Miami Dolphins week one high and low performers
By Brian Miller
A win is a win is what they say and the Miami Dolphins got their first win of the season in their first game of the season. It was a sloppy and ugly game but perseverance and several late game defensive stands notched Miami’s victory.
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While the Dolphins played a game that was not one to be remembered, some players stepped up and others not so much. If either by expectations or play on the field it was a mixed bag of highs and lows.
Here is a look at the top five players of the week and the five players who could have and should have done more.
Jarvis Landry – Landry posted 8 receptions for 55 yards, one run of 14 yards, and a 69 yard game winning punt return for a touchdown. Not a bad start to his season. Landry was the main target of Ryan Tannehill throughout the game and the Redskins had a hard time keeping him under wraps. While his stat line only shows 55 yards receiving, those receptions were at critical times to keep the Dolphins offense moving.
Jordan Cameron – Cameron caught four passes for 73 yards including a deep seam pass. The Dolphins had high expectations for Cameron when they added him this off-season and he did not disappoint. His value to the team was easily seen and his play was solid in both the passing game and his blocking was better than expected as well. As the season moves along it’s very likely that Cameron and Tannehill will find a cohesiveness that puts Cameron into Tannehill’s go-to group. Cameron made an amazing diving catch deep that can be seen in our featured image.
Lamar Miller – Miller touched the ball only 13 times and that is a question that the Dolphins coaches need to answer for. He ran for a solid 55 yards and broke a long run of 17 yards. He was a bruising late game player who posted only two rushes in the first half. The Dolphins put him in late in the 3rd quarter and fourth and Miller didn’t disappoint giving the Dolphins not only first downs but eventually sealing the victory by running out the clock.
Reshad Jones – Jones seemed to be everywhere on Sunday. He posted only seven tackles but one tackle in particular saved a big run by Alfred Morris. Morris broke through the line and found daylight on the right side of the Dolphins defense when Jones came across the field to tackle him for only a marginal gain. Throughout the game Jones was making plays whether it was by making tackles or defending the pass.
Matt Darr – the Rookie punter was superb on Sunday with only one missed opportunity. Darr booted his first punt 63 yards. On the day Darr punted four times for a 43.5 average with one punt downed inside the 20. As a side note, the Dolphins other rookie kicker, Andrew Franks had a good day as well. He made his only field goal attempt, both of his extra points, and more importantly consistently kicked the ball out of bounds eliminating return chances for the Redskins.
The other end.
Ryan Tannehill – Tannehill came out of Sunday with solid numbers but fans and likely Tannehill expected a lot more than stats. Tannehill was off the mark on a lot of his passes and at least four of his throws should have been intercepted easily. He missed on a deep pass to Kenny Stills and another to Dion Sims. He was unable to generate much offense aside from his one touchdown drive. On Sunday, he was not the Tannehill that fans had seen in pre-season but he managed to escape his own fallacies on Sunday. Tannehill threw for 226 yards and left the first weekend with a 93.5 quarterback rating. But it wasn’t pretty.
Defensive line – The Dolphins added Ndamukong Suh to help stop the run. The Redskins posted 144 yards on the Dolphins defense, on the ground. Most of those yards coming in the first half of the game. While Suh was double teamed the entire game, there was little linebacker support and only Earl Mitchell seemed to step up and make plays. There were moments when the Dolphins defensive front swarmed the Washington running attack but 144 yards is not what anyone expected from this unit.
Offensive line – It was a mixed result day for the offensive line. Tannehill was sacked three times and fumbled once. The Dolphins offense generated less than 100 yards on the day rushing totaling only 74 yards. Tannehill was often under pressure but the Dolphins offensive line stepped up in the 2nd half and gave Lamar Miller room to run. The Dolphins offensive line could have played better and they were expected to but overall when the team needed them to step up they did. To be fair, the Dolphins abandoned the rushing attack for the most part in the first half. The Dolphins rushed only 18 times on the day with the majority of those coming in quarter four.
Rishard Matthews – It’s hard to put Matthews down here on this list and in reality he shouldn’t probably be on it. Matthews caught four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown but it was too key drops that ended Dolphins drives. Both of which were on target and practically un-defended. Matthews needs to work on watching the ball into his hands.
Pass rush – Where was it? The Dolphins had one sack on the day and that came from rookie defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. Cameron Wake had another but it was negated by a defensive hold. What made matters worse was the fact that Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was able to let the plays develop in front of him and hit his targets. The Dolphins pass rush did contribute to at least one turnover as Cousins was forced to throw outside quicker than he wanted allowing Brent Grimes to jump the route for an interception. Still the Dolphins pass rush specialists were expected to do more. To be fair the Redskins were holding Cameron Wake almost all day.