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The Good

The Dolphins had some success running the ball against a very good defensive front. 116 yards, 4.6 ypc and 1 TD between Drake and Gore, who both were effective in making cuts and going downhill on their runs.

Devante Parker shut the critics up a bit, catching 6 passes for 134 yards.

The Bad

This defense is atrocious and wholesale changes are needed fast. In my opinion, they are needed at coordinator. When wide receivers are running completely wide open due to a busted coverage time and time again, it's either the scheme or the way the players are being told to implement that scheme. Or it is poor communication. It is not talent. When linebackers are consistently letting scrub tight ends get open behind them for touchdowns or big plays because they are out of position, it is not talent. When the defensive line is consistently getting penetration against the run but a linebacker is hardly ever there to clean it up, it is not talent. It is making sure players understand their assignment and then holding them accountable to executing that. It is communication. The Detroit Lions were overloading one side to run the ball and the Dolphins couldn't stop it. The Texans duplicated that and the Dolphins still were not prepared for it. This is not one player, this is not talent. It is a systemic issue. And that all goes back to Matt Burke.

For years, Ryan Tannehill was criticized for playing in a 20-yard box. Well Brock Osweiler is playing in a 10-yard box. Hey, he does well at getting the ball out quickly and hitting guys less than 10 yards downfield. But the minute he has to look downfield, it just looks bad. What should be rudimentary 15-20 yard throws for an NFL quarterback seem like a challenge for Osweiler. I guess we're seeing why he's a journeyman. He's capable of leading the huddle and moving the chains, but he's not capable of consistently hitting open receivers downfield. Between Tannehill's inconsistency and injuries and Osweiler's back-up level quality of play, it's clear the Dolphins need to start planning for a major QB acquisition this offseason.

The Ugly

It is concerning that the defense is getting worse each week. It is concerning that teams are doing the same things to us every week and we're not adjusting. It is concerning that even when we're able to run the ball effectively, we call 40 pass plays to 25 runs. We simply don't have the offensive line and quarterback (and now half our receivers are injured) to go pass happy. This team is just not playing smart football. Smart football is about recognizing the situation and making a decision based on that. This team seems inept at doing so. Perfect example, going for the onside kick in the third quarter. I get it, the defense is blowing chunks. But going for a low percentage play that will most likely put your defense in bad field position is not the way to remedy the situation.

Overall

It looks like this season is becoming another downward spiral for the Dolphins. A team that cannot stop the run, cannot properly run pass coverage schemes and can't muster a consistent offense is simply not going to be a winning football team. The defensive scheme needs to be overhauled quickly. At least if the defense can keep us in the game, with this offense we have a chance. But when the offense is inconsistent and the defense continues to be this bad, you may as well turn the TV off.

Next Game

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

 

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