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Week 12: Dolphins at Broncos
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.
The Miami Dolphins, 1-1, return home to take on the winless Kansas City Chiefs in a 4:25 kickoff. Miami is coming off their 1st lost of the season, a disappointing 29-10 lost at Buffalo, while Kansas City is coming off a tough 24-17 lost at Denver.
After looking SO GOOD 2 weeks ago at home against New England, some of the same issues that were problems for Miami reared their ugly heads up again in what is turning into a house of horror for Miami in Buffalo. The revmaped OL gave up 4 sacks and really struggled at the 2 guard spots. QB Ryan Tannehill still is struggling with conisistency and accuracy issues and OC Bill Lazor abandoned the run game way to early. Special teams was a HUGE issue, as the Dolphins gave up a 102 yard return for TD to C.J Spiller, had a punt blocked and miffed a punt return.
Defensively, the Dolphins were not able to pressure E.J Manuel, as the Bills employed a lot of quick routes to get the ball out of his hands. The secondary also gave up way to much cushion, which made it easy to complete a lot of those passes.
Moving forward, those issues and a few more have to be corrected against what will be a pretty desperate Chiefs team coming into Miami 0-2. Let's take a quick look at the 2 teams.
Offensively, the Dolphins are averaging 21.5 points and 325 yards per game, 190 yards passing and 136 yards rushing per game. QB Ryan Tannehill is completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 419 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Even with missing the large majority of the game with an dislocated elbow that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks, he leads the Dolphins with 138 yards rushing followed by Lamar Miller with 105 yards. Mike Wallace is the leading pass cathcer with 12 catches for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The face a Kansas City defense giving up 24.5 points per game and giving up 365 yards per game, 240 yards passing and 125 yards rushing. This is a unit that lost leading tackler LB Derrick Johnson and DE Mike DeVito and could possibly be withoug Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, who suffered a sprained ankle in the Denver lost.
KC has some talent up front with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston at OLB along with Dontari Poe at DT, so the offensive line will need to bounce back from last week's poor performance and play well, especially the interior of the OL for Miami. The accuracy issues that plaque Ryan have to be worked out, but the Dolphins receivers need to make plays when they are there to be made. WR Brian Hartline dropped a perfectly thrown deep pass in the 4th quarter, and that is simply not acceptable. Besides Wallace, someone else in the receiving corp needs to step up. OC Bill Lazor also needs to keep this offense balanced with RB Lamar Miller and rookies Damien Williams and Orleans Darkva.
Defensively, Miami comes into the game giving up 24.5 points and 315 yards of total offense, 214 yards passing and 101 yards rushing. They face a Kansas City offense averaging 13.5 points while generating 313 yards per game, 213 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. The Chiefs could also be without Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles, who is coming off a high ankle sprain against Denver. He did practice some ths week, but is still very questionable for the game. If he can't go, Knile Davis is a compotent backup and will get the call. TE Travis Kelcie with 7 catches for 130 yards and WR Donnie Avery are the leading receivers for the KC offense. QB Alex Smith is completing 58.4 percent of his passes for 457 yards, but he has only 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions, something you really do not want from a QB given a big contract extension.
Miami is facing a KC offense that is really struggling right now, and if Charles can't go, that is a blow for the Chiefs. The front 4 for Miami can and must be a factor in this game against an OL that is struggling, lead by one Cameron Wake. Wake was a non factor last week, and that cannot happen again for the Dolphins this week. The LB corp for the Dolphins is a Mash unit right now, but 2nd year LB Jelani Jenkins has been a breath of fresh air. MLB Koa Misi should be back as well, which is a big plus for the Dolphins and Phillip Wheeler played as well last week. Miami secondary was so so last week, and nickel CB Will Davis was targeted a good bit. Tighter coverage and better tackling from this unit needs to happen today against a struggling Kansas City offense.
The AFC East looks to be a much improved division, and the Dolphins need a win here to keep pace. This is a game Miami should win, but the Dolphins have found ways to lose these type of games. They can't afford a slip up against a struggling Chiefs team.
Let's Go Miami.