Monday Morning Blitz: Dolphins ‘Speed’ Past Raiders to Improve to 3-0
I’m still in a state of shock following the Sunday’s events, so forgive me if this post goes off track at some points. The Miami Dolphins came from 10 points down to beat the Raiders and improved to 3-0 on the season. Someone. Pinch. Me. While I’m not completely shocked, I am happy to bask in the glory that is Victory Monday again. I know it’s early in the season and I know there is a big game looming on Sunday in Foxboro, but let’s enjoy this 3-0 start for just one more day before facing some hard facts.
So for 3 quarters, we watched the Dolphins get pushed around, injured, run on, and even beaten badly on a few early Jordy Nelson passes. We watched the Raiders eat up the clock and the Dolphins resort to using an offensive lineman on goal line DEFENSE! We also witnessed Adam Gase’s plan come into focus: SPEED! Speed kills in the NFL and the Dolphins have a ton of it. Did you see the Dolphins rookie linebacker Jerome Baker chase down Jordy Nelson (who’s aging, but a WR no less)? Did you see Minkah Fitzpatrick chase down Nelson to prevent a TD as well? Did you see Jakeem grant sprint down to catch Albert Wilson on his game-sealing TD ‘reception’ to give him a high-five before crossing the goal line?
The Dolphins have 2 things they haven’t had in a long time: 1. Team speed on both offense and defense and 2. An offense that is the type of quick-strike offense that we haven’t seen since Dan Marino wore #13 in Joe Robbie Stadium. The Dolphins have so many potential homerun hitters on the field that it’s tough for a defense to take them all away. It also speaks to the culture Gase has built, that they can come back when facing adversity (again), being down 17-7 in the second half.
— josh houtz (@houtz) September 23, 2018
Here are our one-liners from the 28-20 victory over the Raiders:
- Xavien Howard (aka X-isle) is proving to be everything the Dolphins hoped he would be. He intercepted 2 more passes on Sunday, both within the Dolphins own 5 yard line. The second helped save the game for the Dolphins. It was a thing of beauty.
- Ryan Tannehill was efficient again and didn’t turn the ball over. His stats may have been padded by 2 shovel passes that went for TDs, but he’s in control of the offense and has really taken a leadership role on this team. Oh and his QB rating currently sits at 121.8…..Not too shabby!
- The Dolphins running game of Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake was stiffled by the Raiders, who loaded up the box and begged for other Dolphins players to beat them. The Dolphins obliged.
- Does anyone miss Jarvis Landry?
- Landry wasn’t replaced by one player. Instead, the Dolphins decided their offense was going to distribute the ball, taking advantage of mismatches. Enter Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant. These two playmakers are 2 of the fastest men in football and can literally break a long run at any point in the game (see: Sunday’s game).
- Kudos to Adam Gase for reaching back into Mike Martz’s playbook to pull out the reverse pass from Wilson to Grant….it was executed perfectly and it was a thing of beauty.
- The Dolphins missed Reshad Jones (it was very evident in the 1st quarter when Jordy Nelson looked like…..um Jordy Nelson from 5 years ago)
- William Hayes was having a great game before he was injured. We found out Monday that he is lost for the year with a torn ACL. Tough loss.
- What compounded the defensive line problem was that Akeem Spence was ejected in the 2nd quarter for removing a Raiders’ player’s helmet and throwing a punch. The Dolphins defensive line held it together enough, despite being on the field for most of the game and dealing with a heavy does of Beast Mode.
- Matt Haack didn’t get the props here last week, which he deserved. So I’ll make up for it and give him a shoutout today. He had one flub of a punt yesterday, but has been a weapon for the Dolphins thus far this season. He punted 6 times yesterday and even with the flub, he netted over 47 yards per punt, with half of his punts being downed inside the 20.
- That Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills TD was the thing dreams are made of.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @PhinNation for gems like this:
Man, I really miss Jarvis Landry pic.twitter.com/3iEHCJwwhB
— PhinNation.com (@PhinNation) September 23, 2018