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 Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly) 
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Post Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
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The Good

The Miami Dolphins defense looked like a juggernaut. Granted it was against a Bills offense with limited talent. The Dolphins held the Bills to 166 total yards, 116 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, 9 first downs, 10 points and 3.1 yards per play on offense. Additionally, the Bills were 3 of 14 on 3rd downs (21%). The Bills also only had the ball for 23:07. Free agent acquisition Karlos Dansby had 8 tackles and 1 sack. Cameron Wake and Koa Misi added their first sacks of the season. Other notable contributors were Yeremiah Bell, who also had 8 tackles, Chris Clemons, who was all over the field. He had 6 tackles and a near pick. Jason Allen started at corner back helped hold Dolphin-killer Lee Evans to 4 catches for 34 yards.Mike Nolan's defense was able to bring consistent pressure at Trent Edwards, even when only rushing 3 or 4 men. The blitzes were creative.

On offense, the running game was effective, with the double-headed monster of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Ronnie had 13 carries for 65 yards and 1 TD. Ricky Williams chipped in with 62 yards on 18 carries. Brandon Marshall and Devone Bess did all the heavy lifting in the passing game, catching 8 and 6 passes respectively. The yardage wasn't impressive, with Marshall only getting 53 yards and Bess 51. Anthony Fasano also contributed 3 catches for 46 yards including a great catch down the middle that put the Dolphins on 1st and goal at the 1. The offensive was able to convert 8 out of 18 3rd downs (44%).



The Bad

Tyrone Culver gave up the only significant play of the game by the Bills. It was a 31 yard TD catch by Roscoe Parrish. Culver was supposed to be in a cover 3, but seemed to get sucked in for some reason and let Parrish get by him.

Brian Hartline laid goose eggs across the line. In a game in which Brandon Marshall was getting so much attention, Hartline should have taken advantage, but instead didn't show up in the stat sheet.



The Ugly

Chad Henne had an uneven game. While he did not throw any interceptions, he missed a huge throw to Brandon Marshall and was off on some other passing plays. Clearly, work needs to be done by Henne to tighten some things up. He also needs to get rid of the ball quicker. He had plenty of time all day. All the sacks the Bills got were caused by Henne holding onto the ball too long.

Brandon Fields and Dan Carpenter need to get it together. Carpenter missed a field goal and kicked a kick off out of bounds. But also hit two other field goals and kicked two kick offs into the endzone. Fields had a beautiful punt that landed inside the 1. But he also flatlined a couple of other punts, giving the Bills opportunities to return the kicks.

Some of Dan Henning's playcalling was questionable. Too many runs on first down and when the Dolphins decided to pass on first down, rather than line up and use playaction, they would empty the backfield and let the defense know a pass was coming. The whole point of running the ball effectively is to setup playaction to open up the passing game.

There is no threat of playaction with an empty backfield.

All in all, the Dolphins get out of Buffalo with a win. They are 1-0 for the first time in 6 years.

Next week comes a tough test against the Vikings in Minnesota. Will the offense progress in time to show up against the Vikings?

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Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:54 am
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Nice write up Rich. The Vikings are hurting in the secondary, but the D is going to have to bring it again. This team must find a way to finish teams. Stat wise ,the game wasn't even close.


Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:05 am
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Mak makes a great point in that their secondary is weak and exposed. We need to come out gunning the ball and taking advantage of the situation that we have never had in the past. Running the ball against that front 7 is going to be extremely hard... not saying to bail on it altogether, but developing a solid passing game plan would be the right route for this game.

We all know Favre likes to make some errant throws as well, so having people in position to make plays on defense will be huge. Problem is, he thrives under pressure... if we leave too much open space with all our blitzes he's going to find it and pick us apart.

Going to be a tough game, but we have a chance.


Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:12 am
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
nice write up


Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Henne's performance would've looked better if it Marshall would've made that catch of the underthrown ball to him and Hartline's drop... If we expect to win next week henne's needs to make quicker decisions and the wr's need to make the big plays.


Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:24 pm
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Rich wrote:
The whole point of running the ball effectively is to setup playaction to open up the passing game.


You might want to rethink that "whole point" part here, Rich. One could argue the whole point of running the ball is to pound the D, or to control the clock. The opportunity for the PA is a nice side effect of a good running game, but it isn't the whole point.

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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Nice write up, thanks Rich!

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Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
eleaf wrote:
Rich wrote:
The whole point of running the ball effectively is to setup playaction to open up the passing game.


You might want to rethink that "whole point" part here, Rich. One could argue the whole point of running the ball is to pound the D, or to control the clock. The opportunity for the PA is a nice side effect of a good running game, but it isn't the whole point.



The passing game puts up points. The Dolphins, like any other offense, are looking to score. The Dolphins did use the playaction at times (underthrow to Marshall), I just don't get the point of the empty backfields on short down situations. That is the perfect time for playaction.

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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Ok, so I watched the replay of that game today. While Henne failed to find the open man on most of that second half, he did do a good job in NOT making any dumb mistakes. However, to be a contender in this division, we're going to have to shoot down the field a lot more and give our receivers a chance to make big plays. I was happy to see Fasano get in on the action there though, but dissappointed that Hartline went invisible. I wonder how long it'll take for Moore to beat him out of that spot.


Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:20 pm
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
I just don't get the point of the empty backfields on short down situations. That is the perfect time for playaction.

We don't have to playaction, just having a back in the backfield will keep the LBs peeking. An empty backfield means pass all the way. Fifty percent of running the ball is to set up playaction, sorry Eleaf, Rich is right.


Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:23 pm
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Makchell wrote:
I just don't get the point of the empty backfields on short down situations. That is the perfect time for playaction.


I'm sure Henning will make the right adjustments for next week's match.


Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:28 pm
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
They did the empty backfield a lot last season and it really limited the effectiveness of the passing game. I have to agree that the play action should be their biggest weapon for the passing game. They don't have a high flying receiving corp. Their strength should be intermediate passes with good YAC.

Henne's comfort level has to increase. He got hammered by Sparano after every game where he committed turnovers and it certainly has impacted his game. The endzone interception against Atlanta this preseason only added to it. The drops are also a part of it. If Henne is afraid that every time he throws beyond 10 yards that there is a chance for a bumbled pass which could wind up in the hands of a defender (think Ted Ginn last season), he isn't going to throw it.

The unit as a whole (Henne, Marshall, Hartline, Bess, Fasano) needs to buck up. Like our esteemed posters here, everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax. Once they settle down and focus there should be a vast improvement in points and moving the ball.

I think the o-line will only get better. I'm not going to criticize them as harshly as some are because I do think they opened up some holes for the ground game and bought Henne some time to move the ball.

I still worry about the defense. The secondary is going to have some lapses and give up big plays. Just need to accept it and move on. The front 7 did what they were suppose to do, shut down a bad offense. It won't be as easy against the Vikes or Pats in the next two weeks.


Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:50 am
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Rich wrote:
eleaf wrote:
Rich wrote:
The whole point of running the ball effectively is to setup playaction to open up the passing game.


You might want to rethink that "whole point" part here, Rich. One could argue the whole point of running the ball is to pound the D, or to control the clock. The opportunity for the PA is a nice side effect of a good running game, but it isn't the whole point.



The passing game puts up points. The Dolphins, like any other offense, are looking to score. The Dolphins did use the playaction at times (underthrow to Marshall), I just don't get the point of the empty backfields on short down situations. That is the perfect time for playaction.


I'm with you in theory. The only thing I can imagine is that they are trying to gain a different kind of advantage in the passing game. The PA is nothing if not something which gives a slight advantage to the O (as opposed to some football voodoo which makes defenses collectively crap the bed). A extra step forward for the safeties or LBs is all that is needed to perhaps make a difference between a receiver being open or not. Spreading the RBs out wide creates simply a different kind of advantage: LBs and safeties now have to cover our RBs, both outstanding at pass catching, both faster than most who would cover them, and both with good route running skills. It's a matchup question. Rather than trying to fool the defense, they are trying to create inherent matchup problems.

Neither is really superior (though in some ways I'm inclined to favor the matchup route because Henne needs direly to work on his PA move in order to be more convincing/effective). They are just different ways of creating advantages.

Ideally, a healthy dose of both sorts (and any others that we can think of) belong.

And I still stand by the idea that the whole point of running the ball is decidedly NOT specifically to set up the PA pass.

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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
Also....please offense....let's remember to mix in some screen passes next week?? The Vikings line is very aggressive and I think are more susceptible to screen passes and, to some extent, draw plays. It always seems to me that Miami teams as of late don't run effective screen plays very often, but are often victimized by them.

Also, when watching the Vikings play the Saints, did you see how the Saints' right offensive tackle (iirc) would take an immediate hard move inside to wipe out the Vikings defender lined up in the gap to his left, or over the right guard? That block was very effective and seemed to take advantage of a habit of the defensive lineman to align himself cocked to the inside.....made some huge holes to run through on quick hitting run plays in the second half...might that work again...especially on wildcat plays where we might have the advantage of extra blocking at the point of attack?

I would also love to see us use more play action...Henne just needs to air it out on those plays....trust Marshall to come down with it. If Marshall is drawing extra coverage, there is likely a mismatch somewhere...

Oh well....just hoping to see a little more of an explosive offense next week....but the Vikings have a great "D," so one can't expect too much....but a W would be fantastic and set the tone early for this team. What a momentum builder it would be.

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Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:48 pm
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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
FrustratedFinFan wrote:
....trust Marshall to come down with it.


This is the most important step that Henne needs to take, and hopefully he does it sooner than later. At this point he needs to trust that no matter who is in coverage that Marshall is going to either come down with the ball because of his size and strength advantage, or, at the very least, NOT allow a defender to come down with it.

He has never had a receiver who can find ways to dominate games. He has to learn how to use him by re-defining his idea of what "open" is when Brandon MArshall is his receiver. He will make catches that very few others can.

I say chuck the ball up and trust that Marshall is the man. He will make a play more often than not.

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Post Re: Rich: Dolphins 15, Bills 10 (good, bad, ugly)
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[They are 1-0 for the first time in 6 years.

Wow. I hadn't realized it had been that long. Exclude Saban's thumping of the Broncos in 05 and you'd have to go all the way back to 2002's thumping of the Lions.

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