In Week 1 of the 2012 NFL Season, the Miami Dolphins were beaten by the Houston Texans 30-10. It was a very frustrating loss because thru the first 23 minutes, the Dolphins played the Texans straight up to a 3-3 tie. They looked like they actually had a chance to win.
Then, the wheels fell off. I cannot tell you how many times I screamed out in frustration. Lately, trying to watch my language, I was left screaming … C’MON MAN! Here are some of the things that really set me off.
1). The thing that really caused me to come unglued … and, it was not what you think. It was late in the game (roughly 10 minutes left) and I was completely exasperated. Matt Schaub dropped back and threw a deep pass down the right side into the hands of Andre Johnson, who was pushed out at the 3 yard line for a 29 yard gain. Who was in coverage for the Dolphins? Jimmy Wilson! What in the heck was 5’11″, second string, half-corner/half-safety Jimmy Wilson doing in a one-on-one coverage with one of the top receivers in the NFL — 6’3″ and 230 pounds Andre Johnson? Why wasn’t the Dolphins best DB, 6’3″ Sean Smith in coverage? The Dolphins need to match up DBs on opposing WRs towards the Dolphins advantage — not against it. Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle … C’MON MAN!
2). O.K. … now what you thought. With 4:00 left in the first half and the score 3-3, Ryan Tannehill drops back and attempts a short pass over the middle. 6’5″ and 295 pound DE J.J. Watt puts up his arms deflecting the ball up into the air and into the hands of Brian Cushing for an interception. The Texans then drive the ball in for a TD — score is now 10-3. On the very next offensive play for the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill drops back and attempts another pass over the middle. Now, one would have thought that after the last one, Tannehill would have come to the realization that NFL defensive linemen are taller, quicker, smarter, and have more wisdom than college defensive linemen. If they can’t sack you, they will bat your passes down. And, one would have thought that the scouting of the Texans would have found that J.J Watt is pretty good at this technique … and … Tannehill would have been reminded of that after what had just happened the previous offensive play. Lastly, one would have thought that Tannehill was told that he has to find passing lanes and not just throw a pass over the heads of defensive linemen. But … NO! Tannehill throws. J.J Watt bats (again). Kareem Jackson intercepts. And then, the Texans drive in for another score — it is now 17-3. Ryan Tannehill … C’MON MAN!
3). Do you remember the Hard Knocks episode after the first preseason game? Do you remember when Reggie Bush was tackled for a loss and three defensive linemen piled on top of him? Do you remember Joe Philbin yelling at the Dolphins’ offensive linemen during the film session to defend your RB and pick him off the ground? Well, how many times last Sunday did you see Dolphins’ offensive linemen doing what they were told? I was watching and didn’t see that many! I saw offensive linemen standing around with their hands on their hips. Offensive linemen need to defend their backs like they are family. They need to help their backs up like they are helping their 80 year old Grandma up after a fall. And, they need to feel extremely insulted when a RB is tackled for a loss or QB is sacked. Where is the passion? Where is the spirit? Offensive Linemen … C’MON MAN!
4). Last Sunday, QB Matt Schaub completed 20 passes. Four of the those passes (20%) were completed to the TE Owen Daniels and three more were completed to RBs. Owen Daniels is a fairly good TE catching 54 passes for 677 yards in 2011. But, he is not elite. He is not Hernandez or Gronkowski of the Pats. He is not Vernon Davis of the 49ers. And, he is not even Keller of the Jets, Gresham of the Bengals, or Zach Miller of the Seahawks. The Dolphins have to face all of these TEs this year. And, oh by the way, here comes the Raiders this week with RB Darren McFadden who just caught 13 passes Monday night against the Chargers. We saw this last year — the failure of Dolphins’ LBs in coverage, to include the self-proclaimed best LB in the NFL Karlos Dansby. Can we please find just one Dolphins’ LB that can cover a TE … a RB … someone? Linebackers … C’MON MAN!
5). The Dolphins Red Zone woes continue with an 0 for 3 in the Sunday game. It seems to be almost a curse. First, it was Sparano and Henning. Then, it was Sparano and Daboll. Now, it is Philbin and Sherman. At least, now we don’t have fist pumps. The Dolphins have got to get better in the Red Zone. May I suggest that the Dolphins try a QB draw? Do you remember when Matt Schaub beat the Dolphins a few years ago with a QB draw at the end of the game? Maybe, after a QB draw, the defenses will have something more to worry about — to prepare for — and, Tannehill would be good at it with his athleticism. The Dolphins have to find something in the Red Zone. Mike Sherman … C’MON MAN!
The good news is that with one exception, these things can be fixed. This week the Dolphins play the Raiders — the Raiders are not the Texans. The Dolphins have a good chance to put one in the win column. However, the Dolphins have to be worried about their LBs ability to cover Darren McFadden. Maybe, Jeff Ireland ought to start looking for a LB that can cover TEs and RBs. Do you remember that is what drafting A.J. Edds was for? The same need has yet to be filled. They better figure something out or McFadden will eat them up. If the Dolphins lose to the Raiders because of this deficiency, maybe it is time to trade Karlos Dansby or Kevin Burnett for a LB that can cover!
What do you think? Do you have your own C’MON MAN that you would like the Dolphins to hear?
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