The Miami Dolphins just completed one of their worst preseasons in team history. For only the 3rd time in franchise history, the Dolphins failed to win a preseason game. The crazy thing is, the losses aren’t THAT terrible, but it’s how they Dolphins have looked that is troubling. Last night, in the 1st quarter, the Dolphins took the lead on their opponent for the 1st time the entire preseason. That’s not good. That means the Dolphins starting defense hasn’t played well enough. It means the Dolphins starting offense hasn’t played well enough. It means the Dolphins have a lot of work to do before September 9th, which is only 11 days away.
The Dolphins starting units only got about 2 series worth of playing time against the Cowboys, so the final score of 30-13 doesn’t mean much. The Dolphins had some good, some bad, and some ugly in their preseason finale:
- Ryan Tannehill started and played for 2 series. He finished 5 of 7 for 35 yards in his limited work. One of those incompletions was a drop by Legedu Naanee on a perfectly thrown slant pass by Tannehill. The Dolphins first drive with Tannehill didn’t amount to much, but on the second drive, he drove the Dolphins down the field and inside the Cowboys 10 yard line. He threw a fade pass to Naanee who was mugged on the play, but no pass interference was called. Side note: these replacement refs are atrocious! Overall, I am impressed by Tannehill, he looked accurate and made good, quick decisions last night. He should only continue to improve as the season progresses, but he will make rookie mistakes along the way. The key to his success is to get him some help and for his receivers to catch well-thrown balls!
- Jorvorskie Lane is listed as the Dolphins starting fullback and it would be a shock if he didn’t make the roster. The man is HUGE and is a former running back from Texas A&M. In the last 2 preseason games he has flattened opponents when the ball is in his hands. His story is an interesting one which Phins Phocus wrote about earlier today. This guy is a beast and the type of football player you want on your team.
- Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller both flashed at points last night. Miller carried 17 times for 60 yards and a TD (long of 11 yards) and Thomas carried 5 times for 31 yards (long of 19). The Dolphins running back position seems to be set and will have good depth this season.
- Rishard Matthews and BJ Cunningham both had a decent night. Matthews was targeted 3 times, caught 3 balls for 47 yards. He’s been consistent in preseason games catching the football. Cunningham caught 2 balls for 23 yards and looked okay.
- Matt Moore was playing against the Cowboys 2nd and 3rd team defense when he entered the game. Granted, he was running for his life behind the Dolphins 2nd/3rd team offensive line. BUT, he didn’t look good. Moore was 4 of 12 for 49 yards and 1 INT. Moore’s INT was returned for a touchdown by Orie Lemon. Orie Lemon folks.
- The Dolphins secondary didn’t look good. They were flagged for pass interference twice (by the awful replacement refs) and looked shakey. Again, this was a lot of 2nd and 3rd teammers, but they looked pretty bad.
- The Dolphins team overall was just bad last night. Failing to win at least 1 preseason game is bad, but the team just hasn’t looked like a unit. They play with ZERO urgency and we can only hope they turn it on when the regular season starts.
- As if losing their last preseason game wasn’t bad enough, the Dolphins team plane had some issues getting out of Dallas. On the runway, the Dolphins team plane backed into another airplane. This caused mechanical issues (obviously) so the players had to sit on the plane for 4 hours before boarding another aircraft and finally making it home around 7-8am this morning.
The preseason is over, thankfully. Now the Dolphins can watch which players are cut from other teams, in the hope of adding talent to the roster (hint: WR, OL, CB). In fact, the Dolphins had some wide receivers in today, including Donte Stallworth, who was recently cut by the Patriots.