Thursday Night Football
The starters played well. Tannehill took the opening kickoff and drove the team down the field on an 8 minute drive that ended with a Touchdown and not a FG. He completed a deep square in route to Jennings which was a big gainer. He hit Sims on a couple of nice crossing routes. He hit Landry on a couple and avoided taking any big hits despite even running it once to avoid the only pressure he saw. Lamar Miller broke one for a big gainer and the line looked pretty good.
We’ve waited a long time and relied on a lot of reporters eyes to give us an idea of how the offensive line looked in particular the Guard position. I thought they fired off the ball well in the run game, it’s clearly a Zone blocking unit as they head in unison in a direction just trying to make a cut back lane open up for Miller. Fox started at LT with Dallas Thomas next to him at LG, Pouncey at C, with Billy Turner at RG and Ju’wan James playing RT. Turner did well for himself and even played into the 3rd quarter at the RG spot. Based on the series we saw last night this O-line might be alright and allow Tannehill time to survey his many options and put together a strong running game to run the clock.
The Defense on it’s first appearance shut down Chicago in an ugly 3 and out. Not ugly for us Dolphans as we finally got to see Suh in a Dolphin uniform playing. Chicago rushed for zero yards while the Chief was in the game. Once he left forget it, Chicago ran it pretty well on our Defense once the starters were out.Sheppard, Jenkins and McCain were indeed the starting Linebackers, Sheppard getting the nod while Misi is out. In the secondary, Aikens started in place of Delmas along side Jones at Safety while Taylor filled the other Corner spot opposite Grimes.
Those first couple of series are all there really are to talk about. Matt Moore was unimpressive when he took over the offense, failing to score on any of his drives. McCleod Bethel Thompson actually started off looking pretty good. He completed a few intermediate passes and then hit Laron Byrd on a deep ball that set up what would be the teams final score of the night. But in the second half it got very ugly for MBT. Gillissle started the mess with a beautiful long run he brokebut he forgot to put the ball in the proper arm allowing a Bear defender to strip it negating a long gain and a chance to increase the lead. Having seen the Gillisslee turnover MBT wanted in on the fun and threw not one but 2 ugly pics including the last one which set up Chicago inside the Miami 10 yard line.
Caleb Sturgis made his extra point attempt and the lone field goal attempt he had in the first half and was to give way to Andrew Franks who would have the second half kicking duties. Well since the Dolphins failed to score in the second half Mr. Franks made the 3rd qtr opening kick off, and unknown to him at the time, was done for the night.
Jordan Tripp was helped off the field and into the locker room in the first half and wasn’t seen again until he re-appeared on the sideline with his right leg in a boot and walking on crutches. This is a big unfortunate setback for Tripp as he was climbing into a larger role on the Defense. Tripp missed time last season due to a chest injury.
Without hearing anything reported about the Chris McCain injury it would look as if he will be fine. We saw him roll his ankle stepping on a team mate but he walked off the field without a limp and later appeared fine.
The turnovers were a big problem last night so its hard to say that this team’s depth totally sucks. I didn’t find that to be the case. The QB’s once Tannehill left the field were rough, but there were some good individual efforts. Particularly from Zach Vigil an undrafted Free Agent who capitalized on his opportunities once Tripp left the game. Our rookie 2nd round pick Jordan Phillips showed that he will be a tough and athletic big man in the front.
Don’t let yourself get too high or too low from this meaningless game, there was good early until the ugly turnovers changed the entire complexion of the game. If the Chicago QB’s were throwing ugly pics we would have won going away and not them.
Yes Josh Freeman, worried he was running out of time to throw his pick, did manage to find a Bear defender as time was running out to seal the loss for the Fins. From a guy who was a first round draft pick and who looked like a Franchise QB at the start Freeman’s plummet is baffling. He looked tentative and unsure out there as the 4th QB of the night although there were a few throws that he made and you said hmmm that was pretty good.
With as good as the First unit looked, including the O-line, there is nothing that happened last night that has me discouraged. I think it’s good to lose preseason games. I have found that the teams who win in the preseason don’t usually win in the season; see the 2007 4-0 preseason Dolphins.
Penalty box: Anthony Johnson trying to do his best Suh impersonation jumped off sides 3 times while good ‘ol Bobby McCain has 3, count them 3 holding penalties. Gotta clean that up boys.
It was good to see Mr. Suh out there.