Dolphins Lose Opener. Your thoughts?

The turning point of this game came very early, and no one mentioned it after it happened.  After the Dolphins’ first three and out, we punted, and the Patriots muffed it.  Two Dolphins were nearby, and their effort to grab the ball was nonchalant.  Meanwhile, the Pat who muffed the punt and the other guy who got pushed into him, both went all out to recover the ball.  The team that tried harder–indeed the team that wanted it more–got the ball.  You can’t teach that kind of effort and awareness…or can you?

There were other turning points too, but that one stuck out.   Imagine the Dolphins getting all that momentum if they would have recovered the muff and had first and goal early on?  Imagine the doubt (rather than confidence) that would have messed with Cam Newton if he took over down 7-0.

But alas, we didn’t recover that ball, nor did we recover any confidence.

Ryan Fitzpatrick really shocked me with a horrible game.  He was off target all day long.  He floated passes when he needed to drill them, and he tried to squeeze passes into nonexistent openings.  His sideline routes were high all day long.  His interceptions (albeit with help from the refs), were momentum-crushing disasters.  He hurried all his passes, even when no one was near him.  He often threw those 3-yard crossing routes when we needed 4.  Nothing worked.  If ever the team needed a spark and wanted to give the backup QB  a chance, it was today. I don’t care if it’s Tua or Rosen or Cleo Lemon…Fitzpatrick didn’t have it today, and Flores needed to both recognize that and act on it.  He did neither.  Be strong enough to bench an ineffective player and give someone else a chance.  Fitz showed nothing.

You know who else didn’t have it?…ALL our new guys.   ALL the high-priced free agents and ALL the vaunted rookies.   NO ONE stepped up.  Newbies Flowers and Jones had costly penalties.   No one else did anything special.   That was very disappointing.   A very vanilla defense couldn’t stop NE.   The Pats fumbled in the end zone and missed a field goal, or else the score woulda been much much worse.

I liked the O-linemen’s pass blocking.  They gave Fitz time for the most part, even though Fitz hurried every pass anyway, even when no one was nearby.

All in all, nothing looked real promising, but I’m going to hold onto Tony Romo’s thoughts about how they are still learning and will get better.

What do you think?  Comment below.

 

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7 Comments

  1. Flores shoulda tried a Hail Mary before halftime. Why not? Why take a knee? Stupid conservative call

  2. Also, 70 year old Chan Gailey called a game right out of the 70s. Absolutely zero innovation or anything special. Nothing.

  3. I also agree with you about the new players. So so many new guys, and nobody made a play.

  4. Wilkins looked the part of a number 1 pick.

    In reality if Fitz doesn’t have those 3 picks they were in it. The last DPI noncall was brutal and some of the other ticky tack calls hurt them. It never ends in NE.

  5. Fitz was today what he always had been, as good as he is bad. The guys can’t play with any kind of expectation on him. The expectation was an improved team who would compete against every team and he did not. I also agree with the above statement on Gaily, very straight up game plan nothing surprising to exploit weakness.

  6. Here’s the way I saw the game. To me it boiled down to a couple things.

    – the defense is certainly better than last year but…
    1) we are lacking true IMPACT players on defense… reasonably solid all around but very few guys that can really step up and make that special play on defense when we really need it and
    2) We just schematically had no idea how to defend Cam Newton in this offense. But that was kinda to be expected considering it was his first game in that system.

    -Offensively:
    1) Without DeVante we have NO receivers that can really get any separation from top tier corners. Not saying Fitz had a good game by any means but he HAD to press and make some less than ideal decisions because our guys could just simply not get free.
    2) The OL is markedly better but it is going to take some time to really be a cohesive unit in live action against real opponents. Unfortunately this is again kinda expected without preseason games and simply not enough time in the real line of fire but I think in a month or two we could be talking about a pretty decent OL (not “great” maybe, but definitely respectable).

  7. Overall this is about as good as it could have gone, a lot of new players and new systems.

    Defensively we looked pretty good came up with a turnover and this was the first time anyone saw the New patriots offense so I figured we would struggle but only allowed 21 points. Christian Willkins made plays and Baker was a round the ball all day long. Not a lot of passes and they did run the ball well but the NE O line is one of the best O lines in the NFL so that’s expected.

    Offensively, definitely made some huge improvements. NE will have one of the best defenses in the NFL again this year and we did not look that bad at all.Myles Gaskin the Undrafted running back ran really well, DVP made some plays against the Gilmore who was the DPOY. Sure we only scored 11 but Fitzpatrick played terrible. Also this might be the best O line the Dolphins have had in forever. Sure Gailey game plan was simple but it was effective at times, hard for any team to look good for a whole game against the Patriots offense.

    Again while we are a much better team and guys look to be improving, we will lose a lot this year I think anyway just not enough experience especially offensively but we are just hoping for constant improvement.

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