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    • Ask a Fan: Hayden Fox's Week 9 Assessment


      Positives
      * Won the Turnover Differential 4-1. The difference in the game.
      * Cameron Wake....WOW! Walk off safety. 3 sacks and FF. Unbelievable impact.
      * Ryan Tannehill. This was the game I was looking for him to have. Managed the game beautifully. He went 20-28, 208 yards, a rush TD and NO TURNOVERS. He got the team into better plays during the game. He handled the offense so well. With about a minute left and one timeout RT leads the team down the field to get into position to tie the game with a field goal. Excellent night.
      * Mike Wallace. Great to see him comeback with a tremendous game. 82 yards on 6 catches. The PI he drew was a huge play in the game that it at least flipped field position that eventually pinned the Bengals to set up the Wake Safety. Wallace seemed much more comfortable tonight.
      * Lamar Miller. He has had two straight excellent games. Tonight, he went over the century mark with 105 yards on 16 carrries with a long of 41.
      * Brian Hartline's clutch catch on the sideline on the game tying drive. The toe tap was incredible.
      * THE OFFENSIVE LINE (yes, I was able to type "offensive line" under positives. 157 yards rushing for 5.2 a rush. The pass protection was solid. 3 sacks, but RT's pocket was pretty solid. The Bengals have an excellent Dline and the Fins big guys held their own.
      * Props to Tyson Clabo. The guy is at the end of his career yet he came in and gave solid effort.
      * Nate Garner. I am huge Garner supporter. I think he should have been starting. Be that as it may, Garner came in for Richie Incognito after he suffered an injury and Garner did not miss a beat. Nobody should be surprised that he was ready and played well. Solid pro.
      * Paul Soliai was a load inside. He had a sack and PD. He pushed the pocket well as well. Stout versus the run.
      * The pressure by the DT's made a huge impact tonight. Soliai, Randy Starks and Jared Odrick collapsed the pocket all night.
      * Dannell Ellerbe. The guy took some heat this week by "experts" in the national media. Ellerbe was awesome tonight especially in pass defense. He had 4 PD's and an interception.
      * On Ellerbe's pick, Jimmy Wilson had good coverage and separated the ball from the receiver as he juggled the ball.
      * Brent Grimes deserves a long day off. He played his butt off tonight. The 94 yard pick six was a huge play. He was gutsy taking on ball carriers. He took on the bigger A.J. Green all night and more than held his own.
      * Dimitri Patterson's interception at the end of the half. The Bengals inexplicably were trying to score at the end of the half, promptly throw a pick to Patterson. It sets up an important FG at the end of the half.
      * Olivier Vernon was very active today. He seems to be turning the corner for the team.
      * The Red Zone stop by the defense on the 3rd Cincinnati drive. Miami had just got a turnover, but missed a FG....Cincinnati was driving, but came up short of the end zone. Big stop when you look at the final result.
      * ALL defenders deserve credit. They played hard and a TON of snaps. They played their asses off.
      * Brandon Fields punted well all night. However, the last punt that pinned the Bengals back leading to the Wake Safety was most important.
      * Credit to Caleb Sturgis. No doubt he was in a slump, but missed his first attempt tonight...a chip shot. Yet, Sturgis came back strong later in the game with a field goal near the end of the half and a game tying FG at the end of regulation.
      * We must give credit to Mike Sherman. Sherman finally committed to the run and had great success. The run game design was awesome. Through formation variation, motion and going big up front using Will Yeatman, the Fins were creative with the running game. 30 running attempts to 28 passes. Outstanding.
      * Credit to Coach Turner for having back ups ready to play today. It has been a tough year for him, but tonight he should be proud.
      * Joe Philbin. In a crazy, crazy, crazy week, Joe found a way to keep the team together, fight hard and his team found a way to win a crazy one.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Hayden Fox's Assessment: Week 9 started by Hayden Fox View original post
      Comments 51 Comments
      1. truedolfan57's Avatar
        truedolfan57 -
        Something else they did, that I don't think they did in the first 7 games, was to put 3 Tackles on the line. That helped with the run game.
      1. ConvenientTruth's Avatar
        ConvenientTruth -
        Glad to see Cam Wake back to full health....it is amazing a difference having your best player fully healthy.

