It’s always hard to pick out some high notes after a loss, but there are a few. First, we’ll give props to our offensive line. Down two left tackles, Jason Fox stepped in and stepped up. Tannehill had a good game in part because of Fox and friends. Not too many teams could survive the loss of both their tackles, but we have so far. The backup linemen have excelled.
Ryan Tannehill is for real. The inteception at the end hurt, but it wasn’t a horrendous pass, just a little too much zip for Landry to handle. T-hill got in the endzone five times against a decent defense in the cold. We got us a keeper at QB.
Jarvis Landry and Mike Wallace. Their touchdowns weren’t enough to get it done, but that is hardly their fault. Both guys seem to find the endzone each week.
John Denney. His hustle is amazing. How does he always end up with fumbles?
Now the LOW. Low, as in singular, not plural.
The defense cost us this game. You can’t ever allow any opponent 39 points and have something good to say. The line had hardly any pressure on Manning. As we pointed out all week, and as the Rams proved last week, the way to beat Manning is to beat him up. Sitting in coverage will fail. Hurrying him will fail. Forcing him to handoff will fail. The ONLY way to beat him is to pound him, yet the Dolphins had no answers. They didn’t touch him.
For example, Miami did a decent job taking away the WR screen passes. Manning either missed the pass or else completed it for short gain. But that is meaningless. Unless you hit Manning into next week, you will lose. It’s embarrassing that the lowly Rams pounded Manning all day long, while we were content to drop three defenders inside to stop a screen pass.
A third-string undrafted and unknown running back lit it up against us. This happens far too often when we lose. Detroit and KC used third-stringers against us too and beat us. There must be something in Kevin Coyle’s schemes that don’t account for all players. Unexplainable.
Jimmy Wilson took an awful penalty by head butting some Bronco to keep a drive alive.
Number 3 overall pick Dion Jordan continued to do nothing.
The linebackers filled no holes in the running game. Denver had a good plan to stop Odrick, Mitchell, and Starks up the middle. That means the linebackers had to fill the gaps, but they were busy getting knocked on their butts.
As for a final analysis, this is a disappointing loss but not a heartbreaker. We get zero victories just for keeping it close. But the fact that it wasn’t a blowout is positive. We have a strong team. We are better than Buffalo and they beat us. We are better than Detroit and they beat us too.
A tough loss to end November might be the wakeup call we need to have a strong December. And guess what? Our next win is December 1 at the Jets.