Analyzing The Miami Dolphins Through Five Games

Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay (42) catches a pass against Atlanta Falcons linebacker Joplo Bartu (59) in the fourth quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, the Miami Dolphins are currently running through their bye week. The bright side of this statement is that the team is currently standing with a beautiful 3-2 record after a gauntlet to open the season scoring wins over Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Atlanta.

There’s always that break-out player that everyone seems to be loving. Then again there is also that complete bust that everyone hates on and uses as a scapegoat as to why the team is performing badly in one area.

So hey, here’s a little bye week fun. Let’s take a look at Miami’s break-out performer, bust, “needs a band-aid” guy, most impressive rookie, and least impressive rookie.

Break-out performer: Charles Clay – TE: Could it be anyone else here? Clay has turned himself into quite a weapon for QB Ryan Tannehill and this Dolphins offense. Clay has accumulated 23 receptions for 297 yards (good for 12.9 yards per reception) and two touchdowns.

Aug 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins fullback Charles Clay (42) during the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Texans won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone, including myself, thought this offense was doomed when TE Dustin Keller went down with a horrific knee injury from a hit by Texans safety DJ Swearinger. Everyone was screaming, “There goes our seam-threat.” Clay has turned into the seam-threat this offense needs. How so? His long for the season is a 67-yard snag that almost scored the young TE a touchdown, damn you LaRon Landry.

Look for Clay to continue his dominance over linebackers, safeties and even corners. Isn’t that right, Jimmy Smith?

Bust: Tyson Clabo – RT: Again, could it really be anyone else? When Miami signed this guy, I really was not too pleased. Nor was anyone with much of a football brain. Clabo struggled at times during his tenure with Atlanta and has been Miami’s biggest liability along a very weak offensive line. Clabo has been ranked by Pro Football Focus as Miami’s worst offensive lineman grading out at a -8.8. That is along an offensive line that grades out as a -7.0 overall good for 21st worst in the league.

Miami surely needs to figure something out fast as Clabo has allowed at least one sack in every single game this season. Maybe give FA Brandon Moore a call and move G John Jerry to RT? Maybe give Nate Garner a try? No clue.

Needs A Band-aid: Dimitri Patterson – CB: Oh Mr. Patterson, please get yourself healthy. Patterson has played in one game for Miami thus far, in which he recorded two tackles and two interceptions. The seventh-year corner terrorized Browns QB Brandon Weedon. And then was never to be heard from again.

Patterson has been slowed by a lingering groin injury. Hopefully this guy can get himself healthy enough to go coming out of the bye when Miami welcomes the division rival Buffalo Bills to town. While CB Nolan Carroll has done a magnificent job filling in for Patterson, the same cannot be said for Jimmy Wilson, RJ Stanford nor Jamar Taylor. These young players have had their shining moments, I supposed, but Patterson’s return to the line-up would immediately boost this defense’s moral.

Please, please, please Mr. Patterson get yourself healthy.

Most Impressive Rookie: Caleb Sturgis – PK: The obvious choice here, Sturgis has been nearly perfect from the field making 10 of 11 attempts good for almost 91 percent from the field. Sturgis has booted a long of 54 yards and his only miss was a 57-yarder to send Miami into over-time. While that’s good and all, the field goal would have been about a 52-yard attempt if QB Ryan Tannehill does not take a sack on second down against Baltimore.

The former Florida Gator has also served as Miami’s primary kick off specialist. Sturgis committed a painful penalty last week against Baltimore booting a kick off out of bounds. But other than that mindless penalty, Sturgis has been flawless grabbing 13 touch backs and allowing 11 returns. Not too shabby for a rookie.

Least Impressive Rookie: Dallas Thomas – OL: Obviously this is the only choice here. Could we have went with RB Mike Gillislee here instead? I suppose, but Gillislee actually impressed me a bit this preseason. Thomas, on the other hand, had me pulling my hair out allowing pressure after pressure, sack after sack, and just looking pitiful.

Aug 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis (9) warms up before the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Texans won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas was taken in the third round, yet he looks like an undrafted rookie. The 6’5″, 315 pound offensive lineman has yet to suit up for the Dolphins this season. What’s so surprising about that? Have you seen Miami’s offensive line. They’re awful. For instance, the New York Jets benched G Vladimir Ducasse for rookie Brian Winters. Uh, hello? Winters was taken in the third round at pick 72. Thomas, on the other hand, was taken at 77. What am I missing here?

Thomas needs to get himself into the weight room to not only add some muscle but to also drop a little weight to strive in Miami’s zone blocking scheme. Until he proves his third round talent, he’s clearly Miami’s least impressive rookie.

 

Topics: Caleb Sturgis, Charles Clay, Dimitri Patterson, Miami Dolphins, Tyson Clabo

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