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YOUR 2014 DOLPHINS ARE ALIVE AND WELL

Well, the Redskins game turned out to be not what was advertised, didn't it? The preseason crowned "Top 5 Defense" couldn't stop the run, and Ryan Tannehill threw some ducks along with some very nice passes showing us that he isn't as consistent as he looked in the preseason.

No matter, my friends. This is week 2 and the Dolphins are facing the Jacksonville Jaguars. The odds say the Jaguars are going to upset a couple of teams this year, but there is just too much talent and potential on Miami's side to show another letdown. Keep in mind that defensively the Dolphins corrected a number of their problems at the half. Which makes me wonder why it took so long to do so? This isn't the NCAA. A DC has to correct problems on the next couple of drives.

You all know that I begged the Dolphins to cut Kevin Coyle loose after his 3rd consecutive defensive slide of our Dolphins since he took over. I have nothing against Coyle, but a good defensive coordinator will be able to scheme his defense to good production. Maybe he's simplified the wrong part of his game. The big problem the past few years was his zone coverage that his linebackers and secondary (and defensive linemen) had to constantly think about in games. It was too complicated. It sounds to me that Coach Philbin directed his friend in the wrong direction in his simplification order.

 

GAME BALLS TO S RASHAD JONES AND WR JARVIS LANDRY

I honestly believe that if Rashad Jones and Jarvis Landry had missed last week's game, that we'd be looking at an 0-1 record right now. Seriously. Rashad Jones was all over the field and played excellent defense against the run and the pass. He is my early MVP for this Dolphins team. I may have to go out and buy a Rashad Jones jersey because he is a serious "play-ya". Unfortunately he will be out this week because of a hamstring injury, so, our young and up-and-coming safeties will have to show us why they made the roster. I like Walt Aikens, but he needs the experience to improve.

What can I say about Jarvis Landry? If everyone on the offense played as he did on Sunday we'd be unstoppable. He willed himself to a first down when the Dolphins needed it. And the punt return for a touchdown was a thing of beauty as he ran 69 yards untouched to the end zone. Sure, the Redskins punter outkicked his coverage as Brandon Fields did on occasion last year, but Landry showed great vision on the return.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T82CfyD4yM

 

OC BILL LAZOR NEEDS OFFENSIVE BALANCE

Or does he? I agree that Lamar Miller needs to get the ball more, but when the offense cannot generate a running game and are going 3 and out, it was very good to see a Brady-esque performance by Ryan Tannehill. Sure, Tannehill missed a wide open Dion Sims in the end zone and got his tight end injured. All he had to do was to set his feet and he would have had better control.  Tannehill also threw a couple of passes that should have been picked off in the 2nd half. It seems that Tannehill forgot about his footwork and reverted back to Mike Sherman Tannehill.

I will say that when Tannehill lined up in what was going to be a pass, he moved the Dolphins down the field.  There is a big positive in that. His game was off but he moved the Dolphins when the running game was not working. Lazor just needs to pull back the urge to throw the ball on every play when the game is still close, and get Lamar Miller more involved. Every smart offensive coordinator has to fight this urge all the time, and Lazor is a very intelligent offensive coordinator. This offense is made for Ryan Tannehill.

 

BRICE MCCAIN ... WOW

I am concerned that we have very short starting cornerbacks, but you have to love that interception by Brice McCain. I've been watching the Dolphins since 1970 and if I had to list the top 5 inteceptions that I've ever seen from the Dolphins I would have that interception in that group (along with Grimes one-handed interception last year). Outstanding! It wasn't a bad pass by Cousins as he expected Garcon to go up and get the ball over the 5'9" McCain, but McCain seemed to will that pass into his possession.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhDdYL7M9e4

 

IS CAM WAKE STARTING TO SHOW AGE?

Did anyone notice that Cam Wake seemed to disappear in last week's game for many plays at a time? I understand that he had as bad a game as the rest of the defensive front 7, but he played poorly on the edge in sealing off the run. I'd hate for one of my favorite players to be on the decline when we finally get a player such as Suh in the middle to funnel plays to him and take away blocker in passing downs to free him up. I'm just a very concerned fan right now. Cam Wake ... where the heck are you?

 

Go Dolphins!

Big Dave

 

 

Syh Tripped When I first watched the game full speed two things hit me pretty hard: Miami’s defense isn’t as good as it should be. 2. The offense is pretty lousy as well. After re-watching the game here’s some things I noticed. First, Washington played the dirtiest game I’ve seen in a review that I ever remember. That is saying something because Kubiak’s Texans were cheapshot artists as well. They were mild compared to this year’s Washington Redskins. In the above photo, you see Suh engaged with the center  while the guard (75) whose number isn’t seen is purposely sticking his leg out to hit Suh in the lower leg. It was purposeful because the video shows his leg go straight and stiff as he stuck it out.  Later in the same series, you had the RB purposely leg whip Olivier Vernon the RDE for Miami. Vernon had to the leave the game with an injury.  It was no surprise to me that the players openly complained that they were playing trying to preserve their careers rather than to win the game. It is really hard for Miami to complain about this because Suh himself is a dirty player. He not only kicked Morris’s helmet but gouged the eye of the RT on another play.  So before they can complain, they’re going to have to get Suh under control.

