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    • Ask a Fan: Hayden Fox's Week 12 Assessment

      Positives

      * The defensive line controlled the Panthers for most of the day. They got good pressure on Cam Newton. They only came away with two sacks, but they pressured Newton into some bad decisions.
      * Credit has to Kevin Coyle for his defense scheme vs. the Panthers. The way he spied Newton and rushed Dion Jordan more was outstanding. The defense missed in some areas, but they did enough to win the game.
      * Nolan Carroll had a great game. Many people were discussing the fact that he and Ted Ginn were squaring off. Carroll got the most of the battle with 4 PD's and an interception.
      * Olivier Vernon was active. He had sack. He just missed another. He also ran down Newton and stopped him just short of a 1st down.
      * Cam Wake was tough today as was Randy Starks with his initial penetration.
      * Props to the defense after the offense turned the ball over on the first series. They forced the offense to a FG attempt that was blocked.
      * Ryan Tannehill was up against a strong defense. He did well considering. 310 yards, 1 TD and 1 Int. The Cover 2 could have gave him issues, but he looked off of receivers and made some plays. He also created with his legs...he was the team's leading rusher.
      * Mike Wallace. While some plays might have been left on the field, Wallace was pretty much the offense. He had 127 yards on 5 catches and a TD. 25.4 yards per catch.
      * Brian Hartline was solid with his route running. 78 yards on 5 catches.
      * Lamar Miller was solid as a pass receiver today. Turned out to be a good outlet.
      * Overall the pass protection was good. It helped that Carolina's best pass rusher was out, but so was Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito. They gave up three sacks and one coming at the end of the game. Pleasantly surprised.
      * It was good to see Mike Sherman moving the pocket and allowing some action to develop down field.
      * Dion Jordan got credit for a blocked FG attempt in the 1st quarter.
      * Caleb Sturgis returned to his preseason form on his kickoffs. He boomed them routinely out of the back of the end zone.
      * Punter Brandon Fields was able to keep the Panthers off of a short field.
      * Joe Philbin was outstanding with his challenges today. The challenge stating that Newton was shy of a first down forced a punt. A second half challenge kept a drive alive for the offense in attempt to run out the clock.

      Negatives

      * No points in the 2nd half
      * 7 straight games and no TD's in the 4th quarter
      * FG's in the Red Zone. 0-2 in the red area.
      * The defense did a terrible job finishing the 1st half. They allowed the Panthers to get into FG range and steal 3 points.
      * Right out of the half, Carolina drives for a TD, cutting the lead to 3.
      * The 4 minute drill to try to ice the game ended up failing. Incomplete passes, penalties and bad running led to the Fins having to punt the ball with enough time for the Panthers to come back
      * 4th and 10, Carolina goes for it and Newton hits Steve Smith for a first down. The Panthers drove for the game winning TD later on.
      * Poor tackling on the Mike Tolbert run.
      * Reshad Jones personal foul on Newton on the final drive.
      * Turnover differential was 1 to 1. Not good enough against a team with supposed better talent. For the Fins to win, they must win the TO battle.
      * Ryan Tannehill had a tipped interception on the first drive of the game.
      * RT was inaccurate on balls to Wallace (overthrow) and a loft to Charles Clay over the top of the Panthers D.
      * RT took as sack (on a drive near the end of the 3rd/beginning of 4th) that got the team off schedule. It was a 3 step drop. The ball needed to come out.
      * Mike Wallace dropping a desperation heavy on the next to last play of the game that would have won the game for the Fins.
      * Rishard Matthews was bad today. Albeit he got leveled in the end zone, he did not hold on to perfect pass that would have been a TD. He was not alert on a pass that whizzed by his head in the Red Zone. Tough game for Matthews.
      * Negative runs in the run game. They took the team off of schedule.
      * Miami's top two RB's had a grand total of 16 yards.
      * The offense was 4-16 on 3rd down.
      * Ted Ginn long punt return.
      * Brandon Fields sailed his last punt in the end zone setting up the Panthers at the 20.
      * Terrible clock management by Joe Philbin. I sincerely believe that he though the Panthers were going to settle for 3 and wanted time on offense to win it. All it did was give the Panthers more time, organization and reason to score a TD. Miami ended up having no timeouts with just over 40 seconds remaining. Philbin should have kept his timeouts unless they got in close to the end zone. Perhaps they would have been forced to kick a field goal based on the time of the game if he had let the clock run.
      * I disliked the call of attempting a 52 yarder in the 4th quarter. The kick was not close. I would have gone for it and not yielded the field position. It was very questionable decision and brutal miss.
      * The flag pick up on Luke Kuechly's hit on Matthews at the end of the half was awful. It would have set up a goal to go situation and a possible TD. The Panthers probably do not get a chance to tack on 3 points if the Miami drive was extended. Terrible job by the referees.
      * Fox was very late with replays for the viewer that ended up being changed on the field. Shabby broadcast.

