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Rich Rodriguez, phinfeverThe Good

 

Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake provided a nice 1-2 punch for the Dolphins, totalling 109 yards on the ground. Gore in particular looked spry for a 35 year old running back.

Kenny Stills had a monster game with 4 catches for 106 yards and 2 TDs including a beautiful 75-yard bomb from Ryan Tannehill.

The Dolphins defense was stouter than expected, controlling the line of scrimmage in the first half and causing three turnovers, two of them by Reshad Jones.

Jakeem Grant had a beautiful 102 yard kick off return for a touchdown that seemed to change the tone of the game.

The offensive line was a nice surprise, paving the way for 120 yards and helping provide good protection for Tannehill throughout the game. The only sack allowed came on a safety blitz and looked like a lack of pre-snap recognition by Tannehill than any poor play by the line. If this is the solid type of play we can expect this season from the line, there is no reason why this offense cannot get on a roll as the season develops.

 

The Bad

 

The Dolphins linebackers still cannot cover tight ends. The Titans had some success passing down the middle of the field. Their tight ends totalled 6 catches for 89 yards.

 

The Ugly

 

Ryan Tannehill started off playing well. At one point, he was 11 of 13 and had one touchdown. Then the uneven play started. He threw a poor ball to Mike Gesicki that was intercepted in the end zone. It looked like it would have been a fade pattern to Gesicki on a much shorter defender (Malcolm Butler is 5'11, Mike Gesicki is 6'6). But it is difficult to use that height when the pass is low and behind. His second interception looked like a miscommunication. His 75-yard bomb to Stills, however, was right on the money and for the most part he was accurate and made good decisions throughout the game. But that first interception was a glaring mistake.

The weather caused the longest game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. It probably caused a lot of players to come back into the game cold after being warmed up. It certainly seemed to hurt the defenses and the tackling in the 2nd half. The game lasted a total of 7 hours 10 minutes.

 

Overall

 

A win is a win. And the Dolphins showed some good signs against the Titans. They were able to prevent chunk plays in the running game for the most part, a huge question mark since the departure of Ndamukong Suh. The offensive line was able to hold up in both run and pass blocking, a welcome surprise. The running backs and receivers were productive. Tannehill showed very few signs of rust. Three interceptions for a team that had 9 total interceptions in 2017. A lot of signs in the positive direction after one game. Will it continue against the Jets?

Next Game

Next Game - Dolphins at Vikings, 12/16 @ 1 pm on CBS.

 

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