The Miami Dolphins took down the division rival New York Jets yesterday in a dominant performance by a score of 23-3. Miami now moves to 6-6 on the season, tying the team with the Baltimore Ravens for the sixth and final play-off spot in the AFC (Baltimore owns the tie-breaker, however). New York, on the other hand, falls to 5-7, but is still alive in the hunt.
Miami’s defense clearly stepped up in this one, holding New York to a measly 177 total yards (99 rushing, 78 passing). While Miami’s offense stepped up against one of the NFL’s top defensive units reeling off 453 total yards and an astounding 125 yards rushing.
Let’s take a look at some observations from yesterday’s win:
—- Let’s start it off with the play of QB Ryan Tannehill, who continues to puzzle many. Tannehill put together a decent second half to follow up a first half which was one to forget. Tannehill’s interception was a poor decision regardless if his arm was hit or not. He also under-threw receivers on a regular basis and made some questionable decisions. That being said, he put together a fine second half and finished the game completing 28 of 43 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns along with that first half interception to CB Antonio Cromartie. Tannehill needs to step his game up if this team wants to not only make the play-offs, but be successful during that portion of the season. Under-throwing WR Brian Hartline on a 4th-and-1 when he completely burns rookie CB Dee Milliner will not cut it.
—- I thought RB Lamar Miller ran the football well behind Miami’s mediocre offensive line against one of the league’s top defensive fronts. OC Mike Sherman entrusted Miller with 22 carries in which the speedy back gained 72 yards. No, that’s not a great yard-per-carry average, but against one of the league’s best run fronts, I will definitely take it.
—- Side Note: RB Mike Gillislee looked great in his first NFL game. I’m looking forward to seeing more out of the rookie from Florida.
—- Three receiving performances of note:
Brian Hartline – 9 receptions 127 yards 1 touchdown
Mike Wallace – 7 receptions 82 yards 1 touchdown
Charles Clay – 7 receptions 80 yards
These three alone led Miami’s offense to the win yesterday. Wallace has clearly become more comfortable in this offensive scheme, while his presence alone in recent weeks has been felt. Brian Hartline has benefited from Wallace’s involvement, as has Charles Clay from the tight end position. These three can prove to be quite a trio down the stretch for Miami if Wallace can continue to be a threat in this offense.
—-The offensive line played well in this one. Phenomenal? I wouldn’t go that far, but this was perhaps the unit’s best game of the season. Tannehill was only sacked once which was a coverage sack, and was only hit four times. Toss in the fact that Tannehill had all day to throw during the second half and the team was able to pound one of the best run stuffing fronts in the league for 125 yards on the ground, that’s a great game.
—- DE Olivier Vernon gets the game ball and the MVP award for this game. Vernon wrapped up Matt Simms and Geno Smith for 2.5 sacks, while also grabbing 10 total tackles and 3 quarterback hits. He was a terror when the Jets wanted to pass and played well against the run.
—- The whole defensive front actually played well in this one. I was happy with the play of DE Cameron Wake and Dion Jordan who combined for 7 tackles and 2 quarterback hits. It was also nice to see Jordan get some looks more often than not. Hopefully this trend continues because good things happen when the kid is on the field. That being said the defensive tackle trio did not put together a dominant game, but they all did their job when asked to do so.
—- The linebackers played, okay. LB Philip Wheeler played a great game, in my opinion. He looked fast and physical en route to 8 total tackles .5 sacks and 1 quarterback hit. MLB Dannell Ellerbe may have grabbed an interception, which was a great play, but left something to be desired outside of that one play. He continues to struggle to wrap up ball carriers and in coverage, not to mention he totaled one tackle all game long.
—- The corners really received a bit off a day off in this one, but when tested I thought they played well. Brent Grimes grabbed his 4th pick of the season and Nolan Carroll continued to fill in well for the injured Dimitri Patterson. Nickel-back Jimmy Wilson is playing lights out and deserves some recognition, in my opinion. Hopefully he continues to develop and play well.
—- Attention, Reshad Jones decided to show up. I was impressed with the way Jones played and he almost looked like the player we saw last season. Hopefully, for this defense’s sake, he can continue to build on yesterday’s performance. Chris Clemons had another solid day, but dropped an interception which would have been a great play. Clemons is looking like a priority to re-sign this off-season.
—- Yikes, PK Caleb Sturgis shanked another field goal (41 yard attempt), but still went 2-3 from the field on the day.
—- We didn’t see much from P Brandon Fields, but I’m not complaining.
—- Miami clearly dominated in this one across the board from yardage to also time of possession – 38:52 to just 21:08. Miami’s defense grabbed 4 sacks and the offense was 7 of 16 on third downs.
Miami will look to continue their winning ways this week as they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Miami can win this one, they will move to 7-6 on the season putting them in better position to lock up that last wild-card spot. If the team loses, however; things could get quite interesting to say the least.
Also, all fans of our “Direct Snap” radio show, we will be airing live this Thursday at 8:00 PM EST rather than our Saturday 8:30 PM EST slot. This move is not permanent, we are just testing it out to see how many views we get and if it is a better time slot. Here is a link to our most recent show if you have no idea what I am talking about and would like to check it out, we would love to have you.
I will post a link as always this Thursday as a reminder before the show kicks off. See you then!