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          We Dolphins Fans are drinking the Kool-aid of a close game against Seattle to help us get through the week. Let's hope Seattle wasn't looking past Miami as an early bye week. In any case, we won’t know the truth on whether Miami is that bad on offense, good on defense, or somewhere in between until about game 4. The defense, if I were to make a guess, is the real deal. They held the #4 offense in the NFL last year to 12 points. The sad reality is they squandered a great opportunity to shock the NFL on Sunday and it really was a game in which they found new, and old, ways to lose.

           As I watched Ryan Tannehill on Sunday I saw the same guy I’ve seen for the last 2 years.; Someone who is afraid to throw the ball to anyone not wide open.  Then I watch young guys like Garoppolo and Wentz come out like gunslingers and just throw with confidence….even when the pocket breaks down and their WR is in tight Coverage. Wentz lobbed 2 TDs on Sunday that I don’t think I’ve ever seen RT throw. They were great touch passes over the top in tight coverage. The two stories are very telling. On the one hand you have a converted WR with a somewhat, telegraphed, slow delivery trying to make it as a QB. His biggest fault:  hanging onto the football too long in the face of obvious pressure. He also lacks pocket awareness which is related to the first part. When pressure starts to come, most QBs “feel “ it and either bail, throw it, or slide in the pocket to buy time. RT just sits there and takes the sack. I guess to summarize it: He is afraid to fail. He plays so cautious and appears over focused on not turning the ball over that Miami lacks any big plays on offense. The fault is always on the WR or OL. Stills had the obvious drop but in the late 4th he got behind Seattles Secondary again…only to be overthrown by 10yds…an RT hallmark.

        Gase: - I wrote about this in the preseason. Although I praised excellent gameplans by Vance Joseph, I was left hoping that the offense was better than the product being displayed. Now that the season has began, it is more obvious the offense is worse than last year’s group. That isn’t easy to do as last year’s group was 26th overall in production. I was completely underwhelmed by the constant force of the run on early downs in the 2nd half. Miami desperately needed first downs and putting RT in consistent 3rd in longs isn’t the way to get them against a defense licking its chops. Gate’s over use of the read option was very Lazor-like in its approach while his constant run up the middle on first down was very  Sparano-like. In a tight game against a playoff team on the road, you take the FG every time early in the game. A lesson I hope he has learned.  

                Special teams is one third of your team. A missed chip shot FG and simple things like knowing to take a knee when you’re out of TOs on the kickoff in the endzone are little things that make a big difference. Although STs weren’t glaringly bad Sunday, they did make a few mistakes at critical junctures.

 Bill Belichick is a master at stopping the early run by bringing up the safeties. He lives in no fear of Miami’s ability to get the ball downfield. RT can throw it, the WRs can catch it, but rarely do they accomplish that feat together … which is why this weekend will be miserable to watch. You will see Garoppolo moving the ball with short passes. You’ll see RT frustrated by having to pick up 3rd and 6 or longer. BB will then use his created blitzes to make the day tough on RT. You have to run the ball on the Patriots, but if you get stuck on stupid with constant first down rushes, 2nd and 3rd down will be 8 yards or more. 

Here’s the other issue with Miami next weekend. 0-2 is a legitimate threat and will be difficult to overcome. The season is a marathon, but shooting out 0-2 would be like twisting your ankle on the first mile of a 26 mile run. 1-1 will make the fanbase and the team, rest a little easier.

          Finally, I had high hopes this season would bring 10 wins. I’m still hopeful they can accomplish this but the offense needs to get a lot better and the self destruction would need to go away. NE will either cement the offense as a dog, or see it wake up and fulfill its potential

Go Tannehill,

GD2

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