Highs and Lows of the Dolphins Victory over the Buffalo Bills

HIGHS:

I’ll start with Jamar Taylor, whom we’ve been most critical of.  He played great.  His third-down tackle in the backfield was a thing of beauty.  Kudos to Kevin Coyle for placing Taylor in the perfect spot, and kudos to Taylor for making it count.  The D-line wouldn’t allow Orton time to pick on Taylor, and even when he did, Taylor was up to the challenge.  He shut up all the people like me who criticized him, and I am so happy to be wrong.

The D-line.  It didn’t seem like Orton was sacked a lot, but he was hurried all night long.   It took them a couple of series to come together, but once they did, they stymied the Bills.   Giving up three field goals isn’t the same as a shutout, but it’s still just as hard to accomplish.

Ja’Waun James played great at a brand new position for him.  We’re pleased with his results.

The new snap counts drew Buffalo offside THREE different times that I recall.  This is huge.  Other teams draw the defenders offsides all the time, but rarely do the Dolphins.  Last year, Tannehill’s “Go” and “Go-Go” never fooled anyone.  This year, it’s been a little different.  And last night, it was a LOT different.

 

LOWS:
Not too many lows again this week, but a few things to critique.

Dion Jordan, the Number 3 OVERALL pick last year, continues to do absolutely nothing.  Even Jamar Taylor, who I criticize every week, shut me up with an awesome tackle-for-loss.  One play, Dion.  All I ask is one single play from you to shut me up.

Speaking of Dions, Dion Sims blew a block assignment on Mario Williams and almost got Tannehill killed.  You remember the play…Sims went left and was assigned to cut back right and chip Williams.  Instead, Sims jogged toward Williams while Williams fully sprinted right at Tannehill.   A lack of hustle is unforgivable.

The Refs.  Hey, I give criticism where it is due, and there were some iffy calls.  I am so happy that some bad calls went OUR way for once, but we cannot expect those calls next week in Denver.  Peyton Manning gets ALL the calls.  No way on earth will the refs hand us 2 free points against Manning like they did against Kyle Orton.

Bill Lazor’s playcalling only got us 20 points.  Last week we only got 16.  Skip back to Jacksonville, when we got only 13.   This MUST change.  Case in point…the Bills could not stop our short passing game.  We played it brilliantly.  My only issue with Lazor is why he stopped doing it.   When we led Buffalo 19-9 late in the 4th, we had the ball deep in Bills territory with a chance to REALLY put the game away.  26-9 would have iced it.  But instead of going with a few more short passes that had led to 2 earlier TDS, Lazor called two ineffective running plays, and then a long pass to Mike Wallace.  Yes, we had a bigger lead in this game, but it’s the same principle as the Lions and Packers games:   Why does Lazor go away from the plays that have been successful all day long?

 

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26 Comments

  1. I too must offer Jamar Taylor a huge apology. He had seven tackles overall and played a great game. His physicality was on full display last night. Especially on his tackle behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. If he can build on this performance then our secondary depth will be unmatched. I still think him or Will Davis should have been on the field on the last play of that Green Bay game instead of Wheeler.The only low I saw last night was the offensive line play. And as patchwork as our line is right now that was to be expected. Dion Sims took a bad angle on that sack because if you watch the play Mario Williams took an unusually wide path to the qb. But Mario Williams was Mario Williams last night and I won’t blame Dion Sims for that. Dallas Thomas is one of my lows because as usual he can’t pass protect. Another low is all the penalties we had in the first half. Lazor called a masterful game that helped take pressure off the o-line. Not his fault that we fumbled in the red zone once, resulting in a turnover and therefore no points. And that 2nd to last possession in the red zone that resulted in a field goal was a td as Wallace was wide open on an in-breaking route but Tannehill didn’t put enough on the ball. That’s anywhere from seven to eleven points left on the field due to offensive execution and not due to bad play-calling. And I’m pretty sure the consecutive run plays were designed to get them to expend their time-outs and therefore shorten the game. Tanny is drastically improved but still has aways to go in regards to leaving points on the field but I have no criticism for this guy as he is on the cusp of mastering this offensive system. This kid is talented, tough, smart, and has heart. All you can ask for in your franchise guy. Plus this Buffalo defensive front is one of the best in the league. Dolphins averaged 4+ yards a carry on a defense only giving up an average of 3.7 or so for the season. Personally I don’t see how you can rag on Lazor after this one. Can enough be said about Jarvis Landry and Juwann James? Finally a GM that can draft guys that can be instant impact players offensively as rookies. Hope Hickey can keep it up. I agree the Jacksonville performance was bad offensively but Detroit is the #1 defense in the league they just aren’t giving up many points, especially at home. Green Bay and Super Man Rodgers put up a whooping 7 points at Ford Field this season. 16 points was a small victory considering the way their defense has performed there this year. If Charles Clay catches that ball clean in the back of the endzone we score twenty and maybe even win in ot. Who knows? Our o-line gave up five sacks. We did good scoring twenty with the pass protection we displayed. Of course this is all just my opinion.

