Yeah, Landry had a big game against his former team, but the story of the day for the Browns was their run game. Nick Chubb punished the Dolphins all day long along with a sprinkling from Kareem Hunt. All in all, the Browns offense was just too much for the Dolphins depleted defense. Between Chubb and Hunt they combined for 143 yards rushing on 29 carries good for over 4.9 YPC. Landry caught 2 TD passes and finished with 10 receptions and 148 yards. He was covered by Ryan Lewis, Ken Crawley and Nik Needham. The Browns had the ball for over 35 minutes compared to the Dolphins 24. Honestly, it didn’t even seem that close.
The Dolphins were down 28-0 late in the 1st half but managed to score 17 unanswered points. That was really as close as it got though as the Browns pulled away and won easily 41-24. TE Mike Gesicki caught his first career TD pass, which is really surprising that it’s taken this long, but good for him. DeVante Parker continues to stay on the field and produce, catching 6 passes for 91 yards, although some of them were in garbage time. Allen Hurns also was involved often and was tied for 2nd with 7 targets with Wilson and Gesicki. Wilson managed just 33 yards on 6 catches. No threat of a run game shrinks the space for Wilson to operate and it shows. He just doesn’t have that quick twitch explosiveness and is easily caught up with each time he gets his hands on the ball.
Raekwon McMillan returned and looked slow and ineffective in his return. He was a step slow to the edge a few times and wasn’t tackling well either. Hopefully he will improve as he gets back in game shape. HEY!!! Charles Harris got half a sack today! What a terror off the edge he was today! Van Ginkel made his first appearance and made a real nice ST’s tackle, a one arm sweep that upended the Browns kick returner. I have been very pleased with the play of our young secondary but today was a tough matchup. They were out there a lot and had a tough time with both Jarvis Landry, OBJ and the duo in the backfield Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, all who are receiving threats. We know that most likely these guys will be depth guys next season at best, but as you can see, depth is huge in the NFL because guys get hurt so often. These kids have been working hard and appear to play hard for their coach, so much props to them.
The Dolphins play the Philadelphia Eagles at home next week, a difficult matchup once again. The Eagles are pretty banged up, RB’s Jordan Howard and Darren Sproles are both out but Howard may be able to play by next week, Sproles is on IR. Jay Ajayi signed this week to once again join the Eagles. No doubt he will have a little extra sumpin’ playing his former team, although the guy that ran him out of town is no longer with the tea, (Gase). The Eagles will be desperate for a win to remain in the playoff hunt at 5-6, losing today to the Seahawks in a tough defensive battle 17-9. Miles Sanders will be the guy if Jordan Howard once again can’t go.
Wins and losses don’t really matter all that much in the scheme of things, just playing well and improving are prudent. Sunday there were a lot of penalties, and that didn’t help the Dolphins any. The lack of a run game has been a killer all season as the leagues worst rushing team by quite a margin. The Dolphins average the fewest rush attempts per game at 20 per game and have just 603 yards for a pathetic 3.0 yards per carry. I know our O-line is somewhat makeshift but run blocking is effort and will mostly, so I’d like to see this unit improve in this area. Durham Smythe has been tagged as a plus run blocking TE and I just haven’t seen it. It’s hard to see him all the time, but when I do, he’s not winning. Evan Boehm who has played both C and either G position hasn’t been opening up any space either. Really, no need to focus on any one player, no one on the O-line is getting it done and our dream of FB Chandler Cox being a plow in the run game hasn’t materialized. Truth be told, he’s hardly been used, and when he has, it’s yielded poor results.
KR/WR Jakeem was injured today and was seen in a walking boot. That also takes some sizzle out of the return game which is a shame. This leaves just Marcus Sherels who has been pretty underwhelming. The Dolphins needed that electricity that Grant brings so this one hurts. The Eagles have a physical defense that will challenge the Dolphins next week. The Eagles are a top 10 defense in some categories, such as yards per game at 323. They are midpack giving up an average of 23 points. Their biggest problem is they’re only scoring about 23 PPG, so that’s why they sit under .500. Two seasons ago when Carson Wentz was healthy they were scoring over 28 PPG.
As far as the future this season, things I’d like to see. I love what Fitz has done this season, he’s been a class guy and brings passion and effort each and every game. At some point though, I want to see Josh Rosen again. It could be in 2 or 3 games from now, but I want to see it. I want to see some passion, some fight from him. Does he really want to start, does he want to be the future of this team, or is he content holding the clipboard and collecting paychecks? This is what I’d like to find out. I’d like Flores to talk with Rosen and tell him that’s the plan, but unless he chomps at the bit and shows it he will be holding that effing clipboard or worse get traded again or cut. I know many of you have written Rosen off but I’m not doing that quite yet. He has talent, I want to see him use it. I want him to work his ass off learning the offense and studying how to read defenses and identify what he sees on the field. This is my hope going forward for him. I think it’s clear that mythical pass rusher we’re looking for is not on the roster, but it would be nice for someone to show a little something going into next season.