The Miami Dolphins needed the entire 60 minutes of football but they leave the West coast with a big win to open their season.
After an aggravating first half that saw Miami slump through the 30 minutes, the Dolphins came out in the second half looking like someone gave them some coffee. Holes throughout the team showed clearly in all areas but running back. Yet when it finally mattered, new addition Cody Parkey came through.
The Dolphins were carried on the legs of Jay Ajayi who ran for over 100 yards on the day and on the hands of DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry. Landry caught 13 passes for 78 yards and would have had a touchdown if not for an overthrown Cutler pass. Parker added another 85 yards on four catches but was targeted often by Cutler. Kenny Stills didn’t have a huge game statistically but caught Jay Cutler’s only touchdown of the day. In fact it was the Dolphins only touchdown of the day.
The Dolphins entered the Chargers red-zone several times but could not punch it into the endzone. Play calling was odd throughout the day and on the last Dolphins series, Adam Gase got conservative and ran the clock down with Ajayi runs on 1st and 2nd down before a swing pass to Ajayi on third. The Dolphins gained little but Cody Parkey nailed his 54 yard attempt to put the Dolphins up 19-17 with a minute remaining.
The Chargers drove the length of the field with two time-outs left and set up the Chargers kicker for a 44 yard game winning field goal with .05 seconds left on the clock. The kick sailed to the right and the Dolphins took a knee on their final possession.
The Dolphins offense has a lot of work to do but there is a lot of potential with Jay Cutler who seemed to be far less cavalier in his Dolphins debut. The defense however is in shambles and could really use an influx of talent.
The loss of Lawrence Timmons today really hurt as Mike Hull and Chase Allen were lost most of the game. Miami played Reshad Jones up closer to the line and Nate Allen had to go into coverage at times. Miami just couldn’t generate much push.
They did however do enough despite the gift from the Chargers kicker. They need to find answers and it’s likely they will add another linebacker this week. A lot of that depends on what exactly took Timmons away from the team this weekend.
For now, it’s a victory to start the season after a long layoff and a lot of uncertainty.