The Miami Dolphins suffered their fourth loss of the season this past Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts (23-20) – also snapping Miami’s 3-game winning streak.
Both teams played well throughout the first three quarters of the game – Indianapolis pulled through in the fourth quarter to finish the game.
Although this loss should sting for Miami, there is no doubt that the Dolphins took a step back in many phases of their game Sunday…
-One bright spot on offense was Rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill – seems like a reoccurring theme here doesn’t it? Tannehill finished the day 22 of 38 for 290 yards and one touchdown. The former Texas A&M Aggie has been proving his doubters wrong all season long – expect Tannehill to continue improving each week as he has done thus far.
-Running back Reggie Bush had another up and down game. Bush was limited to 10 carries for some reason – it’s been that way for awhile now but no word as to why. On his 10 carries, Bush was able to rush for 41 yards and one amazing touchdown run. I question why the offense does not utilize Bush more often in the passing game – Bush only received two receptions Sunday…
-Wide Receivers Brian Hartline – 8 receptions 107 yards – and Davone Bess – 6 receptions 67 – were able to get themselves open all game long against a weak Indianapolis secondary. Hartline continued his break-out season by proving to be Tannehill’s go to guy on numerous occasions. Bess, on the other hand, continues to be Mr. Third-Down…what else is new!
-The offensive line played terrible….bottom line. Left Tackle Jake Long, who some believe is the best offensive lineman in the league, easily played the worst game of his career Sunday. Long struggled with Colts defensive end Dwight Freeny – Freeny is an all-pro, but Long used to shut all-pros down each and every week. Rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin regressed again. Martin struggled with Indianapolis’ speed rushers for the entire game. I have nothing else to say about this unit.
-Defensive End Cameron Wake continued his stellar season by posting a stat line of 4 tackles, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. Wake is easily the best player on this above average Miami defense – not to mention, is there a better pure pass rusher than Wake in the league right now?
-Middle Linebacker Karlos Dansby also played well – although he did get beat a few times in coverage, the ball was in Indianapolis Quarterback Andrew Luck’s hand for over 5 seconds. Dansby was constantly getting to the ball carrier on his way to a 9 tackle performance. Keep it up Karlos, maybe someday you will make it to canton…no.
-Safety Reshad Jones is playing at an all-pro level and deserves pro bowl consideration – I have finally been convinced. Jones collected 4 tackles Sunday and forced one fumble. Jones’ ability to come up from his safety position and stop the run is among the elite.
-I was going to waste my time speaking of how badly Corner Sean Smith played Sunday and then it hit me…He’s one of the most inconsistent players in the league, therefore it was bound to happen sooner or later.
-Also, it would be nice to see the team want to tackle and catch the ball to make key interceptions….just food for thought…
-Punter Brandon Fields continues his all-pro season booting the ball 4 times for an average of 46 yards and a long of 60. Fields’ may be one of the most valuable special teams players in the league – if you are not aware, Miami leans heavily on Fields’ golden leg.
-Once again, Kicker Dan Carpenter was perfect from the field going 2-2 on field goals and 2-2 on extra points. After Carpenter’s struggles early in the season, it’s quite nice to see him back to his good old self.
-Rookie Defensive End Olivier Vernon is becoming quite the special teams ace isn’t he? Vernon has blocked a field goal in two consecutive weeks and is constantly making tackles in kick and punt coverage. Kudos Mr. Vernon.
This loss should sting every player and coach. Are the Colts a better team than Miami? No, but they were Sunday. It’s time to put up or shut up boys. On to Tennessee….
As always, Keep Your Fins UP!!!
——ALL STATISTICS TAKEN FROM NFL.COM——