• Fins travel to London Fins travel to London Miami will be the visitors as they battle the Raiders
  • RB Moreno Injured RB Moreno Injured Expected to be out at least a month. Fins resign RB Daniel Thomas
  • Fins rout Pats in 2nd half 33-20 Fins rout Pats in 2nd half 33-20 Miami scored 23 unanswered points in the 2nd half to beat Pats
  • Marino to join front office Marino to join front office Miami has hired Marino as a special adviser to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel

     

Dolphins-Bills game observations

In the span of four weeks, we’ve seen the Dolphins win one they should’ve lost against the Falcons, lose as expected at New Orleans, and then lose to two teams I felt were inferior in the Ravens and Bills. This week especially, the Dolphins had no business losing at home to a team quarterbacked by a non-starting talent and with their running backs as dinged up as they were.

But that’s the Miami Dolphins for you. As much as people wanted to believe this team had “arrived” when it was 3-0, the reality is that the good teams in the league win the games they should. The Dolphins aren’t doing that right now and are looking as bad as they have all season. They still have the potential to earn a playoff spot with a somewhat talented roster, a division that’s pretty up in the air and a light schedule down the stretch, but they’ll only be looking for an opportunity to get destroyed in the wild card round if things don’t improve.

As we count the minutes hoping Tyson Clabo is asked to turn in his playbook on Monday, here are my observations from the Dolphins’ Week 7 loss to the Bills.

 

  • I hate saying this for a second time this season, but this might have been Ryan Tannehill’s worst game as a pro despite a 3-touchdown stat line. Now let me be clear, his pass protection has been downright horrendous and it’s certainly a hindrance. But Tannehill also made numerous bone-headed throws without pressure, including the early pick-six and a lob to the end zone. On both plays, it seemed like he just didn’t see the defender that was clearly there. That’s troubling to me, and I hope he fixes it.
  • On a positive note, the running game had one of its best days of the season. Both Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller ran hard, combining for 103 yards on just under 5 yards per carry. They finally got some help from the offensive line and it’s nice to see Miami not look entirely inept in the ground game.
  • Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson were predominantly reliable when Tannehill managed to throw a good ball. Gibson especially has been a nice slot receiver (arguably better than Bess), though I’d prefer him to hang onto the ball a little longer than he did on his second touchdown because we’ve seen those ruled incomplete before. Mike Wallace, meanwhile, continues to be just another guy. I don’t know if it’s Sherman’s play-calling or Wallace miscast as a No. 1 receiver, but he needs to be bigger part of the offense than he has been.
  • I can’t tell if Jonathan Martin is good or he just looks good by comparison when Tyson Clabo is playing. Martin continues to be a better run blocker than pas protector, but he’s nowhere near as bad as Clabo. We talk about it every week, and every week it’s the same. There’s no justification to keep him in the starting lineup (or on the team) and I’d much rather start a young guy that might develop (like Will Yeatman) over someone that’s clearly over the hill in Clabo.
  • Side note: as far as the play call on the big fumble at the end of the game goes, I have no issue with the pass play there. Up a point, I wanted the Dolphins to be aggressive and put the game away with a touchdown. The issue is not call but the execution. The Dolphins blew the protection and that’s what needs to be fixed.
  • The defensive line was not itself today, getting run on by the likes of Tashard Choice when the Bills’ top two backs went down. Paul Soliai was curiously absent from certain packages when the Dolphins needed to stop the run, while Cameron Wake was in and out and might not be 100 percent yet. And like I keep saying, I need to see more Dion Jordan on the field. He’s too physically gifted to not be out there all the time.
  • The corners weren’t tested too much in this one, though it was nice to see Dimitri Patterson out there and notch a sack. Miami’s secondary is still pretty thin and the Dolphins need the two rookie corners to start contributing.
  • Reshad Jones led the team with 10 tackles and a sack, but it was what I would consider another weak performance from the recently-extended safety. Jones looked like he wanted no part of the tackle on a run by the fullback and also whiffed on a few other attempts. I still like Jones a lot and I’m not saying he’s coasting now that he’s gotten paid, but he’s not anywhere near the same level of play he was at last year.
  • How fitting that Dan Carpenter booted the game-winning kick against the Dolphins. I also can’t understand why the home fans would boo him, although it was presumably for a few big misses in 2012. I always liked Carpenter and his departure was a money thing—let’s have some class and not boo former players just for the sake of it.
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Chris J. Nelson

Production Assistant at Turner Sports
Chris is a production assistant for Turner Sports in Atlanta, working on such properties as MLB, NBA, NCAA March Madness, PGA and more. Prior to March 2013, he operated his own blog, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight. He has a Bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Georgia State.
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One Response to Dolphins-Bills game observations

  • “Side note: as far as the play call on the big fumble at the end of the game goes, I have no issue with the pass play there. Up a point, I wanted the Dolphins to be aggressive and put the game away with a touchdown. The issue is not call but the execution. The Dolphins blew the protection and that’s what needs to be fixed.” – Absolutely correct. Winning teams make plays to win.

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