Things started off promising against the Chargers. After 3 games, in our 4th game we finally secured our first lead of the season. It was short lived however, and although we were competitive, the most competitive half to date, we still trailed after the 1st half 17-10. That didn’t bother me at all. I felt like we were in this game. The 2nd half told a different story than the first half, a more familiar story really, one in which we were basically over matched. Whatever positives we gleaned from the first half were washed away by an ineffective offense and a defense that just couldn’t hang in there as the T.O.P. swung completely in the Chargers favor. In the 1st half, we allowed the Chargers a 3 minute differential in keeping the ball. In the 2nd half, the Chargers practically had the ball the entire 2nd half, 21:05 to the Dolphins measly 8:55. That says it all.
The positives I took from the game is that if you give Josh Rosen a semblance of protection, he looks more than adequate. The 34 yard strike to WR DeVante Parker was a thing of beauty. The pass was thrown with the right amount of pace and was accurate and in stride and it looked easy. Don’t take that for granted, we’ve seen that exact scenario gone wrong so many times in the last 2 decades. What I like about Rosen is he can throw the ball some mustard when he has to, but he’s also capable of lofting a pass with a little arc and make it a much more catchable ball, like he did to Parker. Unfortunately, that was to be our only TD of the game. I mentioned in the last article, Kalen Ballage isn’t cutting it. He’s not a forceful runner, and worse, his hands out of the backfield are totally unreliable. Our version of the Cards David Johnson he will never, ever be.
Drake had a better game but I still don’t see anything that screams we need to keep him on the roster, and that’s basically what this season has become, a virtual tryout for next season and beyond. This stripped down roster will have even more players removed going into next season, so if Drake wants to make sure he’s here in 2020, he’s going to have to more than he’s currently doing. I’d say the number of players I think are a lock to make this team number less than 20. I’m hoping that number climbs as the season goes on. I’m sure some of you will argue with this, and I’m being kind with a couple of these, but these are the guys I believe that deserve to come back next season (some are also on the list due to potential). Josh Rosen, Michael Deiter, Evan Boehm, Preston Williams, Davon Godchaux, Christian Wilkins, Taco Charlton, Jerome Baker, Matt Haack, Raekwon McMillan and Sam Eguavoen. Not all of these are starters, but in my opinion deserve to be back up to this point.
Philip Rivers only missed on 6 passes. He was 24-30 for and easy 310 yards spread out to 8 different receivers. He was sacked only once (thanks to Taco!). He had an easy day out there, he really did. The Chargers didn’t need Melvin Gordon as Rivers had easy pickins all day long. Little pressure and poor coverage, many times due to not applying enough pressure gave Rivers and the Chargers an easy 2nd half. RB Austin Ekeler gave the Bolts over 120 combined yards, almost equally distributed through the run and pass game, 60 rushing, 62 receiving. He found his favorite target Keenan Allen only 5 times, but spread the ball around so well we couldn’t defend it. We are abysmal both at defending the run and pass, and when our offense can’t stay on the field, it gets worse and worse as the game goes on. All too familiar for us Dolphins fans, we’ve seen this script now for all too long and far too many times.
This the BYE week, which will undoubtedly provide us with Sonny’s Bi-Week babe. I look forward to it, and I look even more forward to the Fest which is quickly approaching, just 2 Sundays from yesterday. Can’t wait to see all of you!