Can a bye week come at a greater time for the Miami Dolphins?
Their offensive line is in tatters. They misplaced two extra receivers on Sunday. And they put up a noble, if underwhelming, combat on Sunday in a 31-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
They began the season 3-0.
They’ve gone 2-5 since.
Here are 10 thoughts on Sunday’s sport:
1. Stat of the sport: Zero touchdowns. The Dolphins haven’t scored a landing for the reason that third quarter towards Houston. OK, that’s not a lot a stat of simply Sunday. But it’s additionally a bigger assertion about extra than simply accidents. They moved the ball on Sunday, too . They had 224 yards of offense within the first half — excess of the 145 yards they’re averaging. But they’d simply three area targets ot present for it. That level complete doesn’t embody the 50 yards on their opening drive that ended with a nasty snap and fumble. Let’s face it, in right now’s NFL you want to rating factors and when Aaron Rodgers is on the opposite aspect you actually need to rating factors. The Dolphins going two straight video games and 9 quarters and not using a landing shines a light-weight on what’s sinking this season.
2. The Dolphins sunk to the worst run protection within the league on Sunday after giving up 195 yards on 25 carries. They have been gutted once more, in different phrases, and it wasn’t Aaron Rodgers who did the principle harm. Rodgers put up pedestrian numbers for him — 19 of 28 passing for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The Dolphins protection entered giving up 136.1 yards a sport dashing. Only Cleveland’s protection was worse at 138.9 yards. But on Sunday Cleveland solely gave up 71 yards to Atlanta and the Dolphins … nicely, as Ndamukong Suh tweeted in preseason after a giant run: “proper up the intestine, lol.” Aaron Jones went proper up the intestine for 67 yards, a part of his 145 yards on the day. There are a number of causes for a nasty run protection, after all, however right here’s a central one: Your center linebacker can’t be fifth on the group in tackles. That’s what Raekwon McMillan was coming into Sunday.
3. The Dolphins’ offensive line consisted of three back-ups and a participant simply off the injured reserve in middle Jake Brendel. And say this: It was higher than anticipated. It didn’t smash the day, in different phrases. It gave up six sacks, positive, however … (I can’t imagine I’m glossing over six sacks) … however a few of these got here from Brock Osweiler holding onto the ball and never discovering a receiver. The solely common starter on the road within the lineup was proper guard Jesse Davis. Tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ju’Wuan James labored out earlier than Sunday’s sport and it was determined their injured knees weren’t in form to play. Given all that, it seemed a provided that an offense that had bother mustering factors would wrestle simply to transfer the ball on Sunday.
4. Even unhealthy Sundays want some excellent news the Dolphins was their particular groups once more. Special-teams coach Darren Rizzi deserves within the assistant of the yr award – if, after all, there’s such a factor. Every week after the Dolphins’ punting sport successfully gained it towards the Jets in a field-position sport, the particular groups have been at it once more. A pretend punt transformed into a primary down within the third quarter on a Leonte Carroo run.. A blocked punt within the third quarter by Branden Boldin gave the Dolphins the ball on the Green Bay 28. That arrange a area objective. A.J Derby and Mike Hull compelled a fumble on a Packers punt return, and Carroo recovered at midfield. That led to one other area objective. Then there’s the continued play of kicker Jason Sanders on these area targets. It positive appears like Rizzi discovered the suitable man to substitute Cody Parkey. Say all you need in regards to the Dolphins settling for area targets on Sunday, however say this too: Sanders retains making them. He was four-for-four Sunday. That makes him 15 of 16 on the yr. He was solely 25 of 35 in school when the Dolphins took him upon Rizzi’s request with a seventh-round decide. Sure, they received factors off after Green Bay paid again the Dolphins with a pretend punt of their very own that went 26 yards (Caroo received blocked to spring the run). Still, in a a season the place the offense and protection have struggled to be constant, the particular groups excels week after week.
5. Let’s be trustworthy. The Packers didn’t play that nicely. They actually didn’t. Aaron Rodgers was off on extra throws than his Hall of Fame profession is constructed on. He and lead receiver DeVante Adams had a number of miscommunications. Rogers had solely 98 yards passing at half. The Dolphins offense moved the ball successfully on the Packers protection. Green Bay solely led 14-12 within the third quarter. And … nicely, that’s a part of the frustration right here. We will be practical in regards to the accidents and all. But that is the large leagues. Winning issues. And the frustration to Sunday is Green Bay didn’t have to play its ‘A’ sport to beat the Dolphins handily.
6. Injuries? Yeah, they saved piling up. Cornerback Bobby McCain left with a hip harm after being the recipient of an inexpensive shot, a blindside block. On back-to-back performs in the third quarter, they misplaced two receivers working comparable publish patterns. Jakeem Grant had an Achilles subject coming into the sport, and left on a cart for the locker room in tears after what seemed like a critical harm. On the following play, DeVante Parker left the sport with an obvious shoulder harm. The Dolphins already have been down Albert Wilson from this group. They ended Sunday with Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola and Leonte Carroo as receivers.
7. Adam Gase mentioned final week he needed to get Kenyan Drake the ball extra. Then got here Sunday and Frank Gore was the centerpiece to the offense once more. Gore was productive, too. At half, he had 10 carries for 84 yards within the first half. with a 39-yard run on the primary sequence. It’s exhausting to come off a man when he’s producing like that. He completed with 13 carries for 90 yards He additionally had two catches for 12 yards within the first half. Drake? He had 4 first-half carries, however as the sport received out of hand received some extra motion. He completed with eight carries for 27 yards.
8. Green Bay is the fantastic outlier of NFL locations. Two hours from a significant metropolis (Milwaukee). A stadium in a residential neighborhood. And a pre-game look that runs from four-man bands enjoying to bratwursts grilling at each tailgate. The Sun-Sentinel’s Safid Deen talked to Dolphins followers making the uncommon journey to Green Bay. I used to be extra intrigued by the promoting for parking in at homes.
9. Lost amid Sunday was Reshad Jones was punished for quitting last Sunday by being held out of the first quarter. That ends another in a string of odd dramas around the Dolphins again this year (Jordan Phillips being cut after wanting to play more, DeVante Parker’s agent calling Gase incompetent …). Minkah Fitzpatrick played safety the first quarter in a base defense with Bobby McCain as a boundary cornerback opposite Xavien Howard. The Dolphins went to nickel defense when Jones returned with Fitzpatrick moving to the boundary cornerback and McCain the slot cornerback.
10. Next week: Bye week. The Dolphins could have used that this week with all the injuries on the offensive line, but it will come in handy regardless. Not just the line, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill wants to play against Indianapolis after the break. Tannehill wasn’t throwing at all earlier this week and says he has pain just lifting his right arm about his shoulder. A week off, though, will do this franchise well.
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