Dolphins offense, Tannehill improving, but need to finish better

The Miami Dolphins seem to think that they’re ready for the regular season.  They kick off in exactly 13 days, are you confident they’ll be able to beat the Browns?  One player that looks to be ready is Ryan Tannehill.  After slow starts by the offense in each of the first 3 preseason games, the Dolphins young QB lead the Dolphins opening drive down the field.  The problem?  The Dolphins had multiple chances from inside the 10 yard line, but failed to punch it in for a touchdown.  They settled for a field goal after a 17 play, 8+ minute opening drive.  It’s an improvement, but to be a playoff team, the Dolphins need to put the ball in the end zone more.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Dolphins would go on to lose to the Bucs 17-16, but the story of this game was the improvement of the Dolphins offense, their solid defense, and inexcusable special teams.  The Dolphins special teammers gave up 2 turnovers on fumbled/muffed punt returns.  Those mistakes lead directly to 10 points by the Bucs.  The Dolphins starting defense did a good job of shutting the Bucs down and forcing punts, but gave up 10 points when their backs were against their goal line.  I don’t know about you, but overall, I came away pretty happy with the state of the Dolphins, with the obvious exception being the special teams mishaps.

What I liked

Ryan Tannehill – He got some time to throw and he managed to complete 17 of 27 passes for 150 yards and 1 TD.  So far thsi preseason he’s completed 34 of 56 passes (60%) for 377 yards 3 TDs and 0 INTs.  That’s good for a passer rating of 98.5.  If the Dolphins can get that type of play out of Tannehill, I think the coaching staff would be thrilled.

Fast Start – Unlike the previous preseason games, the Dolphins offense came out and moved the ball effectively.  The Dolphins took the opening drive 76 yards on 17 plays and capped it with a field goal.  Obviously they need to do a better job of putting the ball in the end zone, but I’ll take a 17 play drive instead of a 3 and out.  In the first half, the Dolphins ran 45 offensive plays….that’s a lot my friends.  The Dolphins also took a 13-10 lead into half time thanks to a 2 minute drill drive that resulted in a touchdown (Tannehill to Gibson).  The Dolphins took a lead into halftime when they gave up 2 turnovers on special teams and giftwrapped 10 points.  That tells me that if they can clean up the turnovers, they might actually be a pretty good team.

Lamar Miller – I think we can put the bogus RB position battle to rest.  Lamar Miller was always going to be the Dolphins starting running back after Reggie Bush left.  Daniel Thomas just doesn’t do anything exciting with the football.  Miller rushed 8 times for 35 yards on Saturday, while Thomas rushed 7 times for 3 yards.  The only thing that Thomas does better than Miller is block.  The problem is that the Dolphins are looking for a starting running back, not a starting blocking back.  (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)

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