So here comes Week 3 already, and it’s a short week for us Dolphins fans. Here we are at 0-2. Game 1 we didn’t really compete. Game 2 we were in it till the last minute, but in both games there was one clear message. This defense just isn’t in sync yet. Flores says it’s communication issues which in many ways is understandable. We all knew so many new faces getting thrown together is a tough situation, especially when you compound that with less practice time, and no preseason games. It’s easy to get frustrated watching them, considering all the money we spent in free agency on the defensive side of the ball, Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, Emannuel Ogbah etc. We didn’t stop in free agency either, with our third pick in the first round of the 2020 draft we selected Auburn DB Noah Igbinoghene. We continued with defense in RD 2 with DL Raekwon Davis from Alabama, and in RD 3 we selected S Brandon Jones from Texas. We continued to fortify the DL with Jason Strowbridge and Curtis Weaver in RD 5, but as we have well documented here, Weaver is gone. In any case, it’s clear we needed to work on the defense, but the early returns are not promising.
It’s funny, these 2 teams at this moment in time are 2 teams that are quite different as far as outlooks are concerned. Everyone was sure the Jaguars were looking to draft Trevor Lawrence in 2021 and threw in the towel. Now, in some ways they’re the talk of the town as a high-flying exciting team. They’re 1-1 and are +4 in points scored/points allowed. The Dolphins are 0-2 and are -13. Gone are Yannick Ngakoue and Leonard Fournette and yet this team has the arrow pointing up. Our Dolphins? This game will say a lot in that regard. After a tough loss to the Bills in which this team competed well, the arrow is slightly up, but a loss to the Jags and an 0-3 record will change that. Hard to say game 3 is a pivotal game because it’s still early, but a loss tonight, especially a bad loss could be bad for this team.
Byron Jones is apparently playing, but of course, how long and how effective he is we have no idea. I’d bet Iggy Mahogany is getting lots of reps outside to be ready. Not sure how correct Ourlads depth chart is but it shows 3rd RD draft pick Brandon Jones at SS with Bobby Mac at FS. I guess Jones is going to get his shot. I thought our depth and our strength was our secondary. Byron Jones, Xavien Howard and Noah Igbinoghne. Bobby Mac at safety again with Eric Rowe, and then all those guys as depth like Brandon Jones, Clayton Fejedelem and Kavon Frazier. So far, we haven’t been able to find the right mix, and our lack of offense has made it tougher on the defense.
As far as the offense is concerned, it’s been odd so far. We picked up Jordan Howard and in the draft when we were all getting quite upset at the fact that we ignored the RB position, the trade for Matt Breida soothed us. Well, after 2 games, Howard and Breida have 25 carries combined and Breida has 2 receptions. It’s been last year’s 7th RD pick that has received more playing time and nearly double the touches of either Howard or Breida. He’s done well in that role, and that’s the important thing. I’d rather a coach play the guy that gets it done over the guy who cost more or was drafted higher, but it’s surprising nonetheless.
What’s been great so far is watching the rise of TE Mike Gesicki. He really came on towards the middle of last season and this season has continued that rise. After 2 games this season Gesicki has 11 receptions for 160 yards and 1 TD. WR Isaiah Ford is getting it done as well, and unfortunately, the nagging injuries have once again found Devante Parker. He’s in the lineup so give him that, but he’s hampered for sure. Preston Williams has the shine dull a bit as he hasn’t been a big part of the offense at all, but he is coming back from and ACL tear. Jakeem Grant hasn’t really been involved and Lynn Bowden has yet to be active, something that will continue for a while until he’s learned enough to hit the field.
Have you noticed that I’m 6 paragraphs in and I HAVEN’T MENTIONED THE O-LINE? It’s amazing, but this is one unit that is moving in the right direction. It’s a pleasure not to feel the need to ridicule this unit, and although they aren’t a top unit, they aren’t keeping the team from accomplishing what they want on offense. Thankfully, holding calls aren’t being called like they have in previous seasons, they’re letting it go somewhat to keep the game flowing, and I’m enjoying it. Austin Jackson, Ereck Flowers, Ted Karras, Solomon Kindley and Jesse Davis. All of them have played every snap to their credit. Pretty impressive I’d say. You have to be pleased knowing they aren’t the problem. I said it, the O-line isn’t a problem. Feels good.
So is it really Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Garner Minshew? Hardly. James Robinson (undrafted) has been a big part of the offense, and Gardenr Minshew has played well throwing 6 TD’s with only 2 INT’s. Fitz has 2 TD’s and 3 INT’s but one of those INT’s was the garbage no-call PI at the end of the game by the Patriots. Still, Minshew is putting points on the board and not turning it over. I don’t really know what to expect tonight, will it be a shootout or a conservative close to the vest affair? Will we see more of Jordan Howard, or will Myles Gaskin be the bellcow? Will DeVante Parker be a factor? Will the defense make its presence felt? Stay tuned, tonight at 8:20PM on NFLN or your local channel affiliate. Enjoy!