Dolphins 7 (1-3)
Bengals 22 (2-2)
I made it my duty to write my findings from each game regardless of the outcome. Perhaps this is why a lot of media members aren’t actually fans of the team they cover. Adding emotion into this gig makes it much more difficult to be objective and honest in your assessment.
I tend to think I’m not TOO much of a homer as I’m capable of identifying the many holes on this roster. But it doesn’t make re-examining a game where the Dolphins pushed the ball into field goal range just one time very difficult.
Despite the struggle, I have done the dirty work and can safely report back to you, the readers I appreciate so much. Even if this piece sounds like it was written in a dimly lit room with Dashboard Confessional coursing through the maxed out speakers.
Let’s spend a minute talking about the state of this franchise. There’s turmoil between management and the coaching staff. The quarterback is taking an absolute beating on every social media avenue. The team has the same record it did last year when Joe Philbin was dismissed and the new coach is under siege for making an unimaginative offense look even worse.
This is normally when we start looking ahead to the draft as Dolphins fans are feeling the season has already been lost. Telling you that this team was SUPPOSED to go 1-3 with those impossibly difficult road tasks on the early schedule won’t ease the sting.
The Titans game is 10 days away and there is some serious shuffling that needs to happen. I agreed with the Tony Lippett in for Byron Maxwell move, he played pretty well given the circumstances. But I’m inclined to reshuffle the deck on the entire offensive line.
There’s talent in this group, but the same problems persist. Any time a combination block is assigned, there is complete dysfunction and lack of continuity. Stunts and delayed blitzes have been resulting in hits on the quarterback through four games nearly every time. The way some of these guys are setting up in pass protection (Ja’Wuan James) reminds me of the first time Happy Gilmore gripped a golf club. I feel like Will Sasso chuckling, “look where he’s standing.”
Laremy Tunsil is the best lineman on this team and best suited to play left tackle. Branden Albert didn’t want to change positions when asked about it this off-season – well tough titties, my massive friend. He played guard at Virginia and would help this team more on the inside. Mike Pouncey needs to get healthy and they need to consider an alternative for James at right tackle because it’s not working out there.
He played right tackle his entire four year career at Tennessee so I don’t know if he can kick inside, but if he can’t, the next option is a backup role.
How many times was the pass rush already getting home while the receivers backs were to the quarterback? I need to see the coaches film to assign proper blame but the receivers struggled to get open regardless of if it was a function of play design or poor route running.
He played like shit – point blank. The interception was some Chad Henne looking bullshit, his pocket presence is reverting back to rookie year Ryan Tannehill and he’s still late on reads. You know my feelings about this guy. He has flashes of brilliance where I want to call him a top 10 quarterback but the inconsistencies he displays week to week are really souring.
This running back fiasco was exactly what the team asked for with the off-season resources that were committed to the position. They all look replaceable at this point.
The defense played surprisingly well. Ndamukong Suh is wasting away some Hall of Fame level play on this team. He takes on double teams every play and still impacts the game. Cameron Wake didn’t get the high snap total I was hoping for but the pass rush was consistent all night.
Neville Hewitt missed some tackles but played better than Jelani Jenkins has thus far and should start the rest of the year over the former Florida Gator.
Kiko Alonso had a nice game in run support with a lot of between the tackles runs heading directly for him.
Tony Lippett challenged some underneath routes like I haven’t seen Byron Maxwell do and that needs to be a permanent lineup change for the rest of the year. Maxwell won’t be here long term, Lippett has a chance to be – easy decision.
I really like Xavien Howard but sometimes, in this league, there’s nothing you can do against a top level wide receiver like AJ Green. I love Jarvis Landry, but let’s stop kidding ourselves into thinking he’s an elite receiver. AJ Green is an elite receiver.
I’m also a Seattle Mariners fan and have seen what a superstar on a bad team looks like with Felix Hernandez. Reshad Jones is of the same ilk. He is so fucking good, I don’t need to go any more into it. Harrison Smith, Malcom Jenkins, Earl Thomas, all great players – but Jones is better than all of them.
I could sit here and tell you that we have four consecutive home games coming up with three of those opponents playing pretty close to as bad as we are. Will that make you feel better? Should Dan Campbell come in and run some more Oklahoma drills to get us two wins and inspire hope?
I don’t know. I’m as lost with this team as I ever have been.
Part of me wants to look at a first round quarterback. At least it’s a massive change and something different to look at. After going into nearly every season not sure who’s going to play quarterback, I sincerely enjoyed knowing that Tannehill would be out there every Sunday for five straight years.
As he said himself, we’re in a dark place right now and the light at the end of the tunnel is fading quickly.
Deshone Kizer? Deshaun Watson? Brad freaking Kaaya? I am a big fan of the first quarterback listed, but even if we replace Tannehill, who rushes the passer? Who covers on the perimeter? Who is playing any of the three linebacker spots?
If there’s one bright spot about the potential of this season blowing up, it’s allowing us to take the best player available. There are two options for me on that front.
Dalvin Cook and Myles Garrett.
I’d say Garrett is a preferred option because he’s a five star level defensive end that I think, as he is at this moment, could give a lot of NFL tackles problems. Cook is a superb running back with the balance and acceleration of Warrick Dunn but the power and vision of LaDainian Tomlinson. He’s a five star runner, pass catcher and pass protector.
We’re 1-3 with 10 days to get healthy. Even if we expected this record, it doesn’t make it an easier pill to swallow.
Sam and I are going to record a podcast tonight, I believe, and I’ll break the game down more on that outlet. I’ll be back next Thursday with the Titans preview. Until then, I’m going to crawl into my proverbial football fan hole for a few days.
You can follow my infuriating live tweets during game @Travis_Writes
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