Highs and Lows of the Game as the Dolphins Finally Win a Laugher, Just like They are Supposed to, Over Hapless Raiders

The Highs:

Ryan Tannehill played well.  His passes were impressive today, but mostly because he had all day to pass.   The Oakland defense is among the worst in NFL history, and Ryan benefitted.  What we really liked was Tannehill’s scrambles and designed runs.   We need more of that.  Successful things happen when he puts the ball down and runs.

Brent Grimes had a great interception.

Same for Walt Aikens.

Lamar Miller breaks one into the endzone.

Lamar Miller continued to rush well.   Will give him a bad mark for his fumble, but otherwise he ran through that lousy defense like he was supposed to.

Cortland Finnegan.  Where are all the naysayers who criticized Dolphins Truth when we praised the signing of Finnegan?  When was the last time you saw a Dolphin recover a fumble cleanly?  And then pick it up?  And then score?  Can he teach his teammates how that is done?

I love how Lamar Miller flipped the ball to the ref after scoring.  Did you see that, Brian Hartline?

We finally picked up a 4th down.

The win itself.  Barely getting by the pathetic Raiders would be the same as a loss.   We needed a huge blowout with contributions from everyone, and we got it.

The Lows.

That first drive of the game was brutal.  Raiders have one of the worst offenses around, and they cut through us like a hot knife going through butter.

Joe Philbin refuses to challenge the easy challenges, both of which were huge plays.   That first pass of the game, the receiver dropped it twice and the replays showed it rolling under him.  Where was Philbin’s red flag?  And then later when the Dolphins recovered a Raider fumble, Philbin did not challenge.

I do not like using 4 wideouts consistently.  It seemed like every single play.  With 4 wide and one RB deep, that only leaves 5 blockers up front.  That is dangerous against a good team.   We got lucky that we played the Raiders today.

Playcalling.  It’s hard to criticize play calling when we scored 38, but it should have been 58.  When we have 4th and inches, why does Lazor/Philbin consistently put T-hill in the shotgun and then have him pitch it backwards?  Instead of lunging forward for a few inches, we pitch it backwards eight yards.  Again, that is a bad play and it hasn’t worked all year.  Thank God we had the Raiders today!

Walt Aikens should have had an easy TD, but he got nailed and sent flying backwards…by the 4th string quarterback.  To make matters worse, Aikens then recovered himself and started running forward again.  And he then got tackled by the same QB!  Come on, Walt!   You got your ass knocked TWICE on the SAME PLAY!!   By a 4th-string QB!

Jarvis Landry can remain as a WR, but it’s time to give the punt return duties back to Marcus Thigpen.   If the Raiders were any good, they would have capitalized on Landry’s mistake.

The Dolphins came out flat and with no concentration once they had a big lead.   That will be disastrous against the good teams we have coming up.  Dion Sims single-handedly destroyed a drive with penalties and drops.

Tannehill still not finding the right guys.  Remember the play when Dan Fouts saw that we had 3 receivers vs. 2 defenders?  And Tannehill threw if right into the middle of them, instead of waiting for one to break free for a big play.  Dan Fouts is 63 years old and he can spot that from a mile away upstairs, yet Tannehill can’t see it 10 yards away.

The second unit defense let Oakland have its way in the 4th Q.   Yeah, the game was over, but they gotta try harder.

 

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8 Comments

  1. The qb controversy may have had an unexpected positive effect. T-Hill seemed calm in interviews leading up to this game. Is it possible the team reacted by giving him private reassurance? Along with the offense realizing the he was taking the brunt of the blame for their failures? Indirectly shaming them and possibly the coaching staff and silently in between the meaning of it all causing all components of the team to realize it they werent doing their best as his supporting cast. some experts anylized his performance against KC. Although they did mention concern about his lack of running and holding the ball too long. They minimized many of those occasions by explaining that after watching the coaches film that simply nobody was open after decent progression reads . They gave a vote of hope and tried to explain away many plays that looked like poor play by THill but with closer examination proved he was doing the right thing . Another concern was the plays called took too long to develop causing the THill statue look. Im hopeful but this game only tells me we arent as bad as the Raiders,Tampa (on most days), or hopefully any day Jacksonville.

