Nov 11, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) is congratulated by center Mike Pouncey (51) after he scored a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Observations From The Miami Dolphins' 22-19 Loss to Tampa Bay

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Well, the Miami Dolphins handed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their first win of the season this past Monday night in prime time on Monday Night Football. Tampa won the game by a score of 22-19 and moves to 1-8 on the season as Miami falls to 4-5 on the year.

 

Yeah, yeah Miami is still technically in the playoff hunt as the #7 seed, but who gives a rat’s you know what when this team loses to the lowly Tampa Bay Bucs.

 

We must give credit where credit is due, Tampa played well and used some trick plays to beat up on Miami’s aggressive defense early – T Donald Penn scored his 2nd career touchdown on his third career reception. Tampa also racked up 140 yards on the ground and made Miami’s offense one dimensional by shutting down their ground game which only accumulated a putrid 2 yards on the night.

 

Gosh, let’s just dive right into this. I’m going to do my best to keep it short and sweet instead of rambling and bitching about everything. Bare with me.

 

—-The quarterback roller coaster that is Ryan Tannehill continued Monday. Tannehill finished the night completing 27 of 42 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Tannehill also threw a desperation interception to CB Darrelle Revis. No biggy. What is a big deal, however, is Tannehill’s inability to complete passes on a consistent basis. On Miami’s first touchdown drive just before the half, Tannehill completed 8 of his 8 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown while converting 5 first downs. On the contrary, he still consistently over-throws, under-throws and just down right makes awful decisions when dropping back. I wrote down at least 3 over-throws in the first three quarters, one of which WR Mike Wallace was wide open deep, yet Tannehill threw the ball out of bounds. Clean it up.

 

—-The run game was awful. RB Lamar Miller ran the football 7 times for 2 yards. Daniel Thomas? He ran the ball 4 times for -2 yards. My god.

 

—-WR Mike Wallace matched up with Revis for the majority of the night and had 4 receptions for 15 yards. I can give a pass due to Revis’ ability. WR Brian Hartline grabbed 5 balls for 57 yards. While I was happy with his performance, I still need him to assert himself as Tannehill’s go-to guy. He has not done so yet this year. WR Rishard Matthews jumped onto the scene Monday grabbing 11 balls for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. Matthews is filling in nicely for Brandon Gibson in that slot role. I like his ability and he clearly possesses the best set of hands on the team.

 

—-The tight ends sucked in this one also. Charles Clay caught 4 balls for 21 yards but dropped a nice throw by Tannehill and suffered from a communication error with his QB which could have turned quite ugly. Mike Egnew caught one ball for 7 yards. I thought he took a step back blocking wise in this one, also. Hopefully he gets his groove back. He’s the best blocking TE this team has.

Nov 11, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) reactd after he scored a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

 

—-The offensive line only allowed 2 sacks on the day. Then again they could not establish a push up front to get a run game going, allowed a safety on a run play —- which was off-tackle, so put that one together —- and allowed pressure after pressure, hit after hit on their young quarterback. This unit needs to gel together. And shout out to Mike Pouncey, quit acting like a thug. Don’t be a moron and punch an opposing player after your team has been dealing with related issues for weeks.

 

—-Obviously the run defense sucked in this one. Tampa bay ran the ball 37 times for 140 yards. This defense made a guy like Brian Leonard look like Adrian Peterson. Yes, it was that bad. If RB Mike James hadn’t suffered an ankle injury on the game’s first drive…..he may have busted the 200 yard mark on the night.

 

—-Want to assign blame for the crappy run defense? The two off-season acquisitions at the linebacker position played down-right terrible. Sure Dannell Ellerbe ended the night with 11 tackles and a sack, but he misses tackle after tackle after tackle. Honestly, it was so irritating while writing up some notes. Philip Wheeler ended the night with 5 tackles and, like Ellerbe, missed tackle after tackle after tackle. Both players were absolutely washed out of the play when an offensive lineman got his hands on either player. I’ve been saying it for weeks now, I miss Dansby and Burnett.

 

—-I’m not sure where this pass rush is. Sometimes it is there and Wake, Starks, Odrick, and Vernon look like a great unit. Other times these guys are just absolutely missing. It’s concerning when a team loaded with athletic big men along the defensive line cannot even grab one sack, especially against an 0-8 team.

 

—-The secondary was a little up and down also, which fit right in with the theme of the night. Brent Grimes played well against WR Vincent Jackson, and was completely screwed over on a BS pass interference call. Should have either been called as off-setting pass interference or offensive pass interference, I’ll go with option B. CB Nolan Carroll, on the other hand, came back down to earth after impressing many with his start this season. Carroll was the whipping boy in this one allowing WR Tiquan Underwood to grab 3 receptions for 64 yards. Underwood owned Carroll on a 30 yard bomb from Glennon. Jimmy Wilson actually played well, in my opinion, which is surprising. I liked the looks he got.

 

—-The safety play was once again solid by Chris Clemons, and very underwhelming by Reshad Jones. Clemons has been playing well lately and is the team’s best safety option, in my opinion. Jones has hit a slump this season. Hopefully he turns it around.

 

—-K Caleb Sturgis got his groove back hitting 2 of 2 field goals including a 40 yard attempt.

 

—-P Brandon Fields, this pains me, actually pulled a Tannehill. His leg strength is second to none, but he missed a tackle. I’m sad.

 

—-K/PR Marcus Thigpen had a nice punt return which sparked Miami offensively (34 yarder). Buuut, sucks for some reason this year returning kick offs.

 

—-I’m not going to mention the play calling because, well, it’s not hard to figure out the errors.

 

Miami really needs to step their sh*t up and play some good football against the San Diego Chargers this Sunday. Both teams are standing at a 4-5 record and are in “must win” mode. Whichever team loses is likely out of the playoff race. For Miami’s sake, rather Jeff Ireland’s and his coaching staff, I hope Miami comes out on top.

 

CBS 4:05 PM Eastern San Diego @ Miami. I wonder which Miami team will show….

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