Gosh, what a heart breaker. The Miami Dolphins dropped their first divisional match up over the weekend against the New York Jets – 23-20 OT.
Miami, who actually found themselves with the lead for most of the game, began to let their rivals back into the game after a merely flawless first half of football. The Dolphins were not able to shut down New York’s pass attack late in the fourth quarter as Jets’ quarterback, Mark Sanchez, threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy Kerley. Dolphins rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, was able to circle the wagons and bring Miami within field goal position to tie the game and send it into overtime.
After a big stop by Miami’s defense in overtime, Miami’s offense was able to drive the ball down the field – including a big third down conversion from Tannehill to Brian Hartline for 41 yards – and set up Kicker Dan Carpenter for a 48 yard field goal attempt. Dan Carpenter – who is ALWAYS money – missed the game winning field goal. I think you can fill in the rest.
There were many good things that came from Sunday’s action – but there were many heart breaking sequences that over shadowed the good.
Ryan Tannehill (16-36 196 yards 1 INT) looked good in this one – his second straight week. Tannehill utilized his athletic ability to move the pocket and create throwing lanes. The rookie looks good early on. BUT, the rookie mistake of the day went to Tannehill. Our rookie signal caller threw a horrible pick six to Jets’ Safety, LaRon Landry, after staring down Tight End, Anthony Fasano. Mr. Tannehill, that is a big “NO,NO!”
Reggie Bush looked awesome early on in this one. Bush, who carried the rock 10 times for 61 yards in the first half, went down with a left knee injury right before the second quarter came to a close. Reports are that Bush has NO damage in his knee ligaments and could be ready to go as early as this Sunday when Miami faces off against the Arizona Cardinals (3-0).
Daniel Thomas (19 carries 69 yards 1 touchdown) ran the ball well against this stingy New York defense. BUT, he is quite frustrating. DT fumbled the ball, AGAIN, in this one. How many times can the coaching staff put their faith in Thomas after he continues to do the one thing ball carriers CAN NOT do?
It was a little disappointing to see Lamar Miller (9 carries 48 yards) remain on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. There were no reports of an injury to Miller, therefore why was he sitting on the bench? Miller was hitting the holes better than Thomas and has more big play ability.
The receivers – besides Davone Bess (5 receptions 86 yards) and Anthony Fasano (5 receptions 47 yards) – were ABSOLUTELY horrific. Anthony Armstrong (2 receptions 9 yards), who I thought would have been a huge boost to this receiving corp, is looking like a JV player out there (dropped two crucial passes Sunday – one that could have potentially went the distance). Brian Hartline (1 reception 41 yards), where were you? After a career day against Oakland, Hartline was the target of many Tannehill passes, but was only able to pull in one catch – IN OVERTIME. Can we please give Rishard Matthews a go, please?
The offensive line looked awesome. Jake Long looked like his good old self and Jonathan Martin looks like the man we all hoped he would be. Richie Incognito and John Jerry did a great job run blocking, by creating gaping holes for Miami’s running backs to bolt through. Easily the star of the game though, was Mike Pouncey. Miami’s young center is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s best Centers. So far, Pouncey may be the MVP of this offense.
Where to begin. Let’s look at some positives. Miami’s run defense was, yet again, able to stuff the run. 33 rushes for 88 yards (2.7 yard per carry average) that’s impressive. Miami’s run defense is now ranked 3rd in the league at 64.7 yards per game to opposing teams.
Chris Clemons and Richard Marshall were both able to intercept Mark Sanchez once during the duration of the game. Marshall’s interception coming on New York’s opening series of the game, which really gave Miami some momentum going forward. And Clemons’ interception coming in the right corner of the end zone (3rd quarter) – halting a long Jet’s drive.
Olivier Vernon and Jared Odrick were able to bring down Mark Sanchez for the game’s only sack. Odrick was constantly getting pressure throughout the game – which is good to see even though he is playing out of position. Vernon, on the other hand, is always up and down. He always has been, though (ever since his days at the University of Miami). Give him time, he’s only a rookie.
Cameron Wake still has zero sacks on the year. Wait, let me say that again. Cameron Wake has ZERO sacks through three games. But, I think he’s having his best season yet. Wake “leads the league in almost sacks”. Wake has been constantly applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks and it’s only a matter of time before Wake finally goes off!
Now, the bad. That pass defense. Gosh, it’s frustrating. Sean Smith was beat what seemed like THOUSANDS of times Sunday, but Sanchez’s terrible accuracy bailed Smith out. Marshall, played like garbage with the exception of his interception. Heck, I don’t even know if Nolan Carroll was on the field – that may be a good thing if we never heard his name (of course he was out there).
Miami. Needs. New. Safeties. Reshad Jones plays awesome one week, but then horrible the next. Although Jones played well in coverage against tight ends, he was terrible in run support. Chris Clemons, that was one of your worst professional games. Clemons, had an interception – on a poorly thrown ball – but constantly takes bad angles at on coming ball carriers and misses tackles left and right. I wonder what Brock Marion is doing this Sunday….
Special Teams -
Yes, we get it…Dan Carpenter missed two critical field goals – but he’s not to blame for the loss. Carpenter was under immense pressure to win the game – and you really cannot make them all, right Billy Cundiff?
Brandon Fields did a spectacular job today. At one point Fields was backed up into his own end zone, with a terrible snap, and was still able to secure the ball and boot it – and had a nice acting job to get Miami a new set of downs.
Marcus Thigpen is quietly becoming one of the AFC’s best return men. Thigpen is constantly giving Miami’s offense great field position on Kick Returns and Punt Returns. All Hail the CFL!
Truly, this was a team loss. Yes, Carpenter missed the game winning field goal. BUT, Joe Philbin called a time out to “ice the kicker” when Randy Starks got his hand up to BLOCK the Nick Folk field goal! Jimmy Wilson was beat by Jeremy Kerley for a touchdown – is it his fault? The team wins as a team and loses as a team. Stop with the blame.
Overall I thought this game could have and should have been won. Miami was in position to not only win the game, but had many opportunities to score and win by 20+. The Dolphins will face off against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, one of the NFL’s biggest surprises this season. Let me just say, if Miami’s pass defense plays like it did against New York….It’s going to be a long day Dolphins fans…
As always, Keep your Fins up!
—-ALL STATISTICS TAKEN FROM NFL.COM—-