Sep 9, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) shows emotion against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Dolphins 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphins Lose But Show Signs They Could Win

The Miami Dolphins lost today, not surprisingly, but it’s the way they lost that gives a glimmer of hope to the 2012 season and beyond.  If you are one of those fans who have nothing but garbage to say, then do yourself and everyone else a favor and stay off this site.  Today’s game wasn’t about Ryan Tannehill’s three pick performance or the fact that the Dolphins failed to score a touchdown offensively.  It was about far more.

Through one and one half quarters the Dolphins played inspired football.  Ryan Tannehill was commanding the offense, moving around the pocket and driving the team down-field.  Unfortunately, the lack of quality playmakers became evident as the Dolphins couldn’t make that final push to get into the endzone.  Through that same period, the team led by 3 before surrendering a game tying field goal following Tannehill’s first INT.

The story of the day belonged to Tannehill.  In a span of five series, the Dolphins turned the ball over four times and each of those TO’s led to points by the Houston Texans.  The first, a slant to Legedu Naane was more on Naane than anything else.  Naane failed to use his 6-5 frame to shield the defender and instead allowed the defender underneath him on the slant to take the ball away.  It wasn’t even a jumped route, Naane did nothing but turn his shoulder away from the ball allowing the defender to muscle through.

Following the first INT for Tannehill of the 2012 season, the next two series will surely drum up debate.  Tannehill couldn’t get the ball past the line of scrimmage.  Depending on opinion, either Tannehill simply couldn’t make the throws or the offensive line couldn’t control their blocking assignments.  On both of the subsequent picks, Tannehill had his passes batted at the line of scrimmage into the air for picks.  On both picks, the offensive line failed to keep the defensive lineman from getting their hands up in the air.  On the second tipped INT, Jonathan Martin clearly was not engaged in his block allowing JJ Watts the ability to freely jump up and knock the ball down.

The Texans would force a Daniel Thomas fumble on the fourth drive and convert all four turnovers into 24 points.  Take away the turnovers and the Texans scored a total of six points off the Dolphins.

The defense struggled as expected from time to time but did a decent job for most of the game.  They surrendered the 24 points off turnovers but for most of the 2nd quarter never left the field but for a one play breather until the offense turned it back over.  Defensively, Koa Misi looked really good on the outside.  He maintained his position and did well in opposite field pursuit.

The Dolphins were simply outmatched.  The Texans are a team many believe will be a Super Bowl contender and the Dolphins played well enough to win for all but five plays. If nothing else, it’s the positives that came from today’s games that should really be focused on.

A:  Ryan Tannehill wasn’t rattled by the blitzing Texas linebackers and did well to shrug off not one but three INT’s.

B:  The Dolphins may have finally found a legit return guy in RB Marcus Thigpen.  Thigpen returned a punt for a TD.  Something that the Dolphins haven’t seen since Ted Ginn was still here.  Or at least that’s how it seems and to be honest, I don’t want to look it up to find out.

C:  Reggie Bush is the real deal.  Bush rushed for 69 yards and would likely have eclipsed the 100 yard mark if the team hadn’t had such a disastrous 2nd quarter.  He added another 46 in the passing game.

D:  The Dolphins will likely make a move this week for another WR, possibly two.  Brian Hartline caught 3 passes for 50 yards and Bess was his usual reliable self.  The only other WR to register a catch was Anthony Armstrong.

E:  Joe Philbin kept his team in the game and made no glaring rookie mistakes.  No ill timed uses of time outs, no bad challenges, and for the most part kept his team focused.  Second half adjustments are hard to really gauge considering the team entered the 2nd half down by three touchdowns.

Coming out of this week, a game in which the Dolphins were almost guaranteed to lose, they showed that they are not as bad as the pre-season indicated.  With the Raiders coming to town next week for the teams home opener, it’s very possible that the Dolphins could be 1-1 going into week 3.  They showed enough to believe that this team may finally have made a turn, whether that turn is yet another dead end or the road to recovery remains to be seen.

We will take a look at the worst events from today, later or early tomorrow.

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Tags: Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill

  • DHB76

    Agree with this article 100%. Especially the first paragraph. So tired of all the bashing going on by so called “fans”. Give RT17 some time and stand back and watch.

    • Karen Smeltzer

      Me too!!

