The Miami Dolphins week three game against the Dallas Cowboys had some good and some bad on Sunday.
Josh Rosen got his first start for the Miami Dolphins and played pretty decent. Expectations were curbed a bit, as the talent level surrounding him is not very good, but they held their own in the first half on Sunday. Rosen used his athleticism to extend plays and buy the receivers a little extra time to find open spots on the field.
I think Josh Rosen proved that he is the better QB on this team, he seemed to have better and crisper passing than Fitzpatrick showed in the first two games and Josh Rosen was able to move the team down the field in the first half and was playing pretty good until the game got away from them in the second half.
The offensive line is what it is, but the unit did play better early on and Miami was smart to use max protection a lot in the first half, holding the running backs and tight ends back to help the patchwork offensive line block the Dallas Cowboys defensive front.
The Miami Dolphins receivers were very inconsistent on the day, especially later on in the second half. DeVante Parker had a spectacular one-handed catch to move the offense down the field early in the game but then later had drops that stalled the team’s progress and really struggled to get open most of the afternoon.
Preston Williams had some bright spots as well, but could not hold on to a potential game-changing touchdown catch late in the second quarter. Preston Williams showed why expectations for him are so high, he is a rookie and needs to work on several things, but there is no denying he could develop into something special. Josh Rosen obviously has some chemistry with the young wideout and I looked forward to seeing it grow on the field throughout the season.
The running back duo of Kalen Ballage and Kenyan Drake really never got going in large part to the offensive lines issues and both really were asked to stay in and help pass protect in the early portions of the game. Kalen Ballage especially had a difficult time getting anything going, as he was stuffed two running plays in a row on short and goal, which would’ve changed the dynamics of the game early on.
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Then, of course, the fumble by Kenyan Drake late in the second quarter was a soul-crushing turn over that the Miami Dolphins really never completely recovered from. Another opportunity to add points to the scoreboard that got away. Kenyan did find some success as a receiver out of the backfield a few times but the drives stalled and the score got out of hand and the running game was essentially abandoned in the second half.
As for the defense, it started off pretty strong showing some tenacity early, several three and outs, an interception by McCain, but never showed even a glimpse of a pass rush. Dak Prescot had what seemed like an eternity behind his line and always in a perfect pocket to sit in and wait for his receivers to get open. The lack of a pass rush continues to be a huge issue for this team.
The Miami defense did hold Ezekiel Elliot in check for most of the first half, but I think a lack of depth and being on the field to long eventually wore them out and the Dallas Cowboys started to exploit them in the second half.
There are some glaring holes on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary, but the biggest surprise had to be the play of Xavien Howard, who was just flat-out schooled all day by Amari Cooper. I’m pretty sure I even saw him take off a few plays after being roasted early and often by the cowboy’s star receiver.
The Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders had some mistakes and the punter Matt Haack was again showing issues with his kicking assignments. I’m not sure what is going on with the kicking issues on this team, but that is one area where mistakes cannot happen and it leads to crippling issues that are hard to recover from.
So, overall another devastating loss from this young Miami Dolphins squad, but they did show some glimpses of some positive things along the way. The talent level just simply is not on an even keel with the rest of the NFL and it is apparent when you watch them, but I think they will get it together and produce better results before the end of the season.