        Tannehill played very well....some of those throws late in the game were beautiful (the Hartline Pass especially)

        Hopefully after hitting the game tying FG Stugis gets his mojo back....we will need him if the phins hope to make a push.

        The Running game has looked much better over the last couple of weeks, but I'm getting real tired of missing on 3rd and short.

        Philip Wheeler still sucks...

        Glad to see the team stick with the run....

        Brent Grimes played a hell of a game...

        Nate Freaking Garner showing he should have been on the line earlier in the season....he wasn't great, but he was good enough...
      1. TanneKILL's Avatar
        TanneKILL -
        The kid got his KILL.

        Anybody know how to look up his rating?
      1. WesternNYDolfan's Avatar
        WesternNYDolfan -
        Glad to see more admit continuity wins
      1. Heinegrabber's Avatar
        Heinegrabber -
        Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
        Positives
        * Won the Turnover Differential 4-1. The difference in the game.
        * Cameron Wake....WOW! Walk off safety. 3 sacks and FF. Unbelievable impact.
        * Ryan Tannehill. This was the game I was looking for him to have. Managed the game beautifully. He went 20-28, 208 yards, a rush TD and NO TURNOVERS. He got the team into better plays during the game. He handled the offense so well. With about a minute left and one timeout RT leads the team down the field to get into position to tie the game with a field goal. Excellent night.
        * Mike Wallace. Great to see him comeback with a tremendous game. 82 yards on 6 catches. The PI he drew was a huge play in the game that it at least flipped field position that eventually pinned the Bengals to set up the Wake Safety. Wallace seemed much more comfortable tonight.
        * Lamar Miller. He has had two straight excellent games. Tonight, he went over the century mark with 105 yards on 16 carrries with a long of 41.
        * Brian Hartline's clutch catch on the sideline on the game tying drive. The toe tap was incredible.
        * THE OFFENSIVE LINE (yes, I was able to type "offensive line" under positives. 157 yards rushing for 5.2 a rush. The pass protection was solid. 3 sacks, but RT's pocket was pretty solid. The Bengals have an excellent Dline and the Fins big guys held their own.
        * Props to Tyson Clabo. The guy is at the end of his career yet he came in and gave solid effort.
        * Nate Garner. I am huge Garner supporter. I think he should have been starting. Be that as it may, Garner came in for Richie Incognito after he suffered an injury and Garner did not miss a beat. Nobody should be surprised that he was ready and played well. Solid pro.
        * Paul Soliai was a load inside. He had a sack and PD. He pushed the pocket well as well. Stout versus the run.
        * The pressure by the DT's made a huge impact tonight. Soliai, Randy Starks and Jared Odrick collapsed the pocket all night.
        * Dannell Ellerbe. The guy took some heat this week by "experts" in the national media. Ellerbe was awesome tonight especially in pass defense. He had 4 PD's and an interception.
        * On Ellerbe's pick, Jimmy Wilson had good coverage and separated the ball from the receiver as he juggled the ball.
        * Brent Grimes deserves a long day off. He played his butt off tonight. The 94 yard pick six was a huge play. He was gutsy taking on ball carriers. He took on the bigger A.J. Green all night and more than held his own.
        * Dimitri Patterson's interception at the end of the half. The Bengals inexplicably were trying to score at the end of the half, promptly throw a pick to Patterson. It sets up an important FG at the end of the half.
        * Olivier Vernon was very active today. He seems to be turning the corner for the team.
        * The Red Zone stop by the defense on the 3rd Cincinnati drive. Miami had just got a turnover, but missed a FG....Cincinnati was driving, but came up short of the end zone. Big stop when you look at the final result.
        * ALL defenders deserve credit. They played hard and a TON of snaps. They played their asses off.
        * Brandon Fields punted well all night. However, the last punt that pinned the Bengals back leading to the Wake Safety was most important.
        * Credit to Caleb Sturgis. No doubt he was in a slump, but missed his first attempt tonight...a chip shot. Yet, Sturgis came back strong later in the game with a field goal near the end of the half and a game tying FG at the end of regulation.
        * We must give credit to Mike Sherman. Sherman finally committed to the run and had great success. The run game design was awesome. Through formation variation, motion and going big up front using Will Yeatman, the Fins were creative with the running game. 30 running attempts to 28 passes. Outstanding.
        * Credit to Coach Turner for having back ups ready to play today. It has been a tough year for him, but tonight he should be proud.
        * Joe Philbin. In a crazy, crazy, crazy week, Joe found a way to keep the team together, fight hard and his team found a way to win a crazy one.