  • Charlie Bland

    I also agree with this article. Just give them sometime…

  • vman

    I agree. We are a young team with new coaches and players. I’m sick of losing too but we need to wait till at least mid season to see how this team grows and adjusts.
    go fins…..

  • txmedic5

    I cringed when i saw 4 comments…lol. Said ok suck it up and get blasted! Love the positive vibe!

  • Fed Up Phins Fan

    I think our defense played good enough to win. Not bad at all. Those turnovers led to good field position for them… As for RT17….. He just needs time to learn all the tricks of his trade. I’m talking bout looking off the safety, stepping up in the pocket to buy more time, and maybe a lil tweak of his throwing motion to get the ball out a lil higher… Sherman needs to be a little more creative too.. You can’t just run 5yrd slants the whole game… Those DBs were just sitting on those routes cause that’s all we showed that we were gonna do…. Go deep to loosen em up sometimes…… I hope Rashard Matthews can replace Naanee too… You can see that if we had better wide WRs we could’ve fought back a lil harder…..

  • RW13

    They should have been taking a knee with 32 seconds left in the half! That one is on Philbin.

  • Jeff buck

    The Phins went toe to toe with a very good Texan team for 30 minutes, but in this league you gotta play 60 minutes going all out till the final whistle blows. Good effort from our D and the balls being batted back for int’s rest at the feet of the o-line. You cannot allow lineman to push you back off the line of scrimage like that. The good news is these type of things can be worked on and corrected. This just in. We will beat the Raiders next week!

  • Chris

    I agree, never expected to win this one but played hard. I think we are heading in the right direction. Will know a lot more after playing the raiders. That was a tough opening game on the road.

  • FinFanInSATX

    Agree with the article…disagree with the premise. Jeff Ireland has set us and this team up for being close but not good enough against decent teams. The number of dropped passes in that game was ridiculous! Ryan Tannehill needs a big-time receiver to help him and it’s not Armstrong or Naanee! I would rather the Phins give T.O. & former ‘Cane, TE Kellen Winslow, Jr., shots to at least open the offense somewhat and allow Tannehill more reliable options. This would allow RBs Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas to take over and allow Tannehill the opportunity to mature with the offense. All and all, not downing the team or Coach Philbin…you must play with the hand your dealt, but Owner Stephen Ross must jettison GM Jeff Ireland immediately!

  • John

    You guys are for the most part right. We do need to see more from this team before we completely write them off. But IMO Tannehill was more responsible the batted down passes more so than either than the barely mediocre O line of the Fins and exceptionally good D line of the Texans. Rookie mistakes against a SB contending team on the road was a recipe for disaster.

  • decayingfins

    i can’t believe how docile these fans are being. Here is the point that should reverberate throught all dolphans minds. Even if you are “rebuilding” the least you could do is try and be competative. This team sucks. It is terrible. There no targets for our QB to throw to. All the other teams at least provide their rookie QB with a reliable taget (Luck – Wayne, RG3 – Garcon, etc). Why didn’t the team address this issue?

  • PhinFan05

    F. J-Train is a beast… he needs more reps…

  • Robert Hall

    I agree with this article and most of the responses. The one thing I noticed is that the offensive coordinator didn’t have enough intermediate passes, meaning 15-25 yards. That’s probably the reason for so many batted passes at the line of scrimmage. Tannehill seemed to throw a lot of dump off passes, maybe 5 yards out, which if your a defensive lineman, and you can’t get to the QB, your taught to put your big hands up in his face, and this was why Tannehill had so many batted balls. It’s hard to throw a football between a one foot space when your looking around for someone to get to that perfect spot to throw it to. It’s something he needs to learn to do though. Our offense needs to learn to knock down the defenses arms when they put them up… Our defense was good, until they got gassed from being out on the field for three straight series after the picks and fumble. I was impressed with how poised Tannehill was though, He hung in there and didn’t hang his head and kept his team motivated even when most of us knew the game was over as soon as the third quarter ended. Andrew Luck threw three picks, but no one says anything about that do they?, NO, why, because he did throw for 300 + yards and one touchdown, and he is Andrew Luck. Don’t give up on Tannehill yet, I see a lot of potential in him, and I don’t say that about any QB to easily. I didn’t say that about Henne, or any of the other Dolphins QB’s since Marino, But I do see something in Tannehill.