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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Let's start with the offensive line, because after so much criticism, this unit deserves a lot of credit. First of all, Tannehill was never sacked. And he was rarely hit or pressured. Second of all, 222 yards rushing on 36 carries and 3 TDs is huge. It was nice to see the 5 starters on the field for the first time this season. The results speak for themselves.
Jay Ajayi was the beneficiary of solid run blocking by the offensive line, but once he hit the hole, he finished his runs. He got outside and gained yards. He gained the tough yards inside. And when the Dolphins needed to put the game away, he broke one for 62 yards and a touchdown. Ajayi finished the game with 204 rushing yards and 2 TDs.
Jarvis Landry was his usual self with yards after the catch and a 39 yard catch. Landry caught 7 passes on 9 targets and served as the emotional leader of this team.
Ryan Tannehill has been criticized heavily this season by many, including yours truly. But today he played a solid game. It is interesting to see what he can do when he gets time and is not being hit on every other play. It was also good to see him make plays on the run.
Byron Maxwell flat out balled today. He had 4 passes defensed, two of them against All-World receiver Antonio Brown. Maxwell made a huge difference on third down.
Andre Branch played extremely well as a situational pass rusher. He contributed 1.5 sacks.
The safety duo of Reshad Jones and Isa Abdul-Quddus played well. Each getting big interceptions when the Steelers were beginning to mount drives.
Andrew Franks missing a kick and having another one blocked. Those plays kept the game closer than it needed to be. Even on the block, Franks didn't appear to get the kick high enough.
Need to clean up those penalties, especially at inopportune times. 8 penalties for 95 yards, guys pushing guys after the play.
The run defense played better in the second half, but in the first half they didn't show up. It was good to see them tighten up in the second half, but we need a full game from the run defense to become a more consistent team.
The Dolphins played their most complete game of the season against a Superbowl contender. This wasn't like the Cleveland win, where the team got by on Cleveland errors. The Dolphins dominated the Steelers, with the ground game, time of possession, by pressuring Big Ben and by creating turnovers. What does that mean for the rest of the season? Who knows. The red hot Buffalo Bills come into town next week. They have reeled off 4 wins and have dominated the competition, including the Cardinals and Patriots, during that streak.
WHY DID GASE WAIVE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN AND NOT BENCH TANNEHILL?
The Titans loss was a horrible game as both the offense and defense failed. In fact, it felt as bad a loss as we've had in a very long time.
If you watched the game, I am sure that you and your friends put the blame on Tannehill for the offense's troubles. Look no further than the fickle Miami crowd shouting for Matt Moore in the 4th quarter. Can you blame them? It's been very trying being a Dolphins fan for a long time.
I want you to take a look at these next five video clips created by Presnap Reads, and I want you to tell me how much of it was actually Tannehill's fault. You will see horrible blocking by our offensive line, and you will see inept route running. We will never know if Tannehill is "the man" until he actually gets some time to throw the ball. Let's face it, after almost 5 years of serious hits, it will take time for Tannehill to mentally embrace his protection ... if he ever gets it.
To let you know how I feel about it all, I would be ok with the Dolphins going in a different direction at the quarterback position at the end of the season. Do I blame Tannehill? For the most part ... NO. If the Dolphins continue to lose as we have been, we will be looking at a top pick in the upcoming draft, and our new head coach deserves to have his quarterback in place.
So, enjoy the week as someone with a brainstem finally cut the 3 Stooges: Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner, and Jamil Douglas.
WHAT ABOUT THAT INTERCEPTION?
What about that interception? Tannehil threw the pass behind his receiver. That is on Tannehill. BUT, look at the ball actually hit Parker in the chest. That is on Parker as well.