    1. Well said DOLPHGANG. T-Hill and our offense is coming together at just the right time. Im not as sure we will lose in Denver next Sunday. And yeah the run plays were strategic to force running the clock down. I would have done the same thing knowing it would risk a TD . Because to me its as good as icing the game with a score if you ice the game with the clock , maybe even better. Not too bad! They gave us a W that Im sure most of us were very worried could go the other way.

  2. And yes the refs sucked and the bad calls were in our favor but They didn’t effect the outcome because our defense dominated in the second half anyway.

  3. I would like to add to the list of HIGH’s.
    At 3:01 left in the game after THill missed a sure td throw which would have given us 26-9. He walks over to the sideline grabs the playbook from Matt Moore and slams his hands down on the bench, says F*CK!, and then sits and looks at the play. Then the camera comes back to his face and you can read his lips. Hes saying it should be 26-9 and he says it a couple of times. His passionate confidence is growing and its so obvious with his play lately. It wont be long before he solidifies his identity and takes firm hold of this team. At this point I doubt hes going anywhere next year. When have we ever seen this from him before? Dudes got fire!

    1. Author

      Absolutely agree totally. After he lost the fumble, he was furious at himself, and I was very pleased. Just like when he missed Wallace on the play you described and he was furious then too. I remember all those interceptions under Mike Sherman, and T-hill would just walk back to the bench with a dumbfounded look on his face. The next step that I want to see from him is to get in another player’s face. Next time Charles Clay drops a ball or Wallace runs a wrong route, I want to see T-hill get on their back.

  4. At this point I’ll take this kid over any qb in that draft not named Andrew Luck. And I think the difference has been the combo of the coaching of Bill Lazor and the mentoring of Dan Marino. I think this kid is finally being properly coached and most of all pushed to improve. Some players need that especially young ones.

  5. Wow! Omar Kelly is actually giving Tannehill credit for improvement on Bleacher Report.

  6. Oh and one more HIGH for the list… well sort of.
    For the first time in my life and Im sure for many of us. We got to see a QB catch his own pass. Ive always wondered if that has ever happened before. I learned it has but its darn rare. The fact we got too see it from the Dolphins I feel, makes it a honorary addition to the list of HIGHS. 🙂

    1. Author

      Favre did this a few years ago, and it caused a huge commotion and many fights in my fantasy league as we had different rules interpretations!

  7. Tannehills Stats from last night’s game
    CMP 26
    ATT 34
    YDS 240
    CMP% 76.5
    AVG 7.06
    LNG 32
    TD 2
    INT 0
    RAT 114.8
    REC 1 🙂
    LOL I couldn’t resist. 🙂

    1. Hey Admin it looks like you fixed it. Thanks. I think its so funny to hear a newscaster spelling off his stats and at the end saying blah blah blah… and one reception! Theres my dry humor again.

  8. Sorry about the above post . It didn’t display properly. I added a column to reflect his lone reception that he himself passed. Oh well I tried.

  9. Great comments guys and we’re all feeling pretty good right now but I continue to be concerned about T-Hill’s feeble deep ball. Lazor did a great thing in playing to his QB’s strengths by accentuating the short game but we won’t be real contenders until we are actually a threat to throw it over the top. I actually was shocked at our ability to run and complete crossing pattern after crossing pattern on this great Bills D without a deep threat. Wallace has been a soldier by staying productive while not being able to do what he does best but T-Hill has to get better here. Looking ahead, we need to go 4-2 and win all our division games (including in Boston against the Rats so that we win the tie breaker). Interested to see what we do with 1.5 weeks to get ready for Denver – they ain’t so tough. We might be able to pull a karate kid and beat that ass haha.

