So the third preseason game is supposed to most closely simulate what we can expect to see this year, they say.
Man, I hope they are wrong.
Starting defense - Kept a high-powered offense out of the endzone and held the Falcons ground game to 2.6 yards per carry. Michael Turner only managed 35 yards on 10 carries. A big improvement from a run-stopping perspective. The pass rush also returned with the return of Cameron Wake, who got 1.5 sacks.
Cameron Wake - As mentioned above, he brought the pressure back to the Dolphins defense.
Sean Smith - Played solid coverage and also provided good help against the run. Smith looked like a much improved tackler out there, helping to set the edge against the run and short passes to the flat.
Running game - The Dolphins had more success running the ball this game, at a 3.8 yard per carry clip. The only negative was a couple of runs for losses.
John Jerry - Solid job of creating holes in the run game and also showed improvement in pass protection. Still some work to do but he may have moved himself into the starting line up.
Nolan Carroll - This doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but Carroll was probably the best corner out there at covering Julio Jones deep. On one play he was able to read Jones eyes while the ball was in the air and interfere with his vision just enough that he wasn't able to catch the pass.
Devone Bess - The only player to show up for the Dolphins passing game, Bess had 4 receptions for 59 yards.
This could be a long list, but I'll spare you the horror.
Passing Game - Just lump everyone into this not named Devone Bess. Jonathan Martin continues to struggle, the receivers can't get open and if they happen to do so, they drop passes. Ryan Tannehill seemed to be pressing early on. Not much is going right when the Dolphins go to the air. If they don't get their passing game to at least a mediocre level, it is going to be a long season. Right now, mediocre would be a huge improvement.
Anthony Fasano - He gets a special place of recognition for all the drops he had.
Richard Marshall - After his poor performance, there is no way he holds onto the starting job. Julio Jones beat him like a drum.
Seriously, I could go on all night with this category, but I have to finish putting up hurricane shutters...
Passing Game - Yes, it is both bad and ugly.
Ryan Tannehill - He is mainly in the ugly category because of the little help he is getting, but again, he did have a rough start and while again he didn't fold and his receivers let him down, he was also inaccurate for a good part of the night.
This Season - If this is what we're going to be subjected to all year, then it is going to be a truly ugly year.