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Thread: Hayden Fox's Assessment: Week Four

  1. -1
    Hayden Fox's Avatar
    At the end of the day...

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    1972 Dolphins LogoMike Wallace 11Cam Wake 91Tannehill 17Dolphin

    Hayden Fox's Assessment: Week Four

    Positives
    * Early in the game, the offensive design was awesome. The offense used the pistol, read option and moved the pocket...all with great success.
    * Ryan Tannehill's touch on the TD pass to Charles Clay.
    * Marcus Thigpen's 50 yard screen pass.
    * Lamar Miller quietly had a good game. 62 yards on 11 carries for 5.6 per rush and a TD. Also, made some strong efforts in the passing game. Showed some explosiveness.
    * Run Defense. Much, much improved. They held the Saints to only 2.8 per rush. Much of the yardage came late in the game when the result was not in doubt. The tackles for a loss were good to see.
    * Paul Soliai manning up and playing. He was tough today. He man handled Jahri Evans. Had a two tackles for a loss by my count and swatted a pass away.
    * Olivier Vernon showed some positive signs. 5 tackles. 1 TFL and a sack.
    * Nolan Carroll made two pass breakups and was a positive factor early in the game.
    * Jimmy Wilson forced fumble very late in the game.
    * It is important to acknowledge the efforts of Jared Odrick running down a Saint on 3rd down and Brandon Gibson banging heads, dragging defenders late in the 4th quarter. Demonstrated some character.

    Negatives
    * Ryan Tannehill turned the ball over four times...3 INT's and 1 fumble. Whether all or some are on him is irrelevant, the team cannot win being minus 3 for the game. The pick at the end of the half as Miami was trying to get some points before the gun was a killer as New Orleans proceeded to take the turnover and turn it into a TD.
    * For the first time in a long time, I think RT lost his poise tonight. He appeared to be rattled after the turnovers and the barrage of Saints points.
    * After masterful play calling on the opening drive, on 3rd and 1, Mike Sherman inexplicably calls for a stretch play to Daniel Thomas that goes nowhere and the Fins have to settle for 3.
    * Mike Wallace was atrocious in his home coming tonight. By my count, he had three drops. He had a long ball drop right in his bread basket that was dropped. Another play he stopped his route and almost led to an interception. Wallace also had a penalty for not lining up correctly. Bad, bad night for a player that was needed in a showcase game for the team.
    * The pass protection broke down big time in the 2nd half.
    * Terrible start to the game on defense. New Orleans marched down the field and scored easily.
    * On the first drive of the game, Reshard Jones bit on Darren Sproles in the flat, took a bad angle and ended up giving a huge play on the initial drive.
    * Miami was having some success on defense and had New Orleans in a 3rd and 20. The Saints called a screen pass that went for a first down.
    * Nolan Carroll and Jimmy Wilson not communicating and giving up a 3rd and long in the 1st quarter.
    * Nolan Carroll fanning on the pass at the end of the 1st half that went for a TD.
    * Jimmy Wilson always seemed to be two steps late in help in coverage.
    * Jimmy Wilson, down more than 20 points, forces a fumble and runs around pointing to other way happy with his play. Know the time and score.
    * For the first time this year, Miami did not finish the half. There was the pick and the Fins had a chance to hold the Saints to three, but yielded a TD to end the half.
    * Another three more TD's to TE's.
    * After Lamar Miller's success early in the game, Miami went away from handing him the rock. Not all of the lack of running attempts can be blamed on the score.
    * With 55 seconds left in the 1st Half, 1 timeout and a kicker that has been booming field goals, Joe Philbin elects to take a knee and go in at the half. With possessions and scores at a premium, the team needed to attack.
    * Miami needing some success on offense, goes three and out on the first drive on the 2nd half.

    Overall Assessment
    * While tonight's loss hurts in that was on Monday Night Football, it was a non-conference defeat. It appears the team came out relatively healthy. Many around here, including myself would have signed off on 3-1 in a second this summer. Plus, the Saints are a great team. They are almost unbeatable at home. This was the hardest game on the schedule when it was unveiled this spring. For what it is worth, the Saints are my Super Bowl pick from the NFC.
    * The Dolphins had chances early to be in this game...if not ahead. The Daniel Thomas 3rd and short stop, two first half TO's and 3rd and 20 Sproles screen really changed the outlook to the game. I question still if Miami would have won the game if these things went in their favor. However, you never know how a young team will respond with some early momentum.
    * Ryan Tannehill is going to still have some bumps. He has played very well this year, but he still in year two. Continue to look for progress from him to greatness at this point.
    * Unfortunately, Miami melted under adversity tonight. They got punched in the face and no unit or individual stepped up and kept the team in the game. This might be the most disappointing part of the game tonight.
    * Mike Wallace needs to step up and be accounted for. He needs to be play better.
    * Miami does not have an offense in which the Oline can pass protect and try to erase a two TD lead. The pass pro was okay in the first half, but broke down bad when the scoreboard started to go the way on New Orleans. The pass protection has to get cleaned up. Everyone seems to know it is a problem, but it is not getting fixed. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumerville are due in South Floridan next week.
    * By the way, it has to be stated that Terron Armstead...the OT prospect that many thought was good enough to be the starting LT for the Fins was not active tonight. He was a healthy scratch. Fin Fans have to take putting an Oline together more seriously than have been.
    * Daniel Thomas is getting too many reps. I am not sure where he fits in and what his best skill. I advocate for more Lamar Miller and mix in Thigpen on 3rd downs. At the very least, you have two explosive players. I also wonder if it is time to look at a veteran RB on the scrap heap that could aid the team.
    * It is time for some players on defense to be accounted for in the form of big game changing plays. From Randy Starks, to Dannell Ellerbe, to Phillip Wheeler, to Koa Misi, to Reshad Jones someone needs to come with some big plays.
    * It was wise to sit Cameron Wake. In a non-conference game, it was wise to let him rest and perhaps come back for the Baltimore game. If he has to sit again...so be it. Wake needs his legs to be effective and there are many more important games on the schedule than the one played tonight. Good decision.
    * Paul Soliai is one of the most important players on the team. He dominated the interior and the run defense was night and day from last week. He does not get enough credit for collapsing the pocket.
    * I am excited to see Jon Gruden get back into coaching...I cannot take him in booth anymore.
    * ESPN, enough of the Drew Brees stories of how he did not end up in Miami. The owner, nor the GM, nor the head coach, the doctors and barely any players (I believe only John Denney) are around anymore from that era. Enough.
    * Turn the page. Miami has a huge game this weekend...on a short week versus the Super Bowl champs. Baltimore was embarrassed yesterday in Orchard Park. They are going to come loaded for a fight Sunday. After throwing 50 times versus a terrible Buffalo secondary, Baltimore was picked five times. This week they will come in and pound the rock with their best player Ray Rice and be physical. If you thought the Saints D was good, Baltimore will have the best bunch Miami has seen this year. Baltimore is tough to run on and the passing game is going to have to get their act together. Pass protection, receivers making plays and RT flushing tonight's game and being smart with the ball all have to come together to beat the Ravens.
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    #onephin

