Dolphins Lose Home Opener In Ugly Fashion

The excitement of a new season has turned to lowered heads shaking once again as the Miami Dolphins manage to find new ways to lose to New England at home.  Tonight’s game, a 38 to 24 drubbing by the Tom Brady led Patriots could have been much closer and could have been much worse.  The common theme…the Dolphins were let down by their defense.

Coming into tonight, many believed that the outcome of the game would lie with the play of Chad Henne.  Well put that to bed, Henne led the team in rushes with 59 yards on the ground and one touchdown, and threw for 416 yards and two touchdowns.  He added a final play INT when the ball deflected off the receiver at the goal line.  Henne looked sharp and much the leader that fans have been waiting to see.  He completed 30 of 49 attempts.

Brandon Marshall caught 7 passes for 139 yards and Reggie Bush added another 59 through the air.  Offensively, the Dolphins did enough to win but their failure to score on two short goal line attempts hurt the team.  Settling for a field goal on one and an incomplete pass on fourth down while down by 14 late.

The offensive line struggled for most of the game.  Henne was under constant pressure often throwing off his back foot.  He was sacked four times.  While the offense came to life the defense simply never showed up.  Forget all the pre-season banter by Vontae’ Davis about he and Smith being the best tandem in the NFL, Tom Brady schooled the Phins in a record breaking night putting up over 500 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The defense couldn’t stop the Patriot offense all night.  In fact the few times that the Patriots had to punt was more an issue of their own play than a defensive stop.  Davis left the game for a period due to cramps and back-up CB Nolan Carroll (who should be cut before the team gets out of the locker room) gave up play after play after play in Vontae’ absence.  Carroll was so outplayed that for two straight drives Tom Brady simply threw almost every play in his direction.  

While the defense as a unit was horrible, I have never seen the play of one individual be so blatantly bad that he alone changed the outcome of the game.  The two TD’s that Carroll gave up easily proved a major advantage for the Patriots.  He simply played as though he were a rookie.

For their part on the defensive line, the Dolphins vaunted defense came up empty handed.  An INT by Jared O’drick was the highlight and a Cameron Wake sack came in second.  For the most part, Wake was handled by a rookie who played like a veteran.  Jason Taylor looked old and sluggish, and the only time NT Paul Solia’s name was called was when he lined up as a RB on a short yardage goal line play…that got nothing.

The Dolphins have a lot of work to do.  While this game clearly was a disaster for the defense, it’s clear that the offense needs to produce in the running game.  Perhaps the failure to actually have a running game can be attributed to the awful play of the line.

The good news is that this is week one and believe it or not, despite the play of the Oline and the defense, the Dolphins held it together and had a few chances to make it a different ball game.  The passing game was crisp and Chad Henne looked very solid since taking over the Brian Daboll offense, which looked nothing like the Dan Henning offense the last three seasons.

Still, Jeff Ireland needs to get off his rear end and start kicking over some bigger acorns.  The ones he is finding haven’t done squat.  A new Olineman would be nice.  So would bringing back Will Allen…tonight.

Topics: Brandon Marshall, Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins Lose To Patriots, New England Patriots, Tom Brady

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  • GenLowe

    Henne looks like he may round into a pretty good QB. Our rookie tackle handled your best pass rusher like a pro bowler. Brady, what’s left to be said? We’ve got him. The window is closing, but give this guy an even average defense and he’s got a good chance to win one or two more Super Bowls. When you think about it, New England with Brady and Belichick could have had five — had the defense held a big lead against the Colts, we would have taken the Bears; Brady put us ahead with two minutes left, the Giants took that one away from us.

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  • Lespaul

    Really surprised how horrible the defense played. I had thought the only way this could be close was if the defense had some good stops and sacked Brady. Miami’s inability to run the ball especially on the goal line killed them…..this could have been an OT game if they had scored TD’s instead of field goals.

  • RandyCarlson

    Carroll play last night was a joke you said he played like a rookie, not even close at least a rookie that is getting beat will at least make an effort to get up on the line and try,Carroll at one point stood there with his head down arm’s waiving around like an ten year old that got his lunch money taken away by a bully.I would not have let Carroll back in the locker room after the game.

    On the upside we have a workable offence.

  • phinfandan

    Brady made the defense look really bad. I would blame it all on Nolan Caroll but Brady was torching the defense before Davis & Smith went out with cramps. When Brady smells blood he goes for the kill. I will say, that this was the 1st game of the season and we all know that our defense plays better than that. Let’s hope they fix whatever miscues they had and address the Caroll situation because that was just painful to watch.

    I’ll give Henne credit for having a good night. He made some stud plays and I loved it when he ran one in himself. He was definitely making his presence felt. The offense made the Pats pass rush look bad as well, Pats just made our’s look really bad. I was surprised to see just how big Haynesworth is. When he lined up alongside Wilfork, they occupy almost the entire line. That was sick!

  • phinfandan

    Ok, so next week we play who, The Texans? Another team that seems to have our number. Let’s hope that Foster is hampered by the hamstring injury and that our pass rush shows up. I really did see some very positive things from the offense and I believe that they can build from it. The Henne to Marshall connection is starting to get there. They need to gel a little more. I think Marshall was getting a little frustrated with some of the overthrown passes, but overall they looked like a good tandem.

    Don’t let me forget to mention that one handed superman grab by Fasano. That had to be one of the best catches I have seen in a while.

    Sorry for the long rant. Go Dolphins!

  • dolfan486

    @phinfandan I agree with you on all that! Nolan Caroll should never have made the team. He has always played bad, and does not deserve even a 2nd strings spot. Another thing that I saw was that Tony Sporano was definitely out coached. He had no idea what to do when they threw a curveball on us at defense. He either needs to straighten up or Ross need to fire him. Bring in Gruden, he seems to have a passion for this team!

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