      Overall Assessment

      * The Miami Dolphins under Joe Philbin are mentally weak and lack a killer instinct. Whether it was finishing in the Red Zone, finishing the half, trying to end the game on a 4 minute drill or trying to stop the Panthers from converting a 4th and 10, Miami consistently does not come through. Teams reflect their head coach on the field. Joe Philbin is not getting it done as the HC.
      * What goes on at half time to have the Dolphins come out and be bad for the 2nd half? That is squarely on the coaching staff and the HC.
      * No points in the 2nd half and no TD's in the 4th quarter for 7 straight games. Who is responsible for that?
      * With that said, I was impressed that the team did not seem to be affected by the Ted Wells investigation. The team seemed focused and that is a credit to the staff and players.
      * Even though the defense let up 3 right before the half and the eventual game winning TD late, I cannot blame them for the loss. The offense needed to do just a bit more and could not.
      * I feel for Sam Brenner. He was doing okay and looks like he got hurt bad. Tough break.
      * Danny Watkins was inactive today? What is happening with him?
      * Getting Mike Pouncey back is a must for the month of December
      * Marcus Thigpen is really becoming ineffective as a kick and punt returner.
      * The Panthers got a gutsy win after two huge wins versus the 49ers and Patriots. That was an example of being mentally tough, people.
      * Cam Newton did not have his best stuff today, but found a way to win.
      * Kuechly is one lucky MLB. That was a penalty last week on Monday Night and should have been penalized again on the hit on Matthews.
      * With all of this being said...and I am so frustrated, this game does not mean as much as the next two, starting next week in New York. EVERYTHING Miami wants to accomplish is still ahead of them. With gobs of 5-6 teams kicking around, it is about surviving and advancing. It is about garnering tie breakers versus teams around them. Obviously, a win would have helped the overall record today. However, it does not change the fact that Miami is still in the wild card hunt with the other teams. It is time for the Joe Philbin to give proper direction of this team and for the leaders of the team to start making game altering plays. It is STILL in front of the Dolphins...and it starts next week versus the New York Jets.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Hayden Fox's Assessment: Week 12 started by Hayden Fox View original post
      Comments 40 Comments
      1. Hayden Fox's Avatar
        Hayden Fox -
        I agree Mike Wallace


        Adam Beasley @AdamHBeasley
        Mike Wallace sums up the Dolphins' problems: "We've got to have a killer instinct. I don't think we have that well."
      1. J. David Wannyheimer's Avatar
        J. David Wannyheimer -
        Starting TE, your only big bodied playmaker in the middle of the field, out for the season. Starting slot WR, your guy with the best hands on the team, out for the season. Down to your 4th string left guard with a patchwork OL and no running game, asking your 2nd year inexperienced QB to shred the #1 passing defense in the NFL?

        I don't think the players lack killer instinct. I think we are down to our backups at several key positions and playing better competition.

