Miami Dolphins – Arizona Cardinals Thoughts And Observations

 

The Miami Dolphins lost another close game in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals this past weekend. Miami, who has actually looked surprisingly well early on, has dropped two straight games in overtime and appears to lack that “killer instinct” to put teams away early in games.

Arizona was able to drive the field late in the fourth quarter, while quarterback Kevin Kolb found wide receiver Andre Roberts in the front corner of the end-zone to tie up the ball game in regulation. Miami then decided to take a knee and send the game into overtime.

 

The Cardinals won the toss and elected to receive – the team would later punt. Miami drove the field quite well and looked to win the game until rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill was hit by Arizona linebacker Darryl Washington – which forced a bad throw by Tannehill that would be intercepted. Arizona then picked up some yardage and kicked the game winning field goal.

 

Miami lost another heart breaker, but MAN did I see some things that were spectacular in this one…

 

Offense -

 

- Rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a career day completing 26 of 41 for 431 yards one touchdown and two crucial interceptions. Tannehill looked accurate and poised in the pocket – even though Arizona’s pass rush was getting some pressure on the young star. Although Tannehill threw two interceptions, one was a good throw – but Brian Hartline fell down as the ball was already in the air. Tannehill definitely has a lot to build on coming out of this game.

 

- Running back Reggie Bush came back from his minor knee injury suffered against the New York Jets the previous game. Bush ran the ball well, but seemed a little more cautious to make cuts. Miami’s coaching staff definitely needs to get Bush the ball in space using screens and tosses.

 

 

Sept. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) catches a 57 yard reception against Arizona Cardinals cornerback William Gay (22) in the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

 

- Fullback Jovorskie Lane is an absolute BEAST and deserves to touch the ball on short yardage situations. Pro Bowl?

 

- Wide Receiver Brian Hartline had a career day posting 12 receptions for 253 yards and one touchdown – including an eighty yard bomb which was EPIC! Yes, everyone is now questioning whether or not Hartline is a true #1 receiver, my answer – who else do we have on the roster?

 

- The other receiver of Miami’s speedy – sure handed duo, Davone Bess also had quite a nice game posting 7 receptions for 123 yards. Bess is the most sure handed player the Phins have on the roster, therefore look for Tannehill to get quite comfortable throwing to Bess on third downs.

 

- With the exception of Anthony Fasano – 5 rec 30 yards – the tight ends really did not get much production in this one. Charles Clay, where are you? You broke out during the final 6 games of last season, but you are nowhere to be found at the moment. Oh wait, you dropped a pass against Arizona. Oh, and New York. C’mon MAN!

 

Defense -

 

- Okay, Miami officially has the #1 run defense in the NFL at 53.0 yards per game to opposing teams. Most would laugh at me and tell me that most teams know the Dolphin’s secondary is terrible therefore they don’t run against Miami, wrong. Arizona came out early and often running the ball, but was shut down. As was New York and as was Oakland. Walk away..

 

- Defensive End Cameron Wake played his tail off in this one. Wake ended the day with 4.5 sacks, but easily could have had many more – Wake threw around rookie right tackle Bobbie Massie like a little rag doll. Kudos to Wake on finally breaking out after having a doughnut in the sack column to start the season.

 

- Koa Misi, THERE YOU ARE! Misi posted a stat line of 4 total tackles (2 solo, 2 assists) and 1.5 sacks. Misi is playing with a “balls to the walls” urgency so far this season, I love it.

 

 

Sept. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) is sacked by Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91), defensive tackle Randy Starks (94) and outside linebacker Koa Misi (55) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals beat the Dolphins 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

 

 

- Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett played excellent today in both run support and coverage. Dansby was beaten across the middle on a few occasions, but Kolb had all day to throw and the coverage broke down. Excellent day to be a Miami Dolphin’s linebacker.

 

- Corner back Sean Smith was absolutely awesome covering Arizona alpha-male wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Smith was able to stay with Fitz stride for stride on numerous occasions and showed why he is Miami’s #1 corner. Smith posted a stat line of 6 tackles (all solo) and two interceptions – including one which really came at a great time to shift the momentum.

 

http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000067583/Sean-Smith-picks-off-Kolb

 

- Chris Clemons….ugh.

 

Special Teams -

 

- Kicker Dan Carpenter missed another field goal in this one – who cares. The guy is always money, give him a break. You cannot make them all.

 

Sept. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Marcus Thigpen (34) dodges a tackle by Arizona Cardinals linebacker Quentin Groves (54) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals beat the Dolphins 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

 

 

- Punter Brandon Fields is a god…like always. Fields was able to switch field position each time he was given the opportunity to punt the football.

 

- We did not see much of Kick and Punt returner Marcus Thigpen in this one – due to lack of opportunities.

 

Over-view -

 

 

Overall, I thought the game was excellent. Of course I would have loved to see Miami pull it out in the end, but things happen for a reason. Miami must embrace this loss as a learning experience and move on to Cincinnati this weekend.

 

As always, keep your fins up!!

 

—-ALL STATISTICS TAKEN FROM NFL.COM—-

Topics: Arizona Cardinals, Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill

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  • RuSerious

    Seriously? Give Carpenter a break? He has missed field goals that have cost us in TWO CONSECUTIVE GAMES! Thats his job!

    • TylerMcMullen

      We also have to remember that if we are kicking a field goal, then someone did not do their job on offense. One kick does not determine the outcome of a game. Also, although it is quite uncharacteristic of Mr. Carpenter to miss multiple field goals – especially in consecutive weeks, it’s hard to make every field goal on the season, man, Thanks for the read and the comment.