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The Good

We have to start with rookie QB, Tua Togavailoa. In his second start, Tua looked like a different player from his first start. He showcased an entire repertoire of throws, hitting the deep ball, outside throws, throws on the run and fades. He completed passes to 7 different receivers. His ball placement was insane. He also showed us his mobility, turning plays that looked doomed into runs for first downs. In one sequence, Tua evaded at least 5 pass rushers on his way to a 17-yard gain. Overall, Tua showed glimpses of the ability that made him a top-5 pick. And he did so in his second game. I don't think any of the QBs that have started a game for the Dolphins since Dan Marino retired have shown this type of ability. Not a single one.

Jason Sanders is on fire. Hitting a longshot 56-yarder and hitting the game winner. 20 straight field goals made, a Dolphins record. What a find for the Dolphins.

The Bad

The running continues to struggle. If not for Tua's runs, the Dolphins have 56 yards on the ground. The lone bright spot was Salvon Ahmen, who gained 38 yards at a 5.4 ypc clip. Hopefully we see more of him as he seemed quick and decisive when taking the hand-off.

The Ugly

The defense started off the game with another strip sack TD. After that, they struggled to contain Kyler Murray, both in the passing game and running the ball. The cornerbacks in particular struggled mightily. Byron Jones got burned for a deep touchdown. Xavien Howard picked up a pass interference call every other minute. For that zero blitz to work, the cornerbacks have to be on point 100% of the time. These guys were not even close.

Overall

The Dolphins continue to show resiliency. The defense struggles all game but makes a stop when needed. The offense rallies around Tua to make plays for him when they are needed more. Special teams continue to be special. It may not look pretty on the stat sheet all the time, but the final word goes to the scoreboard. What a turnaround from the Adam Gase days, when this team would simply wilt under pressure time and again.

Now the schedule begins to lighten up a bit. The Dolphins could conceivably win the next four games considering the competition is a combined 7-24-1. Additionally, we will get to see Tua go up against the other first round QBs, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. Hopefully, the Dolphins don't let up and play down to the competition like they've done in the past.

Rich Rodriguez, Phinfever, Good Bad and Ugly, Miami DolphinsThe Good

Defense and special teams were spectacular, scoring or leading to 21 of the Dolphins 28 points. The zero blitz confounded the Rams. The front 7, pressured Goff all day, deflected his passes and strip sacked him. The Dolphins picked off two passes (one by Christian Wilkins!!), thanks in part to those zero blitzes, which Jared Goff simply had no answer for. Speaking of Goff, I know his numbers look good on paper, but everytime I see this guy play, he does not look like an NFL QB. What is it about him?

Jakeem Grant's 88-yard punt return TD was ridiculous as he literally didn't get a single key block on that play. He simply outran everyone. His 45-yard kick-off return was nice as well.

Who is this Elandon Roberts guy? I know he isn't a big name, but he had some knifing tackles for losses on two running plays where he simply shot the gap and destroyed the RB (and partially destroyed himself on one too). We need more plays like this to become a more consistent run defense!

The Bad

The offense was atrocious. I understand part of it is that the defense and special teams took over the game, but in the second half when they needed to eat up clock, they struggled to get 1st downs. The run game continues to be frustrating. Understand the Rams are a good defense, but 2.2 ypc?

Preston Williams, stop dropping easy catches.

The Ugly

I know this is Tua's first start and everyone wants to look at the positives and grade him on a curve, but I don't see much positive here. He started off with a disastrous fumble. Ok let's chalk that up to first time jitters. Then some fairly inaccurate passes. Again, early game jitters. But those jitters seemed to last the entire game. I would have liked to see him settle down and make some good throws as the game went on, but all he did was dink and dunk and hit some easy passes on rollouts. The only impressive play was the touchdown to DeVante Parker, where he slipped the ball into a very tiny window. But was that pinpoint accuracy or did he get lucky? I really hope we see more out of Tua as the season progresses.

Overall

It is super-exciting to see this team competitive. The defense is actually becoming fearsome. One more tough test awaits the Dolphins next week against the 5-2 Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals can run the ball, which gives the Dolphins defense trouble. The Dolphins can put up points and their defense is solid in preventing opponents from scoring. The Dolphins will need Tua to show more in order to win that game.

Well, you know I have to have my "toys", so, I created some new Wallpapers for your Android, iPhone, and iPad. I'm a little old school but I do embrace the present as well, so, you will see that I have a Wallpaper with the 1974 logo. I'll definitely make more of them for you all. Even though I'm burned out from writing a weekly blog after 20 years of having the Phinfever web site, I do hope you enjoy the wallpapers. I do plan on making more for you all.

 

To download a wallpaper, click the "Downloads" link above, or just click on one of the preview pictures below and it will send you to our Phinfever Download page. Select the wallpaper that you want and it will open a new browser page with the wallpaper that you want to use on your phone or iPad. Save it to your mobile device.

 

Dave

 

   

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