        Now the coaching... 4th and 3 at the 36 yard line, go for it.
      1. AEGBRG's Avatar
        AEGBRG -
        Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
        * With all of this being said...and I am so frustrated, this game does not mean as much as the next two, starting next week in New York. EVERYTHING Miami wants to accomplish is still ahead of them. With gobs of 5-6 teams kicking around, it is about surviving and advancing. It is about garnering tie breakers versus teams around them. Obviously, a win would have helped the overall record today. However, it does not change the fact that Miami is still in the wild card hunt with the other teams. It is time for the Joe Philbin to give proper direction of this team and for the leaders of the team to start making game altering plays. It is STILL in front of the Dolphins...and it starts next week versus the New York Jets.
        Good review, but let's be realistic: this is not a playoff team. A playoff team would of won today. I know we are 5-6 but so are like 12 other teams. Do you really think we are going to win at Pit, or even at Buf? Not to mention, we still have to play NE again. I am just being a realist. IMO, either Pit or Bal get the last WC spot. Pittsburgh is playing the best football out of all the 5-6 teams right now, but they have to play in Bal next week.
      1. Dick Pepperwood's Avatar
        Dick Pepperwood -
        Hayden, nice write up Dude. I always like your take man. I agree Coach Philbin is not getting it done. We have Talent, our DL dominated all day. This team started out 3-0. We BLEW games against Buffalo, Baltimore, Today, and a 17-3 against New England. I think a strong Head Coach, we are 8-5 right now.
      1. royalshank's Avatar
        royalshank -
        The underthrow that Wallace caught wound up costing us 4 points. It was a 50+ yard play but it left me with a hollow feeling that it should have been a TD so I see that as a negative. Also, Carrrols Int should have been turned into 7 with that field position.
      1. AEGBRG's Avatar
        AEGBRG -
        Quote Originally Posted by J. David Wannyheimer View Post
        Starting TE, your only big bodied playmaker in the middle of the field, out for the season. Starting slot WR, your guy with the best hands on the team, out for the season. Down to your 4th string left guard with a patchwork OL and no running game, asking your 2nd year inexperienced QB to shred the #1 passing defense in the NFL?

        I don't think the players lack killer instinct. I think we are down to our backups at several key positions and playing better competition.

        Now the coaching... 4th and 3 at the 36 yard line, go for it.
        I disagree. This team has lacked killer instinct since the Morono days. Despite all the points you made, we had a plethora of opportunities to put the game away. We did not. Every team has to deal with injuries. BTW, Carolina was playing without their best defensive player.
      1. J. David Wannyheimer's Avatar
        J. David Wannyheimer -
        Quote Originally Posted by AEGBRG View Post
        I disagree. This team has lacked killer instinct since the Morono days. Despite all the points you made, we had a plethora of opportunities to put the game away. We did not.
        Rishard Matthews got rocked by an illegal hit and couldn't hold on to the football. He's a backup. Is that his fault for lacking killer instinct? Is it his fault the coach decided to kick a chip shot FG after the play?

        I don't know, I don't buy this 'killer instinct' thing. I think we played a better football team today and our c oaches called the game not to lose it.
      1. finfan54's Avatar
        finfan54 -
        Quote Originally Posted by J. David Wannyheimer View Post
        Starting TE, your only big bodied playmaker in the middle of the field, out for the season. Starting slot WR, your guy with the best hands on the team, out for the season. Down to your 4th string left guard with a patchwork OL and no running game, asking your 2nd year inexperienced QB to shred the #1 passing defense in the NFL?

        I don't think the players lack killer instinct. I think we are down to our backups at several key positions and playing better competition.

        Now the coaching... 4th and 3 at the 36 yard line, go for it.
        And a very very tough schedule.
      1. Dick Pepperwood's Avatar
        Dick Pepperwood -
        Another Loss at Home, a winnable game no less. 16-3, you have to put that away, the way the Panthers did when they went for it on 4th and 10 from the 20.
        One more thing, Daniel Thomas has never, and will never get it done. WTF happened to Thigpen today. Lamar Miller too, awful. Don't blame the OL, they played good today. Even the commentators said Daniel Thomas missed the Hole (thats what she said) Same for Michael Egnew. Where is Dion Simms? Dion Jordan nice Sack today!
      1. Heinegrabber's Avatar
        Heinegrabber -
        Carolinas last series before half was the beginning of the end. Prevent should be outlawed.
        The absence of a back with any physical skills on this roster is a personel failure.
        Did we run a seam route?
      1. Hayden Fox's Avatar
        Hayden Fox -
        BTW, Bryant McKinnie is so much better than Jon Martin ever was.
      1. AEGBRG's Avatar
        AEGBRG -
        Quote Originally Posted by J. David Wannyheimer View Post
        Rishard Matthews got rocked by an illegal hit and couldn't hold on to the football. He's a backup. Is that his fault for lacking killer instinct? Is it his fault the coach decided to kick a chip shot FG after the play?