        Negatives
        * I am still confused why Daniel Thomas gets the carries he does. He seems to spell Miller when Miller gets rolling. Daniel Thomas is so ineffective as short yardage guy.
        * Use of empty sets.
        * Miller's fumble. After a gorgeous run, Miller has the ball batted from his arm. What is even more frustrating is for some reason he cut it back inside instead of cutting to the outside. With a cut to the outside, he scores.
        * The offense was 3-14 on 3rd down.
        * The number of 3rd and long's this defense gives up is absurd and tonight was no different. This area must be cleaned up. It was almost better if the Bengals were in 3rd and 3.
        * Phillip Wheeler is bad in coverage.
        * Sturgis' miss after the Wake FF.
        * The defense did get a pick six on the Bengals 1st drive in the 2nd half, but they could not get a stop on the ensuing drive. Hence that tired them out and the offense lost rhythm. They needed to get off the field to save their legs, keep the lead and allow the offense to get rolling again.
        * As the defense started to get tired, their tackling went with it. They had no ability to tackle Giovani Bernard.
        * How bad was the NFLN coverage when they were talking about a Bengals TD yet there was a flag on the ground bringing it back. They try hard in their coverage, but they are not as solid as the networks.

        Overall Assessment
        * Huge win. I cannot overstate that. The season still has meaning going into the second half. This win was sooooo necessary on multiple fronts. The team is 4-4. They have additional time off to heal, re-set and improve. BIG, BIG, BIG Win
        * I called a win tonight BTW 20-17 (check the GDT). Very close. While I was disappointed in somethings we heard about in Davie this week, I figured the team would re-group and find a way. They did. Great win.
        * It feels good too as everyone today from Adam Schefter, to Mr. Know-it-all Louis Riddick, to the NFLN analysts saying the Fins did not have a chance. Adam Schefter called our line an expansion level line...cheap shot...and that line blocked great tonight. BTW, Riddick said that the Bengals were his Super Bowl favorite.
        * Did anyone miss Jonathan Martin tonight?
        * Cam Wake is back.
        * There is much talk about the refs tonight missing PI's on Adam Jones. However, Miami got some important close calls...the Gresham hold nullifying a TD, Hartline's catch not even being reviewed and Wake's Safety being confirmed. I think the ball just broke the plain, but with our luck who knows. Anyways, I think we finally got some in the end.
        * This team is a bad short yardage team. It was a concern of mine in the summer and still stands.
        * Nate Garner should have been an earlier solution to help the line either at RG or RT. He can play.
        * Prediction....Tyson Clabo plays well the rest of the year.
        * Caleb Sturgis should remain the kicker, but I am a fan of a veteran in that role. Sturgis has had a rough patch, but I do not know what to expect from the kid. Some misses have ended up being crucial lately.
        * With that said, this team does not take advantage of opportunities. Whether it was the Sturgis miss or the Miller almost TD run, Miami has to start to recognize spots to put a team a way. They did not recognize it last week and it burned them. It almost burned them again tonight.
        * Along those lines, Miami has a heck of a time closing. They still are not there yet. They could not close Buffalo. They allowed the Pats to steamroll them with momentum last week. This week they coughed up a two TD lead again. It has to be fixed.
        * Nolan Carroll was cheap shotted into a concussion.
        * Marvin Lewis has done a good job in Cincinnati. However, he is a terrible game day coach. Two straight years he has played things in bizarre fashion that allowed the Fins to have a chance to win. Between him, Andy Dalton and Geno Atkins injury, the Bengals might be in trouble.* 4-4. As brutally tough and heartbreaking the past few weeks have been, guess what? The team is 4-4 and FWIW exactly where I wanted them to be at least by the end of October. Now we play out the rest of the schedule and see what happens. Folks, I wanted to see progress this year. If that means no playoffs, but we see progress...so be it. And while I have been super critical of Joe Philbin the last two weeks, I urge others of you to join me and support the idea of NOT BLOWING THINGS UP. That includes the GM btw. The team is frustrating and has let a ton of opportunity slip through their hands. However, look for progress and allow this team to keep working toward success. Continuity wins in the NFL.
        Dont understand this critism if Atkins and Bernard finish this game we lose in regulation.
      1. FinfanInBuffalo's Avatar
        FinfanInBuffalo -
        I have to disagree about Wallace. He is still not performing well enough. When the offense needed to have a drive at the beginning of the 4th quarter, he runs the route short of the sticks on third down. And, can he ever break a tackle. He is the softest player I have seen since Ted Ginn.