  2. Nice win!…even if it’s to one of the worst teams. I should say it’s nice TO win.
    While I agree with all the offensive issues mentioned here, given the current state of the offense, we need to seriously work on defense. As of the end of week 4, we’re allowing 24.3 points per game. That’s #20 in the league, and last in the AFC East (source: http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/total/sort/totalPointsPerGame/position/defense).
    It’s nice that we’re allowing only 322.2 yards per game (#11 in the league). However, that’s actually #3 in the AFC East, after the Pats and Jets. And game wins are tallied in points, not yards.
    If our offense was working better (maybe it is now?), then we could maybe squeak by with this level of defense. But right now, we need a stronger defense, imho.
    So yes, I think it actually matters that we allowed that TD in 4th quarter of the Raiders game. We’ve got to learn to play through the game and stay focused – on both sides – even in a lopsided win for us.

    1. CORRECTION: We’re actually, #7 in the league for defensive yards per game. But that’s still #3 in the AFC East. And to be technical, it’s after the Jets and Pats (not the other way around). :0

  3. @Mania Good stats and nice analysis. I def concerned even with such a dominate victory. The fumbles are really bothering me. And it has something to do with how our rushers are postured when they make contact with defenders. Ive seen this with our receivers too and cringe almost every time they make contact because it appears they are positioned to fumble. It seems we run with the ball and torso up just a little too high allowing defenders to get low and make contact helmet to ball or arm tackle to ball causing more fumbles. This usually happens after reaching the second level. I dunno but this needs to stop or it will be the undoing of any progress we hope to make facing such better teams going forward. 1 costly turnover is all it will take to give the game away. I know our guys are playing with great heart and this could be the cause for a lapse in technique. Gotta settle them in and coach them to run hard through the first line and tighten up and protect the ball in the second level when in traffic. That’s when those sudden head on collisions from nowhere occur and the fumble follows. If we can fill that hole and if T-Hill can play well under pressure (so far hes shown he and the whole team cant so far) we have very winnable games every week.

    1. @PhinsUp Thanks! And yeah I agree about the fumbles; especially in terms of playing with excitement/heart. It’s interesting how they run into the secondary and – bam! Agreed that they need to settle in.
      As for the next game (Packers), it’ll be a great game if we stay focused. In all fairness, as of right now I can see it going either way. Maybe with the bye, having rest, getting back the injureds, etc., that’ll give us the physical edge. Hopefully no more media drama in the next two weeks – about anything. That should quiet down the locker room, I imagine.
      Although I expect some rumblings about the Philbin/Packers history/drama, but that’s just a normal game-time build-up, imho.

      1. Author

        Mania makes good points about the D. So far this year, we have given them some slack, but no more. We have the big boys coming up with Green Bay, and they are 100% better than Oakland and Buffalo.
        EJ Manuel has been benched in Buffalo. Somehow we let that bum look good vs. our D and then a few weeks later his career is essentially over. No more of that nonsense. We need to treat bad QBs like we did with Carr and McGloin last week.

      2. Author

        We had three turnovers in the Pats game, and somehow won! Miller and Landry have lost two apiece. Saw rumors this week about Thigpen coming back. As OhinsUp knows, I like Thigpen and felt we never should have cut him. Move Thigpen back to active, let him return punts, and make room for him by deactivating Orleans Darqua

  4. I love Jarvis landry and everything he’s done . But I feel he was thrown feet first into the fire by having him start as kick returner. A position by the way he never played in college. I love the intensity of the returns and understand his passion when trying to get yards after the catch. But hes being over utilized and needs to focus more on being the excellent receiver we all know he can be. Dividing his development could be putting too much on him and is causing both of his duties to suffer. Bring back in Thigpen to field punts and kick returns, he wasn’t perfect but was solid and was a threat. Let Jarvis play back up in case Thigpen gets injured and while Thigpen is healthy let Jarvis play more at receiver and learn more from Hartline and Wallace. The pressure is ever increasing as we begin to face some good quality teams over the next stretch, we simply cant afford to loose a close game due to a rookie mistake of another muffed return or fumble. No other teams will lie down for us like the Raiders did even though KC tried their best. One game changing and morale crushing mistake can cost us. Its not worth it. This is where I would LOVE to see some of Philbin’s conservatism and switch out Landry until he gets his sea legs.

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