Dolphins defense dominates as Tannehill continues to improve in win over Bengals

What I didn’t like

- Offensive line – The Dolphins offensive line only gave up 2 sacks against the Bengals, which is good.  But, there always seemed to be pressure on Tannehill.  What really worries me is how poorly they run blocked on Sunday.  The Dolphins rushed 35 times for 68 yards, which was good for a 1.9 yards per carry average.  That’s not good enough considering the Bengals were giving up over 5 yards per carry before Sunday’s game.  The Dolphins offensive line is too good to be pushed around.  I expect them to play better next week against the Rams.  The Dolphins must rush the ball much more effectively than they did on Sunday if they want to keep winning games.

- Charles Clay – I was wrong last week, Clay is STILL on the Dolphins.  I saw it with my own 2 eyes on Sunday.  Clay caught 3 passes for 35 yards.  However, he had a crucial drop late in the game that would’ve given the Dolphins a very important 1st down.  The ball literally hit him between the 4 and the 2 on his jersey.  He needs to step up his game (and quickly) or the enigma, Michael Egnew will be taking his spot as the Dolphins 2nd tight end.

- Reggie Bush/Daniel Thomas – Bush and Thomas rushed 29 times for 77 yards and 2 TDs.  If you’re wondering why they rushed for more yards than the Dolphins team did, it’s because Tannehill and Jorvorskie Lane had negative yards.  Anyway, Thomas and Bush both scored a touchdown, but neither could average more than 3 yards per carry.  Reggie was often dancing behind the line, sometimes being dropped for a loss.  Thomas, seems to run directly into the backs of his offensive lineman on each play.  The line needs to do a better job of blocking, but these two backs need to do a better job of finding the holes and limiting the negative plays.  By the way, where was Lamar Miller?

- Dan Carpenter – Carpenter hit a 46 yard field goal, which was great.  But for the 3rd straight week, he missed a kick.  He had a 53 yarder to give the Dolphins a 20-6 lead, but missed it.  I like Carpenter, but you have to wonder if the Dolphins won’t bring in a kicker this week, just to let him know this is unacceptable.  A team like the Dolphins, with a rookie QB, has very little room for error….they can’t continue to leave points on the board.  Carpenter needs to fix whatever is wrong with his leg/head and get this figured out quickly.

Overall, I came away happy with the Dolphins performance, on the road, against a quality opponent.  The Dolphins gave us a scare after Carpenter missed his 53 yarder.  I’m convinced that Carpenter misses are the Kryptonite of the Dolphins defense.  The drive immediately after he missed his kick, the Dolphins defense allowed a touchdown drive.  BUT, you have to like what you see out of Tannehill.  Next week, he should have Jabar Gaffney as his 3rd wide receiver, which can only help.  Gaffney was inactive for the game yesterday and didn’t dress.  I’m guessing the Dolphins didn’t feel comfortable enough with him in terms of knowing the offense.

Next week, the Dolphins look to improve to 3-3 when they host the St. Louis Rams (3-2).  The Rams are playing better than expected, but they are certainly beatable.  On a completely unrelated note, for those of you that enjoy humor and are not a fan of Jeff Ireland, I encourage you to check out the latest WAARF production, which is featured on Finsnation.  It’s a parody song, made to Eminem’s ‘My name is’.  Good stuff by the WAARF crew once again!

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