Not much good today for the Dolphins. Even though some players put up nice numbers on paper, I do not believe a single Dolphins player truly had a good game today. So we're skipping this section.
This offensive line is terrible. Especially the right side. Something needs to change during the bye week because these guys are just not getting it. Tyson Clabo has not played anywhere closed to the level he has over the past several years. He gives up at least a sack a game and is terrible in run blocking. John Jerry is not far behind. The right side of the offensive line is probably the biggest weakness on this team. The left side gave up sacks too, but all offensive linemen do. The overwhelming majority of sacks and pressures seem to be coming from the right side. Could it be time to give Dallas Thomas and/or Nate Garner a shot? It can't be any worse than what we have now.
Playcalling continues to be an issue. Last week, the Dolphins and Mike Sherman were criticized for bringing in Daniel Thomas and calling a stretch play to the left on 3rd and inches against the Saints. The play lost two yards. Despite saying the playcalling "haunted" him, Sherman actually trumped it by having Lamar Miller run to the right on a similar stretch play on 3rd and half a yard. At least last week he ran it behind the strength of the offensive line. This week, he ran the play behind John Jerry and Tyson Clabo, who simply should not be on the team at this point. By the time the game was over, the Dolphins had called 10 running plays to 47 passing plays. I've never seen to much offensive imbalance, not even during the Marino years. This team cannot expect Ryan Tannehill to win games when they are asking him to drop back almost 50 times behind this offensive line.
Here are some stats to digest:
- First downs, 20 for the Ravens, 10 for the Dolphins
- Third down conversions, 6 of 16 for the Ravens, 3 of 16 for the Dolphins
- Time of possession, 36:16 for the Ravens, 23:44 for the Dolphins
Somehow, the Dolphins won the turnover battle (2 to 0) and lost the game. The key stat to me is time of possession. This defense simply spent too much time on the field and got worn out. Despite that, the defense kept the Dolphins in the game late with a Reshad Jones pick 6 caused by a Dion Jordan hit on Flacco.
Drops - the Dolphins dropped too many passes today. Mike Wallace lead the way, but chipping in with Charles Clay and Brian Hartline with key drops at key moments of the game. It will be interesting to see how many drops the Dolphins will be credited with when Pro Football Focus releases its analysis of the game this week.
Mike Wallace put up 7 catches for 105 yards with a long of 49. Normally, this type of performance would put a player under "The Good", but not when it takes 16 targets to get there, not to mention multiple drops. This is the equivalent of an NBA player scoring 25 points on 12 of 40 shooting.
Ryan Tannehill also had a fine statistical game with 307 yards and 1 TD. He had no turnovers and finished with a 86.1 rating. The problem is he also underthrew Mike Wallace on a couple of deep throws, even the one that was caught for 49 yards. Tannehill needs to figure out how to get the ball out in front of Wallace, he was regularly getting behind the secondary today.
Charles Clay also had a nice statistical game, with 3 catches for 52 yards and a TD. But it was on 6 targets and he had a critical drop on the last drive of the game.
The Dolphins offense did not control the clock, putting the Dolphins defense in tough spots. The defense did what it could, causing two turnovers, sacking Flacco twice and even scoring a touchdown. But they too had their lapses. Special teams coverage was not as good as usual.
The Dolphins are a team dealing with multiple critical injuries. Cam Wake's absence has hurt the pass rush and you could see that Derrick Shelby and Olivier Vernon was gassed at the end of the game. Dmitri Patterson has missed 4 games ever since his breakout performance against the Browns. Nolan Carroll has filled in admirably for Patterson, but he too has been dinged up. Dannell Ellerbe had a shoulder injury during today's game. We still haven't seen Will Davis.
On offense, the Dolphins need to figure out something on the right side of the offensive line. All Tannehill and these receivers need is competent, decent pass blocking so this passing game can click. Mike Sherman also needs to do a better job of getting defenses off balance. The playcalling has been bland and predictable all season. This is not helping the Dolphins offense and thereby, not helping the defense.
The bye week could not come at a better time for the Dolphins. They have an opportunity to evaluate what they've accomplished so far, and what they need to do to get better for the rest of the season. If changes need to be made, especially at offensive line, the time is NOW. Here's hoping something significant happens between now and October 20th. Otherwise, Tyson Clabo against Mario Williams is going to be more of the same.
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