Last Sunday, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Saint Louis Rams at Sun Life Stadium 17-14. It is interesting to note that Miami won just a week earlier 17-13 over the Bengals. The latest victory puts the Dolphins record at 3-3 — tied for first place in the AFC East Division. In fact, all the teams in the AFC East are now knotted at 3-3.
Despite the victory, the Dolphins were statistically beaten by the Rams in total yards — by a wide margin. The Dolphins’ offense could only muster 192 total yards to include only 19 net yards rushing on 18 attempts. Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ defense gave up a surprising 462 total yards to include a whopping 162 net yards rushing on 27 attempts. However, the Rams’ 96 penalty yards, three sacks taken, one untimely turnover, and a kicker who only made two of five field goal attempts seemed to be the difference in the end.
Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill had a pretty good day — it was efficient and error-free. He completed 21 of 29 passes (72.4%) for 185 yards (6.4 yards per attempt) with two TDs, zero INTs, zero fumbles, and just two sacks for a 112.0 rating. On defense, Dolphins’ rookie DE Olivier Vernon had a very good day. He had four tackles and two very important sacks. His first sack set back the Rams with an 8-yard loss that turned a relatively easy field goal in the second quarter into a 52 yard miss. His second sack stopped a game ending Rams’ drive leaving them with a difficult 66 yard field goal attempt that went wide left.
This is the fourth game in a row the Dolphins game was a nerve-racking one going down to the wire. I think the Dolphins might have earned the nickname the “Defibrillator” Dolphins because some Dolphans just may need one after watching one of their games — whether they win or lose. This game, largely because of the Dolphins inability to run the ball or stop the Rams from running the ball, left me screaming at the TV numerous times:
1). The top one, and on the list for 3 out of 6 weeks, is the Dolphins’ inability to convert in short yardage situations. Particularly, the play calling has to be questioned. Case in point, with 5:54 left in the game and the Dolphins up 17-14, the Dolphins had a 2nd down and one yard to go on their own 40 yard line. Reggie Bush ran to the left for no gain. On third down and one yard to go with 5:05 left in the game, Bush ran to the right for no gain. Let me repeat that, BUSH ran to the RIGHT on third and one. Why in the heck was Bush running to the weak side of the offensive line behind Jerry and Martin on third and short? This was a total failure last game against the Bengals. Why, in two short yardage situation, couldn’t the Dolphins make one damn yard at such a crucial time in the game. The Dolphins should have called a run with Javorski Lane to the strong side of the offensive line — left behind Long and Incognito plus OT Garner in at TE. Now, with fourth down and one yard to go with 4:15 left, the Dolphins were bailed out with a gutsy call — a fake punt with Chris Clemons running for three yards and a first down. So, I say for the gutsy call … Joe Philbin … WOW MAN! But, I also say the Dolphins need to run the big guy Lane to the left in short yardage situations … Joe Philbin … C’MON MAN!
In a related matter, the Dolphins’ Offensive Line should not get away without responsibility for the dismal gains in rushing. 19 net yards rushing on 18 attempts is totally unacceptable and the Offensive Line needs to take a hard look at the failure to open up holes for the RBs. In addition, overall the Dolphins committed five penalties accepted by the Rams. Four were on the Offensive Line to include a 7 yard holding plus a 10 yard unnecessary roughness penalty by Incognito, a declined illegal use of the hands plus an 8 yard holding penalty (on consecutive plays) by Long, and a 5 yard false start penalty by Jerry. Gentlemen, this is also unacceptable. Offensive Line … C’MON MAN!
2). As stated earlier, the Rams gained a whopping 162 net yards rushing on 27 attempts. This included 76 yards on 11 carries by rookie Daryl (Who?) Richardson, who had runs of 44 and 11 yards, This also included 52 yards on 12 carries by Steven Jackson, who had a runs of 12 and 11 yards. And, this included 34 yards on 4 carries by QB Sam Bradford … yes, Sam Bradford … who had a run of 21 yards. Where were the Dolphins’ LBs and Safeties on these runs that got chunk yards? They have to do better. Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, Koa Misi, Chris Clemons, and Reshad Jones … C’MON MAN!
3). Rams’ WRs Brandon Gibson and rookie fourth round pick Chris Givens had fairly big games. Gibson caught 7 passes for 91 yards and Givens caught only 3 passes, but for 85 yards including one reception for 65 yards. Most of the time, these receivers were catching short out passes on Nolan Carroll and Sean Smith. Smith shut down Pro Bowl receivers (Fitzgerald and Green) in the previous two games. But, both Smith and Carroll seemed often to be playing 5 yards or more off Gibson and Givens at the snap giving up many passes in the 10 yard range. What happened to the press coverage used against the Cards and Bengals? Why the change in coverage? The Rams sure ate up the Dolphins coverage for a total of 300 net passing yards. Kevin Coyle … C’MON MAN!
4). Despite completing 21 passes, Ryan Tannehill only twice targeted the NFL’s leading receiver Brian Hartiline. One pass resulted in a pass interference penalty and the other was a drop (although the play resulted in a first down due to a roughing the passer penalty) — this equaled ZERO Hartline receptions for the game. A couple of plays, Hartline seemed to be open and Tannehill did not even look his way. I think you have to target the NFL’s leading receiver — especially, throwing the deep ball at least a couple of times to keep the defense on its heels. Ryan Tannehill … C’MON MAN!
5). Miami Dolphins had 192 total net yards on offense. The Miami Dolphins gave up 462 net yards on defense. Enough said. The Dolphins have a bye week and then two road games — one at the New York Jets (revenge game for the OT loss) and one at the Indianapolis Colts. The offense and defense needs to pick it up — especially with respect to rushing the football. Miami Dolphins … C’MON MAN!
What do you think? Do you have your own C’MON MAN you’d like to give out for the Rams game?
<<<<< massanuttenref >>>>>