2 and oh! No misprint here, The Dolphins are 2-0. They went into NJ to visit the NY Jets at MetLife Stadium, and came away with an impressive victory. The Jets had thoroughly dismantled the Detroit Lions in Detroit the previous week, 48-17, and they looked pretty damn good doing it too. Don’t let anyone take away or diminish this victory. The Dolphins were far from flawless, but this unit looks so much more like a T-E-A-M than it has in some time. I know, it’s easy to say that after 2 wins, and there’s some truth to that, how they respond to adversity will be key as well, but at the moment, there don’t seem to be any “ME!” players.
The team is listening to Adam Gase, and they definitely seem to be more disciplined. The Dolphins fumbled 3 times in the game, Tannehill had 2, and more on that . . . The strip sack where Tannehill fumbled, I am now positive that he DID NOT SEE Jamal Adams beat Mike Gesicki and he was just casually rolling out when Adams got by Gesicki for the sack. I know some have said Tannehill looks slower, lost a step or two, but I don’t really see that. What I think Tannehill has lost is some of his cutting ability, but his straight-line speed is there. It’s also possible he improves in this area as he gets more comfortable and trusts his knee more and more in time.
2 Penalties in the game. Discipline. I couldn’t be happier with the production of that D-line. If you think I miss Suh or Godchaux following Suh’s lead jumping offsides, I freaking don’t! If you think I miss Jarvis Landry and his patented first down gestures (I do a little bit) I don’t miss the LOOK AT ME stuff. It’s still early in the season, but after 2 games, Adam Gase seems to have shaped the roster with his guys, and it seems to be working. Good on him.
We were all worried about the defense, the D-line, the LB’s, and the CB’s too, because Cordrea Tankersley seems to have regressed this season, and was inactive. So far, it’s all working. The D-line in particular sans Suh has been better than advertised, make that much better! Talk about T-E-A-M, this unit personifies this. Everyone is in the action and contributing. Godchaux (6 TKL, 3 AST), Phillips (1 TAK, 1 AST, 1 SACK), Spence (4 TKL, 3 AST), Taylor (5 TKL, 2 AST), Hayes (2 TKL, 1 SACK). We’ve only registered 3 sacks, and 2 of them are by the DT’s, Robert Quinn has the other. Safe to say if this DL play continues, Suh will not be tweeting in this direction in ’18, unless maybe to say I’m sorry, and I was wrong.
Back to the CB’s. We haven’t played a team that is deep with WR talent. The Titans have Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis, and Matthews is still hurting. The Jets have Quincy Enunwa and Robbie Anderson, along with Terrelle Pryor, and then Jermaine Kearse who just returned from injury. Neither WR group is impressive, so our CB’s haven’t been truly tested yet. That changes a bit when da Raiders come to town. Amari Cooper had a down year last season, but he’s started much faster this season, and he already has 11 receptions. Jordy Nelson is a big talented veteran receiver and Martavis Bryant who came over from the Steelers is another bigger receiver who is a big play threat with great speed. The Raiders also have TE Jared Cook who has started off very fast this season, so our secondary may play a huge role in this game. That, and the pass rush. We have to get to Derek Carr and make him uncomfortable. He’s been uncomfortable most of the time, and that’s why he’s struggling, but if he’s allowed to sit back there, he will make us pay.
In the secondary, it will be interesting to see if Cordrea Tankersley is active, I think he’ll have to be. Minkah’s snap count will probably increase as well, especially if we limit Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin in the run game. If we force them to pass, there will be plenty of 3, 4 and maybe even 5 receiver sets. Jared Cook is a dangerous receiver who has given us trouble before when he was with the Titans, and then also with the Rams. Our secondary may be tested, and once again, if the run defense does it’s job, we’ll need more pass rush from Quinn, Wake, Harris and Hayes, as well as the DT’s.
The Raiders are scoring only 16 PPG, and have given up 26.5 PPG. Small sample of course, but they have struggled so far. You can almost flip the stats for our Dolphins, scoring 23.5 PPG and allowing only 16. If we can keep that up against the Raiders, we should be 3-0, but . . . The Raiders are desperate after plunking down the $100M contract for Head Coach Jon Gruden, and they will be desperate for a win, and also consider all the people who do the power rankings, how much it must be killing them for the Dolphins to be anywhere past #17 in the NFL.
I think we continue what we’ve been doing on offense, the combo of Drake and Gore has been effective, Gore really bailed us out on that 3rd and 19 play. Neither back has topped the 100 YD mark, but the sharing is working. I would imagine Devante Parker will see his first action this Sunday, as reports stated he was OK to play last week against the Jets. We’ve spread the ball around so well, I wouldn’t expect Parker in the lineup changing that much at all. I’d like to see Gesicki and Derby get more involved in the pass game, especially Gesicki, but we may have to be patient in that regard. I think once Tannehill develops that trust that is so essential, and they understand each other, and learn what each other wants and can do, I think that Gesicki will start getting more passes thrown his way.
MIA 30 – OAK 19