        I don't know, I don't buy this 'killer instinct' thing. I think we played a better football team today and our c oaches called the game not to lose it.
        It was not just this game. This team has lacked it for the last six years. I can't believe you are not seeing it. Even Wallace acknowledged it. This team just cannot put teams away -- unless it is the Raiders.
      1. mrhankey81701's Avatar
        mrhankey81701 -
        Pretty sure they changed the ruling and took the blocked FG away from Dion Jordan and just credited it as a regular missed attempt.

        I think this team is really missing Dustin Keller right now. We don't have anyway that can catch the ball consistently over the middle. Clay has flashed but he hasn't done it consistently and Rishard Matthews while having potential hasn't been as stellar as he was against Tampa Bay.
      1. Hayden Fox's Avatar
        Hayden Fox -
        Quote Originally Posted by AEGBRG View Post
        It was not just this game. This team has lacked it for the last six years. I can't believe you are not seeing it. Even Wallace acknowledged it. This team just cannot put teams away -- unless it is the Raiders.
        That is why a charismatic, leader of men HC is needed. From there, add some high character veterans and develop young players into better players.

        ---------- Post added at 07:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:39 PM ----------

        Quote Originally Posted by mrhankey81701 View Post
        Pretty sure they changed the ruling and took the blocked FG away from Dion Jordan and just credited it as a regular missed attempt.

        I think this team is really missing Dustin Keller right now. We don't have anyway that can catch the ball consistently over the middle. Clay has flashed but he hasn't done it consistently and Rishard Matthews while having potential hasn't been as stellar as he was against Tampa Bay.
        Maybe. Good point on the block kick. I am not sure what they did with it.
      1. PHINANALYST's Avatar
        PHINANALYST -
        seriously, Mike Wallace is talking about killer instinct ... W-O-W ...

        he's not Ted Ginn ... but he isn't Steve Smith either ...

        if HE had a killer instinct, HE catches every long throw today .... period. They were ALL catchable ...

        regarding Philbin .... while his staying here on would not garner excitement -- I could live with it provided there is a new OC ... Sherman is terrible ...
      1. AEGBRG's Avatar
        AEGBRG -
        Quote Originally Posted by PHINANALYST View Post
        seriously, Mike Wallace is talking about killer instinct ... W-O-W ...

        he's not Ted Ginn ... but he isn't Steve Smith either ...

        if HE had a killer instinct, HE catches every long throw today .... period. They were ALL catchable ...

        regarding Philbin .... while his staying here on would not garner excitement -- I could live with it provided there is a new OC ... Sherman is terrible ...
        And all of Tannehill's passes were just spot on (sarcastic).
      1. J. David Wannyheimer's Avatar
        J. David Wannyheimer -
        Quote Originally Posted by AEGBRG View Post
        It was not just this game. This team has lacked it for the last six years. I can't believe you are not seeing it. Even Wallace acknowledged it. This team just cannot put teams away -- unless it is the Raiders.
        Fair enough, but I don't think it is because we lack some intangible quality. I think it is because this team does not have enough talent at key positions and the situational coaching is terrible. And I think that goes all the way back to Dave Wannstedt.

        I'm very disappointed in Joe Philbin's coaching strategy today. He coached not to lose when he needed to coach to win.
      1. Hayden Fox's Avatar
        Hayden Fox -
        They need to reinstate Incognito.
      1. AEGBRG's Avatar
        AEGBRG -
        Quote Originally Posted by J. David Wannyheimer View Post
        He coached not to lose when he needed to coach to win.
        That is exactly why they lack killer instinct, by BOTH the coaches and lack of execution by the players. We play not to lose. We have been doing this for the last 6 years.
      1. MiamiDolphin618's Avatar
        MiamiDolphin618 -
        Getting Pouncy and Incog back would be a big boost to the run game. If we do indeed bring Incog back...you know hes going to play with some fire.

        Also...one of the biggest bright spots of the day was Dion Jordan. He needs to keep getting as many snaps as possible for the rest of this year. Hes going to be an impact player folks