Highs and Lows of the Dolphins Shutout Win vs San Diego

It’s a pleasure to have so many Highs and so few Lows this week.

The HIGHS:
Ryan Tannehill played great.

The offensive line was stellar.  I love the forgotten plays, like Samson Satele racing down the field to recover Tannehill’s fumble.  In the past, that was EXACTLY the type of play that the opponent always recovered.  Now we are making our own luck.

Jarvis Landry is doing some great things.   I love being wrong about him!  I was against drafting him in the 2nd round, and I admit how wrong I was now.

The entire defense.  An A++ performance all the way around.

The coaching.  Every since Joe Philbin handed a free victory to the Packers, since then he has stayed out of the players’ way and let them play.  3 wins in a row prove what happens when you don’t over-coach.

The LOWS:
When we led 20-0 right before halftime, I wasn’t fully confident that we would win.   The Chargers are easily capable of putting up 21 to 24 points in a half.  So I really really wanted to be up 23-0 at the half.  23-0 requires three touchdowns-Plus to beat you.  20-0 requires less effort.  23-0 would have been great.   But then came Caleb Sturgis, the Missing Machine.  He is a liability.   I am shocked that Philbin has not called in another kicker for a tryout.

Dion Jordan played against San Diego’s starters early on, and he did nothing.  He later played against San Diego’s scrubs, and he did nothing.  On special teams, he did nothing.  Do you see a pattern here?

The second-string offense didn’t show much.  Granted, they didn’t have to show much, but still, guys like Nate Garner, Matt Moore, and others are one injury away from being starters, and it looked like they weren’t ready.  Damien Williams should have ran right through the 3rd string defense that San Diego had out there late, but the blocking wasn’t there.

And finally, this isn’t really a low, but I want to point out that San Diego played pretty low itself.  Yes, Miami deserved the win, but the Chargers helped give it away.  The 4th down call really helped us.   But the play of the game was when Rivers needed 4 yards, and he slid at 3 yards.

Rivers is tough as nails, and he didn’t slide early on purpose to avoid a hit.  He doesn’t play that way.  His early slide was a mistake on his part.  He had that first down easily, and it might have been a whole different ball game.  Miami got a little lucky there, and we will take it!

NOTE ON THE TV ANNOUNCERS:
Dan Fouts is usually pretty fair and I think he respects the Dolphins, unlike when Steve Tasker calls our games.  But one call Fouts made that was ludicrous was when Landry picked up a first down, and Fouts claimed that Mike Wallace made an illegal pick.  I rewinded that play 5 times, and no way did Wallace pick anyone!   Wallace simply ran from right to left, and some Charger held onto him the entire way.  I think Fouts played favorites a little bit on that call, but otherwise he was fair.

P.S.   It is still painful to watch footage of the Dolphins-Chargers  1982 playoff game.  I knew it was coming, and it came!

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. The curse of the Chargers loosing in Miami continues. And to think I almost missed this game because for some reason my ticket wouldn’t scan. They tried 2 different scanners about 4 times each. Then luck was on my side as a third person came over and scanned me in thankfully. Yeah seriously whats up with Caleb Sturgis? Liability is a perfect word to describe his play. Teams will have a slight mental edge if the game is close and could up in his hands. This will give them more freedom when deciding which plays to call on either side of the ball knowing he’s capable of missing easy field goals. Caleb please for the love of god, fix it!

    Lastly I think you missed giving Philbin some credit for being there only days after loosing his father. If he had decided to grieve and miss the game, could things have been different? I think so.Even the players in his post game speech said they won this for him. His impact on Sunday was immeasurable. For that selfless sacrifice I award him a game ball.

    Now lets enjoy this victory and get ready. Another challenge every bit as worthy as San Diego awaits in Detroit.
    PhinsUp!

    Enjoy some footage from Sunday’s victory featuring yours truly.

    http://youtu.be/MP7Kz4_gU7Y

    1. Yeah it was sad to hear about his dad.

  2. I think we have to mention the fact that we were inside the 10 yard line and “goal to go” 3 times and only came away with FG’s. Big difference between 9 points and 21 points. That’s when we need to ditch the read option, shotgun, and 3 WR sets and bring in the heavies. We can still throw if we need to, but running the ball will be key as the season progresses (and gets colder).

    If you run from the read option/shotgun- the play goes up the middle 90% of the time, or maybe a pitch to the RB side. If you line up under center, you can run up the middle, off tackle, and/or pitch to both sides. It opens up many more possibilities.

    Hey- were are all the Tannehill haters now?? He might not throw a good deep ball, but he’s accurate, smart and and athletic. I’m sure plenty of teams in this league could win with him as their QB. It’s funny how all the half-steppers have tucked tail and gone back into hiding.

    Don’t worry- BIG J will be here waiting when they decide to come back……..

    1. Author

      The 1st-and-goals all seemed to start at exactly the 10 yard line, which was weird. Even on the TDs we made, we were doing so on third down, instead of driving it down their throat for a TD on first or second down. So I see your point. It is alarming to end up with 3 points 3 different times when we were only 30 feet away from the endzone each time. But at least we are scoring.
      Philbin has bought into the philosophy that many teams have nowadays that we don’t need a fullback. We don’t have a “heavy” to bring it. We don’t have a bulldozer-type of RB.
      I’ve been saying all year long that the spread formations work in some cases, but not all. We don’t seem to have a standard pro formation on any of our plays. But it’s working and we’re winning and I don’t want to tamper with success at this point…

  3. When I say heavies, I mean extra tackles and tight ends. We don’t necessarily need a FB- we need a tighter formation, less WRs, and our QB up under center. The way to beat a zone blocking scheme is with penetration – an we’ve seen teams do this time and time again to us in goal line situations.

    1. Author

      Well said. I like the formations that you mention, and we don’t do enough of it. 4 wide-outs on a running play might fool the opponent now and then, but not when we do it every single time.

  4. If Im correct many of the Red Zone failures came when we had a firm grip on the game. And while scoring even more would have been great , it also shows more of your cards to teams trying to prepare for you. Im only saying this because I noticed that T-Hill attempted a deep ball in this game on 3rd down. It wasn’t needed at all as the game was all but over. Personally I think he wanted to practice it against a worthy opponent when it was more than safe to try. And remember Lamar Miller was out and when Daniel Thomas was in, the protection didn’t seem as good. It seemed that some of Philbins conservatism may have caused the offensive slow down because he was experimenting with different formations and giving other players reps. No need to expose any of your other offensive looks when its not necessary. My theory is once the game was about out of reach for the chargers, the slow play and experimentation style was applied to the end. Rivers was benched late in the third quarter basically admitting defeat . Many of our offensive stalls came in that same time period if my clouded memory of that game serves me correctly. But until we prove consistently we show up every week, any offensive sputters are troubling.

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