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    I appreciate your contributions Hayden, thank you!
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    Waterlogged

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    great post man. I agree with everything you said but my pick for NFC superbowl birth is the seahawks. That team looks unstoppable.
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    roy_miami's Avatar
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    Suggs vs Martin could be a bloodbath.
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    Good analysis, as usual Hayden. There have been very few times since Philbin arrived as Head Coach, that the team was thrashed. Tennessee last year comes to mind, but last night can only be seen as a total butt whipping. How Philbin, Sherman and Coyle respond to the meltdown, will tell us a lot.
    Possible deficiencies on the O line were fully exposed. Up until this game, I was completely confident that Tannehill will succeed. But now there is a question mark. He did appear to lose his poise and it was telling that Sherman doesn't seem to trust him enough to go for passing TD's. The contrast with Brees was pretty obvious.
    The ease that Darren Sproles was able to carve up the Defense was alarming. Yes, he's a good player, but we had no one who could compete. No one. Our Defense was expected to be much quicker than last year.
    And my hunch is that every NFL coach and coordinator, now has a 25 point list of ways to exploit the Dolphins.
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    Good post.

    Some things I'd like to comment on (this is not supposed to be a rant, just some observations and things I can't comprehend)

    - Marcus Thigpen looked slow finishing that breakaway run. Should have scored on that play. He reminded me of Ronnie Brown on that play, who always got caught from behind.

    - I'm a little worried. Last season the team looked like a well coached team. I can't tell what it was but they seemed prepared and focused. I don't have that same feeling this year. Like I said, I don't know what is but last year they looked...cleaner. Don't know how to say really. It's just the eye telling me that something is not 100% right. I hope this gets sorted out in the next weeks.

    - Tannehill fumbling certainly is an issue.

    - Mike Wallace certainly needs to step up. We can't spend so much money on one player and he doesn't produce. I also can't see any WR bailing Tannehill out once he makes a mistake, like that first interception. It's been like that for years.

    - Three things that kill me the most:
    1) We spend an awful lot money on our three receivers Wallace, Hartline, Gibson and after four games they combine for 3 TDs. The Patriots lose their 5 best receiving weapons from last season, sign an injured poor man's Welker and draft two rookies. To date, those three have combined for 4 TDs with Amendola out all but one game. How are they doing this? Is it all Brady?
    2) I don't recall how many OL we have drafted early, how many we have signed to big contracts, yet we cannot protect our QB. The Patriots can plug in anyone and it seems Brady has all the time in the world to throw it. I bet they could randomly pick users on this board for the offensive line and they'd still be fine. How are they doing this? Is it all Brady again?
    3) We have also invested heavily in CBs recently: Davis, Smith, Taylor, another Davis. But we still get lit up by each and every QB that comes to town. For years now. Our CBs can't even cover the opponent's TE. I know it's Jimmy Graham but he had no business catching that first TD pass. We've also played some pretty good QBs this season (Luck, Ryan, Brees) but we've been getting outgained big time. It's been happening for years now. The Patriots on the other hand sign free agents off the street, double the TE and voila, no problem. How are they doing this? Is it Brady again? ;-) Point is: our defense is bad. To think that we talked about this being the best defense in the NFL in the off-season...
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    I may add that my biggest disappointment is not the fact THAT we lost but HOW. First Monday night game in two years and we get embarrassed.
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    Great post as always!

    I'm really bummed because we came out with intensity and executed well, until that 3rd and short. They Phins just simply crumbled after that and were not able to punch it in on more than one occasion. That would have kept us in the game and kept the crowd somewhat out of it. I hope the team can recover and be ready for the Ravens. Both teams will have a statement to make.
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    Perennial All-Pro

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    Great post as usual Hayden. So we lost a non conference road game to a superbowl contender. We weren't going to go 16-0 and this is the type of loss that doesn't hurt us. 3-1!
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    I am concerned about Jones, he has been playing poorly since he got paid. The third and inches was a nut cracker. You go on a stretch play with Thomas WTf.
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