        Also, the tackling on defense has been terrible. I have never seen a team consistently take such bag angles and be so off balance when attempting to make a tackle. Ellerbe is one of the worst offenders. They had many, many chances to end drives and could not do it. Very frustrating defense to watch.
      1. Digital's Avatar
        Digital -
        Well said Hayden.

        One point I see a tad differently though is our O Line. Agreed that they did yoeman's work for such a patched up and beleaguered unit. Particular kudos to Garner who stepped up and everyone for the lack of penalties. But, the reasons not we cannot convert a running 3rd and short is that our finesse O Line gets outmuscled. There aren't any holes for RB's to run through. It's not Daniel Thomas' fault, he has no chance. That is the reason Sherman called the head scratching off tackle play on short yardage weeks ago. That is the reason we throw the ball almost exclusively on 3rd and short. That is why we cannot pound it in along the goal line. When the O Line can't move people, your short rungame will not succeed.

        Also, when you take away Grimes' pick six and Cam Wake's safety, our offense only scored 13 points on a night when the defense produced 3 other takeaways (not counting the Grimes' pick six). Zero RB's scored. Zero WR's and TE's scored. Our only offensive TD was a QB run. That's pitiful offensive production. We did what Incognito and the Sherman detractors wanted and ran ran ran it, and didn't score enough points to win. It took a phenomenal game from our defense, 4 takeaways including a pick six and an overtime game winning safety to win the game in OT.

        That's just not good enough, and it has everything to do with the offensive line. We slipped by this week, but that OL is a disaster without Jake Long, and I say that realizing that Bryant McKinnie has instantly become our best OT.

        Great write up Hayden. But, that OL has some serious red flags that may require blowing it up and heavy investment in the offseason.
      1. spiketex's Avatar
        spiketex -
        Excellent distillation, as usual, Hayden - enjoy the victory. The other really big positive is the visible display of team leadership (particularly by the Defensive players). After the issues of the past week, the Defensive leaders (Wake, Soliai, Odrick, Patterson, Grimes, Ellerbe) all had great games. I had been quite disturbed by the alleged bullying of JMart (one of the most intelligent players on the team) but it was the Defense Leaders who made their statement on the field by excelling when they were needed. Cameron Wake in particular, and it's great to have him back fully healthy.
        Hopefully, this was a significant game in that the true leaders of the team took control of the team.
      1. packfin's Avatar
        packfin -
        Great write up as always HF ! Game balls to Nate Garner and Will Yeatman! They came through big time tonight! Why not run a QB sneak on 3rd and inches ? Why run a sweep with Daniel Thomas ? SO frustrating !
      1. Hayden Fox's Avatar
        Hayden Fox -
        Quote Originally Posted by packfin View Post
        Great write up as always HF ! Game balls to Nate Garner and Will Yeatman! They came through big time tonight! Why not run a QB sneak on 3rd and inches ? Why run a sweep with Daniel Thomas ? SO frustrating !
        Shorty yardage is bad. Real bad.
      1. LouPhinFan's Avatar
        LouPhinFan -
        I think it's important to mention that we were fortunate that Andy Dalton finally reverted back to being Andy Dalton. He's played out of his gord the past 2 weeks and finally came back to his true self (an inconsistent back up QB ala Matt Moore with a weaker arm) last night. I'm glad we were able to take advantage of that and get the win. It still doesn't solve the problems with this team (Sherman was more pass happy in the second half again, Daniel Thomas being used other than on 1st downs to spell Miller, ect) or the fact that I don't want Jeff Ireland to make his attempt at solving those problems.

