In their second game of preseason action, the Miami Dolphins took down the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-3. While the score indicates Miami blew the Jaguars out, do not get ahead of yourself. The game was very sloppy in many areas. That being said, the team also had some pleasant surprises.
- QB Ryan Tannehill: While Tannehill opened the game looking shaky and just plain nervous, the sophomore quarterback led his team on a very good third drive leading to a 22-yard touchdown to TE Dustin Keller. Tannehill actually made some impressive throws on that third drive while looking patient and calm. We need to see more of that Ryan Tannehill this season. Tannehill finished the night with a decent stat-line of 5/9 for 75 yards and 1 touchdown.
- TE Dustin Keller: I have been saying for quite some time now that Keller may turn out to be Miami’s best offseason acquisition. Keller proved my theory correct last night. The former NY Jet snagged 2 receptions for 46 yards and 1 touchdown. Keller looked like the seam-threat tight end this team has been missing for quite some time. He also had a good night blocking.
- RB Jonas Gray and Mike Gillislee: First off, let’s start with Gray. Gray looked excellent last night. While his ypc is not “great” he still produced two touchdowns on 14 carries – also had 32 yards. Gray is beginning to look like a nice option for Miami if the team decides Daniel Thomas is expendable. The former Notre Dame running back is certainly making a case for a roster spot. Gillislee, on the other hand, had the best game last night of Miami’s running backs. This kid hits the hole hard and keeps his legs moving while wrapped up. He is a hard-nosed tail back and reminds me a bit of Ronnie Brown pre-ACL. Gillislee does need some work, however. But the talented back is certainly making a case for that back-up job behind Lamar Miller. Gillislee finished the night with 12 carries for 37 yards.
- K Caleb Sturgis: I don’t know about you, but when I saw Sturgis make that 58-yard field goal with room to spare, my jaw dropped to the floor. Sturgis was one of the biggest surprises from last night’s game. The former Florida Gator was 2/2 on field goal attempts and booted numerous kick offs right out of the end of the end-zone. This kid is the real deal. Sorry, Dan Carpenter. Your days are numbered.
- CB Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall: All in all, I thought Miami’s starting defense looked elite last night. What a great showing. Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall played excellent last night. Both are making it hard to decipher whom exactly will start opposite Brent Grimes come week 1. Honestly, I wrote Patterson off thinking he would be in the first wave of cuts. After last nights game, I’m not so sure he won’t be Miami’s #2 corner come week 1. Patterson impressed me ten fold. Miami may not be as weak at corner as we all think after all.
- G Josh Samuda: Now, I’ve been a huge Josh Samuda fan for quite some time now. That being said, I was absolutely appalled with his performance last night. For the second game in a row Samuda was being thrown around like a rag-doll and was absolutely played last night for a sack by Sen’Derrick Marks. Miami better cross their fingers that either Lance Louis or John Jerry get healthy quickly because Samuda is the biggest weak link along a shaky offensive line.
- CB Nolan Carroll: Yes, I am aware Carroll finished the night with 4 tackles and an interception. But the former Maryland Terrapin looked soft in coverage and was absolutely burnt by WR Ace Sanders on a slant route. Carroll also finds himself on this list due to the play of Patterson and Marshall. I find it hard to believe the team will carry Grimes, Patterson, Marshall, Davis, Taylor AND Carroll. Jeff Ireland can find a younger and much cheaper option than Mr. Carroll.
- WR Mike Wallace: No Wallace is not on the list due to anything he did wrong. He did not drop any passes. He did not fumble the ball. Why? Because he wasn’t even targeted on the night. It was disappointing that offensive coordinator Mike Sherman did not even let Wallace take a corner deep to give the fan base something to cheer about. I was quite sad. The guy should have just sat this game out to rest his groin rather than play for 10 plays or so for nothing and risk re-injuring it.
- QB Matt Moore: Moore finished the night going 5 for 9 for 58 yards and 1 interception. Moore looked shaky and impatient. Not to mention the interception he threw to Dwayne Gratz was one of the worse decisions I have seen out of the former Miami savior. Obviously Moore is not going to be cut over a bad game like this, but I can’t imagine the coaching staff will not keep their eyes open if he continues playing this way. Take care of the football, Matthew.
- Third-down execution: Yes, Miami won the turnover battle 4-1. Yes, Miami ultimately won the game by putting more points up than Jacksonville. But Miami lost a crucial battle, in my opinion. It will be tough to beat teams like Baltimore, New England, Indianapolis, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, etc. if Miami can only convert on 3 of its 13 (13!) third-downs. That’s 23%. Miami must execute better or their record come week 17 will not look so hot.
Miami will be traveling to Houston next Saturday to face off against the Houston Texans in Miami’s third preseason affair. The game will kick-off at 8 P.M. Eastern.