The Miami Dolphins did not play well yesterday. The Dolphins had numerous opportunities to win the game, despite losing Reggie Bush at the end of the first half. Reggie Bush was injured on the Dolphins final drive of the first half, when they were essentially trying to run out the clock. The Dolphins probably should have just taken a knee and went to the locker room. Instead, the Dolphins ran the ball with Reggie and he took a helmet to the knee, which ended his day.
The play itself looked innocent enough, but when you combine Bush’s injury with the comments made by Calvin Pace of the Jets, it raises suspicions. Here’s what Pace said:
“I guess he was doing his thing for a quarter or two,”….. “We had to put him on out. We didn’t see him again.”
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The Miami Dolphins welcome their hated AFC East rival to Sun Life Stadium on Sunday. The Dolphins are coming off of an impressive win against the Raiders last week and hope to continue to build on that good play. The Dolphins showed improvement on both offense and defense from week 1 to week 2. To beat the Jets this week, they’ll need to play turnover free football and run the ball as effectively as they did against the Raiders. Here is a look at what the Dolphins must to on Sunday to improve to 2-1:
Run Reggie Run
Last week, the Dolphins rushed for 263 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry. The Dolphins got a superb effort from Reggie Bush, who rushed for 172 yards and 2 TDs. To beat the Jets, the Dolphins will need to run the ball just as effectively as they did against the Raiders. Entering this game, the Dolphins have the #2 rushing offense in the entire NFL. The Jets rush defense is vulnerable, as it ranks #21 in the NFL, allowing 130.5 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. The Jets know their rush defense has struggled, so I expect them to play 8 men in the box, leaving Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis in man coverage on the Dolphins receivers.
The Jets will want to shut down the Dolphins running game at all costs and force the Dolphins into obvious passing situations. If the Jets get the Dolphins in those 3rd and long situations, they’ll unleash their exotic blitz packages to confuse Ryan Tannehill. To counter the 8 in the box looks, the Dolphins could look to use multiple wide receiver sets to spread out the Jets defense and allow Reggie Bush to into space. It will be interesting to watch the chess match between Joe Philbin’s offense and Rex Ryan’s defense.
The Miami Dolphins returned to the practice field on Wednesday and it appears a number of injured players will be able to play on Sunday against the Jets. The Dolphins welcomed Daniel Thomas, Richard Marshall, Anthony Armstrong, and Marlon Moore back to the practice field on Wednesday.
Richard Marshall, the Dolphins starting cornerback opposite Sean Smith, left Sunday’s game against the Raiders with a back injury. However, Marshall was able to return to practice on a limited basis and expects to play on Sunday. Marshall’s return is important, since the Dolphins gave up almost 400 yards passing to Carson Palmer. The Dolphins run defense has been great and if they can shut down the Jets running game, they’ll force them to throw the ball. If Marshall is back, he and Sean Smith can matchup with wide receivers Santonio Holmes and rookie Stephen Hill. The return of Marshall would also mean that Nolan Carroll can return to his nickel cornerback position.
The Miami Dolphins’ rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill has a problem with passes getting tipped at the line of scrimmage. In Sunday’s 30-10 beat down by the Texans, Tannehill had six passes batted down, according to Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. Tipped pass are not good. But they are exponentially worse when they are batted into the air like a volleyball set. When the ball bounces that high in the air, it can be intercepted, which we witnessed twice on Sunday.
If the batted passes were just a result of the Texans defense, it would be one thing. The problem is that young Mr. Tannehill has had issues with balls getting batted at the line of scrimmage before. Mrs. Tannehill does not approve. In college, Tannehill had 19 balls batted at the line. According to the Sherman (who happened to have been Tannehill’s college coach):
“There were only three of them that we thought were his fault. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. It was in the game the other day, no question, but the gentleman, (Texans Defensive End J.J.) Watt, has a history of knocking balls down. He’s pretty good at it; I think he had four. And a couple of them were on twists coming down, so the quarterback wouldn’t have seen them anyways. It’s definitely something we’re looking at hard, and checking where he’s putting his eyes. He’ll be better this week with that.”