        Go Fins!
      1. bcsupratt's Avatar
        bcsupratt -
        on point as always!! WHAT A GREAT WIN FOR THIS FRANCHISE
      1. j-off-her-doll's Avatar
        j-off-her-doll -
        For now, this is exactly how the team should play. I mentioned in a thread yesterday that no other team with a YPC over 4.0 ran the ball less than us (going into the game). The D is doing a better job of forcing TO's, and our RZ D is still solid. Pretend Tannehill is Alex Smith with more arm talent. Have him manage the game. It's also the way Big Ben and Flacco started their careers. Tannehill (at least under these circumstances - with the O-line's struggles) isn't ready to throw the ball around 40 times a game - not if you want to win. If Miami builds on this game and this strategy (and I do mean build - rather than stay as is), they can make the playoffs as a WC. Pound the rock, play D. To use the cliche, make sure every offensive drive ends with a kick. If you're passing the ball as much as we have, especially with the players we're using, that's an unrealistic expectation.

        Also, I don't care who you have at QB; your offense is going to be better (when it matters) if you consistently run the ball. The Patriots, Packers, and Broncos are all averaging about 29 rush attempts per game. Going into the game, we were averaging about 22. Last night, we had 30. When you run the ball, you establish a tone, dictate the pace of the game, set up your D for success, and open passing lanes. The Seahawks have also had significant problems protecting their QB - largely due to injuries on the O-line. They run the ball 31.6 times a game. If they threw the ball as much as we have, they'd probably have a record closer to .500. Stay the course, Sherman. Keep pounding the rock.
      1. j-off-her-doll's Avatar
        j-off-her-doll -
        Quote Originally Posted by LouPhinFan View Post
        I think it's important to mention that we were fortunate that Andy Dalton finally reverted back to being Andy Dalton. He's played out of his gord the past 2 weeks and finally came back to his true self (an inconsistent back up QB ala Matt Moore with a weaker arm) last night. I'm glad we were able to take advantage of that and get the win. It still doesn't solve the problems with this team (Sherman was more pass happy in the second half again, Daniel Thomas being used other than on 1st downs to spell Miller, ect) or the fact that I don't want Jeff Ireland to make his attempt at solving those problems.

        Go Fins!
        Dalton will always struggle under adversity. He just has an offense that doesn't put him in adverse situations very often. That offense is loaded - as is the D. Dalton is a slightly better version of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
      1. JCfinfan's Avatar
        JCfinfan -
        "Wallace seemed much more comfortable tonight"

        Great post. Agree 100%. I also notice a comfort level with Wallace tonight. Hope this continues.
      1. ravimk's Avatar
        ravimk -
        I agree with your last statement. Progress would be good to see. Perhaps the 2nd half more consistency and coaches figuring out how to adjust in the 2nd half. Anticipating their adjustments is what our coaches need to do.
      1. Vaark's Avatar
        Vaark -
        Quote Originally Posted by LouPhinFan View Post
        I think it's important to mention that we were fortunate that Andy Dalton finally reverted back to being Andy Dalton. He's played out of his gord the past 2 weeks and finally came back to his true self (an inconsistent back up QB ala Matt Moore with a weaker arm) last night. I'm glad we were able to take advantage of that and get the win. It still doesn't solve the problems with this team (Sherman was more pass happy in the second half again, Daniel Thomas being used other than on 1st downs to spell Miller, ect) or the fact that I don't want Jeff Ireland to make his attempt at solving those problems.