 

Suh poor angle

    Now to Suh’s play. He just wasn’t that good. As a matter of fact on one play in the 3rd quarter he was unblocked and simply took a poor angle to the RB. Throughout the game Miami’s defense looked better with Philips in the game and Suh on the sideline. This game is just a data point but what a colossal failure this would be if Suh is simply there to collect a check.  On the one play in the photo, Suh was unblocked and instead of staying on the pulling guard’s hip, he jumps upfield and is unable to catch the speedy Morris and the play went for 10 yards. It is also keen to note the cut block being thrown at the LB’s knee in the photo. I think we can officially change their names to the Washington Dirty Skins. 

  

 The problem is this team has taken on the same passive attitude as their coach which is why they continually play down to the level fo the competition. This leaves them getting upset several times a year. Shula had a simple formula for getting into the playoffs: You beat the teams you should beat. Miami under Philbin has lost quite a few games against teams they should beat. Which is why most of us can't sit back and relax in the 4th quarter of most games. I don't suspect playing Jacksonville is going to be any different. I expect this will again be a game where they allow an inferior team to hang around well into the 4th quarter. I hope not, but theres very little to make me think different. Let's hope Lazor and Tannehill are over their first game jitters. Both guys had a very forgettable performance. It would be nice to see what this defense can do with a 3 score lead. 

Go RT

 

GD2

The Good

 

Jarvis Landry was the game changer, returning a punt for a 69 yard touchdown. Landry also chipped in with 8 catches for 53 yards. Landry showed toughness throughout the game, fighting for yards. The return for a touchdown was the difference in the game.

 

Jordan Cameron was invisible most of the preseason, but against the Redskins he had 4 catches for 73 yards, giving Ryan Tannehill that much needed seam threat.

 

Reshad Jones was everywhere on defense. He had 12 tackles and a pass defensed and at times seemed like the only player playing hard on defense.

 

Brent Grimes and Brice McCain had beautiful interceptions on defense. Grimes jumped a route and if he had kept his balance he may have had a pick 6. McCain's interception was even more impressive as it was not a terrible throw, he simply outfought Pierre Garcon for the ball.

 

Matt Darr's punts have made us forget about Brandon Fields.

 

The Bad

 

The Dolphins front seven, especially the defensive line, did not impress. At all. The Redskins were able to rush for 141 yards on 37 carries (4.4 ypc). The front 7 was especially bad in the 1st half. The Redskins controlled time of possession and were gashing the Dolphins at 5-6 yards a pop early. The pass rush was barely visible. The only person that managed a sack was Jordan Phillip, who would be the last person you'd expect to get the first sack of the year. Ndamukong Suh was invisible, getting double teamed on almost every play. The other defensive linemen were unable to take advantage. It was a shameful showing for a unit that is making so much money.

 

The offensive line continued to allow pressure up the middle in key moments. The Redskins managed 3 sacks and multiple pressures on Tannehill. The Dolphins were also unable to get much push early on and no push in short yardage situations.

 

Coaching left a lot to be desired. With the talent that Miami has on defense, I have to assume it is the scheme that is the problem. On offense, the imbalanced play calling continues, with the Dolphins underutilizing Lamar Miller in the run game and calling questionable plays at certain times. Joe Philbin still seems incapable of firing up his team.

 

The Ugly

 

Ryan Tannehill demonstrated quite a bit of inconsistency. His missed throw to a wide open Dion Sims not only left points on the board, but got out back up tight end injured with a concussion. That should have been an easy throw but was way out of bounds. Tannehill had time to set his feet and Sims was wide open. No excuse on that one. Tannehill also missed another sideline throw on the run to Kenny Stills and missed Jarvis Landry wide open down the field in the 2nd half. He also had two near interceptions. However, he did complete a high percentage of his passes on 3rd down, did lead a drive for a touchdown before the end of the half and had some beautiful downfield throws to Jordan Cameron and Jarvis Landry. It was a mixed back for Tannehill. He has to be better.

 

De-activate LeMike James and activate Jonas Gray. The end.

 

Overall

 

A win is a win. And a win on the road is always big. But this was a hapless Washington team with no real QB and a pretty bad defense. The Dolphins did not inspired confidence with this performance. They got lucky that one bad punt allowed Landry to take it to the house. This type of performance cannot continue against better competition. The Dolphins looked like the same team that ended the 2014 season. Allowing runs, pass plays down field, no pressure and stalling on offense at key times.

 

I hope the Dolphins have something that inspires more confidence in store when we face the Jaguars next week.

 

 

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