He took us from the slippery slope of decline and plunged us directly in the abyss of horrible football. After the unenthusiastic play against Buffalo, I had already lost interest. I began spending my Sundays doing something productive. At least now, I can enjoy watching again. How long that lasts depends on how hard this team plays for their new coach.
At the beginning of the season you would've marked this as an easy win. Now, @Tennessee, I'm not predicting a win. I think its too much to ask an interim HC to pull off given he had to fire his DC as well. If Dan were a defensive coach, i'd be a little more optimistic about short term success. We now have a DB coach who might be over his head as DC. You never know, people surprise but all indications are this is going to be a loss. Here's what my gut is saying. This won't be a close game. Its gonig to be either really good, or really, really bad. This team has the talent to do their jobs and win despite the circumstances; however, that's just it.... on the flight to London there's some clown walking around laughing, joking and other players seemed like they were heading to the beach....not a football game where they're 1-2 coming off one of the most embarrassing losses in a while. I would've expected a somber mood. One of more seriousness. Campbell has his work cut out just with changing the attitudes on this team. If he can get that turned around, he still has to figure out how to turn it into a winner. Imagine walking into a garage with a high end car sitting their in pieces. Completely dismantled, each piece dumped in one big pile. Now imagine you're told you have to be ready to race in two weeks and btw, we just fired the body and frame guy. I think you get it. With that said, If Dan pulls off the unthinkable this season and manages a miracle turnaround..... it might be worthy of Dan the Man status.