        Go Fins!
        Last night I was actually wondering - and because I don't want to invite any trolling, I'll try to state this carefully: Using the perspective of our play vs the Bengals as compared to their 40 pt win last week over the jets, was the difference either just one of those "on any given sunday occurences," a reflective critique of a jets defense I considered quite formidable, or more reflective of Geno Smith against a decent defense... or maybe any combo of all those???

        Now I understand that there's a difference between winning at home and losing on the road, but I don't think it's the equivalent of a nearly 6 TD difference, and to somewhat counterbalance that, both the Bengals and the Fins were playing on less rest.
      1. matt11390's Avatar
        matt11390 -
        Great post. Feels good to win again. Been what 6 weeks since we last won? No matter how Miami finishes the season I don't want Ireland back picking our talent next year although I know if Miami finishes strong Ross is keeping him and we do have a chance to finish strong. IMO we must win every game in November. Only 3 games at Tampa then hosting SD and Carolina. We have to win those 3 to have a shot at the playoffs. We have 5 games in December with 4 of those being division games. If we can win out in November that will set us up for that last month.
      1. phinfan40353's Avatar
        phinfan40353 -
        Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
        Positives If that means no playoffs, but we see progress...so be it. And while I have been super critical of Joe Philbin the last two weeks, I urge others of you to join me and support the idea of NOT BLOWING THINGS UP. That includes the GM btw. The team is frustrating and has let a ton of opportunity slip through their hands. However, look for progress and allow this team to keep working toward success. Continuity wins in the NFL.
        I've been saying for a while we must endure this staff and GM. Wins certainly do cure everything. The players must come together and respect the coaches, the coaches must come together and respect the players. This bridge needs to be built, used and maintained. A single voice does NOT a good team make.

        Philbin and Sherman need to listen to their OLine. If they want to want to run the ball, give them the call and the game in their hands. Let them go out and seize control of games and protect our defense. Our defense is a big play defense. It has "winning" pieces on it. They come to the forefront at just the right moment. But they can't stay on the field and continue to perform at a high level.

        I've said before that Tannehill is clutch. For a 2nd year QB with little college experience, the kid has uncoachable instincts and abilities that make Elite QBs. He's growing and these 200 yard days will turn into 300 yard days. But until then, we've got to play to the strength of the OLine. Miller is also showing flashes of greatness. But he's having mental lapses at very critical moments. THIS is focus and attention to detail: both are coachable.

        This staff has always prided itself on growing its own talent. Well, now we have a LOT of young talent. It's on the coaches now. Bridge the gap and get in touch with your young team. Teach, develop, listen and learn.

        I said in the offseason we should have signed McKinnie and Leach. We see the impact even an aging McKinnie has had. I said it was worth it just to have Leach even if he was only part of our short yardage and goal line package. It's showed up too many times that our short yardage package does not exist. Had we made these 2 moves in the offseason, we might be looking at a completely different situation. But he we are, we MUST LEARN from mistakes and continue to progress forward. Build on every mistake and success.

        Sherman still wants to throw the ball at the wrong times. But we MUST maintain continuity and BELIEVE our organization will learn.

        Guys we have a LOT of elite talent. It's scary how much talent we have. But it's not translating to the field for a full 60 minutes. When it does, we'll finally start the next leg of our journey: sustained success.

        Fins Up!
      1. Dick Pepperwood's Avatar
        Dick Pepperwood -
        Quote Originally Posted by roy_miami View Post
        I agree with this.
        Happy about the win Dude. Great write up Hayden, as usual. But Ireland needs to go. The OL too.