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The 3-5 Miami Dolphins, coming off a 33-17 lost at Buffalo, travel to Philadelphia to take on the 4-4 Eagles, coming off an overtime 33-27 win in Dallas.  The game is a 1:00 kickoff on CBS.

 

Let's take a look at the teams and see how they match up.

 

Miami comes into the game offensively ranking 13th in total offense generating 357.9 yards per game.  The Dolphins are generating 254.6 yards per game passing, 103.2 yards per game rushing.  This ranks 13th & 19th in the NFL, and are scoring 21.4 points per game, which ranks 21st.  They face a  defensive team in Philadelphia coming in giving up 366.8 yards per game, which ranks 19th in the NFL.  The Eagles are giving up 253.9 yards a game passing, 112.9 yards per game rushing, which ranks 21st in the NFL in both catagories.  They are giving up 20.5 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NFL.

 

The Dolphins are coming off a game in which QB Ryan Tannehill played one of his better games, but the Dolphins struggled in the Red Zone once again.  RB Lamar Miller had 2 touchdowns in the game, but only had 12 carries for 44 yards.  He was an option in the passing game and had a big game, as he had 7 catches for 97 yards.  The run to pass ratio was 37-23, but the Dolphins had to throw once they got down in the 2nd half.  That said, I have said before and will continue to say that this team needs balance.  Tannehill is not a QB as this moment, or maybe never, that can win a game just by himself and the passing game.  The Eagles rank 21st against the run, and the Dolphins need to try to establish RB's Lamar Miller and rookie Jay Ajayi.  More production out of the TE position would be a welcomed plus also, as Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims had a combined 2 catches.

 

Defensively, the Dolphins come into the game ranking 25th in total defense, giving up 384.5 yards per game.  Miami is giving up 242.4 yards in the passing game, and are giving up 142.1 yards per game against the run.  This ranks 14th and 31st respectively.  Miami is giving up 35.8 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the NFL.  They face an Eagles offense that is generating 366.4 yards per game, which ranks 10th in the NFL.  The Eagles are generating 244.8 yards per game in the passing game, and are coming in at 121.6 yards per game running the ball, which ranks 10th.  The Eagles are scoring 24.1 points per game, which ranks 12th.

 

Miami is coming off an abysmal performance in Buffalo.  The Dolphins gave up 266 yards rushing, and also allowed WR Sammy Watkins to have a big game with 8 catches for 168 yards and a touchdown.  Many of the catches came against CB Brent Grimes.  QB Sam Bradford has not been particular sharp in 2015, so you can expect the Dolphins to get a big dose of RB's DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews, and who could blame them.  Miami ranks next to last in the NFL against the run.  Point blank, the front seven for the Dolphins have not done the job, and until that changes, the same putrid results that you see from this team will be a recurring theme.  With the excpetion of Reshad Jones, for the most part, the secondary has struggled as well.

 

Miami still has slim playoff hopes in regards to the Wildcard.  If they want to have any hopes of trying to make a run at the playoffs, the Dolphins have to win this game in Philadelphia.  So far this 3 game road trip has not been good to Miami.  Here hoping they can get the final game of this brutal stretch.

The Good

 

Ryan Tannehill played a clean game, completing 75% of his passes for 309 yards and a 8.6 yards per attempt average.

 

Lamar Miller had 141 yards from scrimmage, including 97 yards receiving as well as 2 rushing touchdowns.

 

Good to see Jay Ajayi get some playing time and be effective with 5 rushes for 41 yards. Can we see more?

 

Jarvis Landry had another Jarvis Landry game. That being said, I would like to see the Dolphins use him downfield a little more. I know he is good on the bubble screens and short stuff, but I think he could be a weapon that we use 10+ yards downfield as well.

 

Can't complain about Ndamukong Suh in a game he should have had 2 sacks in and at one point was disrupting quite a bit. It is unforunate the officials could not call the game by the rules during those plays. In one play, Suh had Taylor in the grasp and the officials did not rule it a sack. On the next play, Suh was held quite obviously and no call from the refs.

 

The Bad

 

Dan Campbell made some boneheaded decisions in this game. Prior to halftime, the Dolphins failed to leave some time on the clock by using their last timeout. With 2 seconds left, the Dolphins went for it despite being 1 yard out. They went for a pass that fell incomplete. The Dolphins could have kicked the field goal, run the ball or even gone for a QB sneak to get that one yard, but went for a pass instead. In a similar scenario after halftime, the Dolphins decided to run it in that same situation and got a touchdown. Another boneheaded decision was on 3rd and 4 when the Dolphins stopped the Bills. The officials called a penalty and the Dolphins accepted. If the Dolphins had declined, the Bills would have attempted a 51-yard field goal. Instead, the Bills got another shot and turned it into a bomb for a touchdown. These two decisions were, at minimum, a 7 point swing for the Dolphins and could have been as much as a 14 point swing. In a game the Dolphins lost by 16, that's huge.

 

The defense gave up 266 rushing yards. No further analysis necessary here.

 

Jason Fox gotta go.

 

Brent Grimes may have well had his worst game as a Dolphin, being schooled by Sammy Watkins on two deep plays, including a long of 63 yards. Grimes seemed to have issues with his balance.

 

The Ugly

 

A combination of bad run defense, poor pass defense by Grimes and poor decisions by Dan Campbell in key moments led to this loss. The Dolphins now find themselves firmly entrenched in last place in the AFC East, having gone 0-4 in the division, and close to a lottery pick than to a wild card berth.

 

Overall

 

Next week, the Dolphins play at Philadelphia against another team disappointing team, but one that is 2-1 at home. Even though the schedule appears to get easier, the fact is the Dolphins are the poster child for inconsistency. It is hard to predict which team will show up.

Next Game

Preseason Game 1 - Dolphins at Giants

 

 

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