  10. Great win, no doubt about it. However we only scored two Td’s out of six trips into the red zone, not good. Definitely not good enough to out dual the top teams in the AFC ( the Patriots or Broncos). We are darn near dead last in scoring Td’s in the red zone out of the entire NFL, something like 48.3 % of the time. I know we have the talent and Lazor has put us in position to score with his scheme, but the players simply need to execute, plain and simple. I am not as concerned about the deep ball as most of you are, these patterns take time which our patch work offensive line is not providing, so the dink and dunk is pretty much what we have to work with. I am not saying we can’t get it done, but we have to improve on our scoring when we are presented with the opportunity. Field goals are not going to cut it deep into December, that is when we hit the meat of our schedule and if we can’t improve in this area we are going to be sent home early and often. We have started games out slowly far too often this season, which in my opinion will come back to bite us in the ass against teams that put up points early in the game. We no longer have the luxury of waiting for adjustments at half time to come out in the third quarter to start scoring, not going to cut it. We could be well behind by that time against teams like Denver and New England. We can’t expect our defense to hold up and keep us in tight games any longer, something has to break sooner or later and I am sure if we continue to leave points on the field each and every Sunday it will be our stout defense. Just my two cents.

  11. I would like to say something. Dion Jordan was inserted immediately into the lineup getting valuable minutes. I thought he made some plays in the Detroit game but besides that, nothing. I wouldn’t normally gripe about giving him minutes and I can go on and on about the coaches playing him out of position, because I think he needs experience. I also think that he would be a valuable asset if he was playing linebacker, covering TE’s and backs and also blitzing into the line with a head of steam, which is one of his skills, he’s fast. anyway to my point. I was very excited about the skill set and fire of Chris McCain. this guy was making plays all over the field when Jordan was out. He’s a huge guy with long ass arms looking to prove his worth in the NFL. I would get excited when he came in the game. I think this kid is a football player who could do some great things for our defense. then Jordan comes back and all of a sudden McCain doesnt see the field? I don’t get it. You take a guy off the field that is clearly visible when he is out there, a guy who cried after the NE game because he was so excited about making plays and helping his team, and you replace him with a guy that you would never he is on the field if you weren’t told in Jordan? I just don’t get it. McCain needs to be playing and he needs to be on the field quite a bit, especially in the speed package. Jordan is not contributing anything and McCain is always around the ball when he is in. I feel bad for the guy. He has done everything asked of him and then some. Was McCain even active last game?

  12. I just wanted to share with everybody what I feel is an interesting interview with Tannehill while he seems less guarded and more candid with his answers. At about 1 minute in the video he remarks about his mentality just before the Raiders game which marks the first time Philbin declined to publicly name him as starter. And it almost fits perfectly with my ongoing diagnosis of his play mostly up until that point. It validates many things people have been saying he needed to fix but also proves at least to me, hes had the talent all along but wasn’t playing his way. He was trying to emulate the ways he was told to play . This is stylistic suicide and the coaches should take notice as well as being ashamed they trained and coached him against the grain of his natural abilities and instincts. Develop him don’t try to build him from the ground up. Polish and inform, don’t just lay out a diagram and say do it exactly this way as if hes a robot. And while we have the rest of the season to see if this has any merit. At this point the way in which he’s turned things around, it looks very promising as the answer. The sky is the limit. Enjoy the vid guys.

    http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Ryan_Tannehill_On_NFL_Network_Set_After_Win_/2e547b32-0d70-4fbe-b247-e7fd000e35b0

  13. Hi Dolfans-
    A stat I thought was interesting-

    Ryan’s passer rating: 114.8
    Ryan’s “QBR”: 44.5

    This is why I think the ESPN’s QBR is QBS! If 50 is the “average” QB, then Ryan played below average based on their metric.

    I guess the stat guys at ESPN are just as about as intelligent as whoever hired James Walker…..

    1. I know I’m really in the minority, but I like the QBR rating. I like that they take a lot of nuances into account. Yes, we won the game, and yes, Tannehill made some awesome plays. But he did get sacked too much. Plus a couple of those sacks were on 2nd or 3rd downs, which makes them worse…that’s the kind of thing the QBR stat figures in.
      Having said that, I do not like that their formulas are proprietary.
      By the way, if you look week 9’s stats (San Diego game), you’ll see Tannehill actually played the best QB game in the entire NFL! http://espn.go.com/nfl/qbr/_/type/player-week/week/9

    1. Yeah James Walker is a real tool.

  14. Darn colts! Cant beat the pats for us in your own house?

    1. Author

      Colts gave us no love. See today’s blog about who else let us down…

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