Last Sunday, the Miami Dolphins lost at home to the New York Jets in overtime 23-20. This was a real tough loss. However, the season is not all lost. Although the Dolphins have a 1-2 record and are sitting in last place of the Division, so to are the … wait for it … New England Patriots. Pittsburgh, Denver, and Green Bay are also 1-2. And, the New Orleans Saints are 0-3. So, there is still hope!
The game was very frustrating as a fan. THE DOLPHINS SHOULD HAVE WON THIS GAME. The Dolphins had more first downs, more rushing yards, more INTs, more sacks, better third down efficiency, and fewer penalties. But, Ryan Tannehill had another bad day passing the football: only 16 of 36 (44.4%) for 196 yards (5.4 yards per attempt) with zero sacks, zero TDs, and 1 INT (50.2 passer rating). The one interception was a real killer as Jets’ Safety LaRon Landry took the pick for six — the Dolphins were leading at the time 10-3. Also, Tannehill missed his last six passes of regular time requiring the Dolphins settle for a field goal to send the game into OT. But, the shocker was that Dan Carpenter uncharacteristically missed two of four field goals — including a game winner in OT.
The loss was not all on Tannehill and Carpenter. Tannehill is a rookie and will have his ups and downs. He actually drove the team in OT to include a 41 yard completion to Hartline putting the Dolphins in position for the game winning field goal attempt. Carpenter is normally a money kicker, but every kicker has bad days. Look, there was plenty of blame to go around which left me, at times, screaming out at the TV:
1). After saying kickers will have bad days, I do have something to say about the two missed field goals. And, what I have to say comes from the standpoint of experience — I was a kicker and punter in college. Dan Carpenter signed a four year contract in 2010 in which he will make $2.525 million in 2012. This is not the reason why he is nicknamed DC$. He is a very accurate kicker, particularly from long range, who normally makes adjustments after misfires — to include misfires which travel between the posts. The two kicks which DC$ missed were relatively from the same distance — 47 and 48 yards. Both misses were nearly identical — DC$ pulled it to the left with the ball losing vertical end-over-end rotation. This is characteristic of a kicker whose center-of-gravity (CG) is falling away from the ball at contact. Although, he made a 41 yard field goal after the first miss, I am very surprised he was not more conscious of his CG in the OT attempt to win the game. That is what the sideline practice net is for — adjustments. Dan Carpenter … DC$ … C’MON MAN!
2). Jets WR Santonio Holmes had a big game — 9 receptions for 147 yards (16.3 yards per reception). Holmes is listed at 5’10” and 192 pounds. But, he plays bigger than his stature willing to go over the middle and getting up for the ball. Holmes was predominately covered during the game by Dolphins’ CB Richard Marshall. Marshall is similar in size at 5’11” and 198 pounds. Although Marshall statistically defended 3 passes and had 1 INT, Holmes had his way with Marshall and contributed significantly to the Jets victory — especially considering Sanchez had a relatively bad day completing only 21 of 45 passes (46.7%) with 1 TD and 2 INTs (58.2 passer rating). My question is why wasn’t the Dolphins’ best CB Sean Smith covering Holmes? Smith is 6’3″ and 218 pounds. He could have gotten more physical with Holmes and possibly provided tighter coverage. But, it seems it was by design that Marshall would cover Homes for most (if not all) of the game. Our best guy should have been covering their best guy! Kevin Coyle … C’MON MAN!
In a related coverage matter, the New York Jets have a second string WR by the name of Chaz Schilens. He is 6’4″ and 225 pounds. Schilens caught 2 passes for 16 yards in the game against the Dolphins. In one of the two receptions, Shilens was split out wide left in a three WR set on 3rd down with 6 yards to go. He ran a simple out catching a pass for 8 yards and a first down. Do you know who was split out wide (very wide — as in next to the side line) covering Schilens? It was Kevin Burnett! DOLPHINS’ LINEBACKER KEVIN BURNETT! What in the heck was a LB covering a WR one-on-one? Sanchez’s eyes must have gotten sooooo big at the snap of the ball. Kevin Coyle … C’MON, I SAY, C’MON MAN!
In another coverage matter, the Dolphins’ DBs pulled down two INTs against the Jets. But, I believe there should have been more. I noted on several occasions that the Jets completed passes with Dolphins’ DBs trailing in coverage — the ball zoomed right over the defender’s head into the arms of the Jets’ WRs. The Dolphins’ DBs are just not looking for the ball — at all! They have to improve on their technique of getting their heads turned around more often, rather than just watching at the opposing WR catch the ball. Defensive Backs … C’MON MAN!
3). Okay, here we go again … third week in a row. One would have thought that the Jets were at a real deficit playing without TE Dustin Keller. However, the Jets two backup TEs (Jeff Cumberland and Konrad Reuland — no-named TEs) still caught 4 passes for 37 yards and THREE FIRST DOWNS. Furthermore, the Jets two RBs (Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell) caught another 4 passes for 33 yards. 8 passes equals 38% of the total receptions for the Jets. These are basically on Dolphins LBs, who are still struggling in pass coverage. Linebackers … C’MON MAN!
4). Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez was sacked only once by the Dolphins — jointly by Vernon and Odrick. Yet, in watching the game, I counted another six times that the Dolphins were soooo very close to putting Sanchez on the ground with the ball. For me, these were some of the most extremely frustrating parts of the game. Just think, if the Dolphins had made just half of those sacks, the outcome of the game could have been much different. After three games, the Dolphins only have three sacks. And, Cameron Wake, who just signed a five year $34.53 million contact, has ZERO sacks. The Dolphins D-line needs to step it up — particularly Wake. Cameron … C’MON MAN!
5). Reggie Bush had a very good first half against the Jets. Bush carried the ball 10 times for 61 yards (6.1 yards per carry). Unfortunately, Bush was injured with only 30 seconds left in the half and could not return. Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller filled in admirable in the second half. For the game, Thomas carried the ball 19 times for 69 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and one TD. Miller carried the ball 9 times for 48 yards (5.3 yards per carry). Miller’s performance was outstanding considering he entered the game at the 10:37 mark of the third quarter … and … only played until roughly 10:00 mark of the fourth quarter. For the remainder of the game to include OT, the Dolphins relied heavily on the pass along with some runs almost exclusively by Thomas. It should be noted that Miller did make a minor mistake that seemed to get him benched — he went right on a busted running play, while Tannehill went left to hand the ball off. But, considering Thomas had another fumble earlier in the game, why didn’t Philbin bring back Miller for a few key carries in the fourth quarter and OT? I say, give the rookie more chances and live with a few minor mistakes — at least, he did not fumble. Coach Philin … C’MON MAN!
What do you think? Do you have your own C’MON MAN you’d like to give out for the Jets game?
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