Dolphins WAKE up and pull out win over the Bengals
What I didn’t like
Lamar Miller’s fumble – Overall, I loved what Miller did in this game. BUT, he has got to protect the ball on his longest run of the night. Moreover, he made a cut around the 20 yard line INTO traffic when the entire left side of the field was WIDE OPEN. He usually has good vision and is not a fumbler, so I’m hoping this is just an aberration.
Missed Tackles – I know the defense was gassed in the second half and I know they played great in this game for the most part. But, during this mini-bye week, can we please try to clean up the tackling? Missed tackles often resulted in the Bengals picking up 3rd downs and compounding the problem of the defense being tired.
Daniel Thomas – He ran 12 times for 38 yards (3.2 ypc). That’s only 4 less runs than Miller who more than DOUBLED his average per carry. His snaps should be limited and given to Miller moving forward (feel like I’ve been saying this for weeks). Thomas is also NOT a short yardage back. I don’t need to see him get another carry on 3rd and 1, only to result in a 4th and 2.
Injuries – The Dolphins lost Nolan Carroll to a concussion last night, Richie Incognito, and Dimitri Patterson. They are very thin at cornerback considering Will Davis and Jamar Taylor have contributed very little so far this season. Hopefully the mini-bye week will allow them to rest up and get healthy.
Coaching – I’m sorry Phin Nation, but even though we won, I still have serious questions about this coaching staff, specifically Coach Philbin and Mike Sherman. It started early in the game on the Dolphins opening series. They ran the ball twice for 10 yards and a 1st down. Next play: Shotgun, 5 wide receivers, no running back in the backfield (incomplete). If you want to throw there, why not a playaction pass? At least give the illusion you may run the ball?? Next Play: Shotgun again (sacked). Next Play: Screen pass that fails to pick up the first down. I noticed it happened on more than one ocassion last night. The Dolphins ran the ball effectively, which is the perfect set up for playaction. But instead, Sherman switches to an empty backfield or a shotgun formation with no threat of a running play. It’s unbelievably simple and a coach like Sherman should be better than this.
As for Philbin, I was hoping he’d take a timeout sometime in the 3rd quarter when the defense could barely stand up. The Bengals ran way too many plays and the defense was gassed. They needed a breather and the coach should’ve given then a few minutes to catch their breath.
Overall, this was a big win for the Dolphins. First, it ended their 4 game losing streak and sets them up for a run at the playoffs in the second half, when the schedule eases up a little bit. Second, they picked up a conference win against a quality opponent. Third, it was a win that the locker room needed after the events of this week. We don’t know when Jonathan Martin will be coming back and we wish him the best with whatever he is dealing with personally.
For the team, they should used these 11 days off to heal up and get ready for the second half surge. They head to Tampa Bay to take on the Bucs on November 11th. After that they welcome in the Chargers and Panthers. The Chargers are currently in the 6 spot in the AFC Wild Card race and the Panthers are playing well. Both will be good tests for this team. If they can do some damage in these next 3 games, it will set them up really nicely for a shot at the playoffs. For now though, let’s just enjoy this big win!
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