Hesitant Henne, Defense Leads Phins To Opening Win
As the former Miami Dolphins VP of Football Operations Bill Parcells used to say, ‘we are what our record says we are,’ the Miami Dolphins are 1-0 after a good defensive performance against the Buffalo Bills on opening week. Miami won the contest 15-10, despite a poor offensive output.
Chad Henne ended the game 21/34 for 182 yds, but held onto the ball way too long on way too many pass attempts. He either didn’t trust himself to make the throws in a place his receivers could make a play on the ball, or he didn’t trust his receivers to make plays after a pre-season full of dropped passes. Either way, this kind of performance will not garner too many wins once the Dolphins start playing better competition in the weeks to come.
Henne checked down and looked to his 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th options all afternoon. Some of those plays resulted in sacks, some resulted in short completitions, and some resulted in bad passes. If Miami has any hopes of making some noise in the AFC East this season, Henne is going to have to play better.
When Henne wasn’t hesitating, he missed a wide open Brandon Marshall on a couple passes that would have been big gains for Miami, one of them a sure touchdown. He threw a ball out of bounds on a Marshall out route, that looked like an exact replay of a miss during the Miami Dolphins 3rd pre-season game against the Falcons. He also missed a WIDE OPEN Marshall on a double move that would have resulted in a touch down. Henne under threw it, and Marshall lost his shoe trying to make the play.
Marshall finished the game with 8 catches for 53 yds, and looked good doing it. Davone Bess finally got involved in the 2nd half and finished with 6 catches for 51 yds. Bess led the team in receptions last year, but Henne didn’t really get him involved until the 2nd half.
The running game looked pretty decent against a Bills team that ranked near the bottom of the league against the rush last year. Ronnie Brown finished the game with 13 carries for 65 yds and a TD, Ricky Williams finished with 18 carries for 62 yds. The only knock on the Miami running game was the fact that they couldn’t finish the game out when it counted late in the 4th quarter.
The difference maker in this game was the Miami defense. After not showing much during the preseason, they looked pretty darn good in this one, even though it was against a horrible Bills offense. They had 3 sacks, and multiple dropped interceptions, 2 of which would have been td’s.
Overall, a win is a win, and Miami is 1-0. They didn’t commit any turnovers, and took care of business on the road within their division. But if Miami looks to continue their winning ways, Henne will have to get better and trust either himself or his receivers more in the future.