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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
The 1-2 Miami Dolphins, coming off a highly embarrassing 41-14 loss in South Florida to Buffalo, travel to England to take on division rival, the 2-1 New York Jets in a 9:30 AM kickoff on CBS. The Jets are coming off of their first loss of the year, a 24-17 loss in New Jersey to Philadelphia. The Dolphins needs this game to save their season, and the coaches needs this game to save their jobs. There is a lot of buzz that changes COULD be coming in Miami if the Dolphins were to lose this game.
Let's take a look and see how these teams matchup.
Miami comes into the game offensively generating 344.3 yards per game, which ranks 19th in the NFL. Miami is generating 271.7 yards per game passing, which ranks 8th, and are 28th in the run game, generating only 72.7 yards per game. The Dolphins are scoring only 17.0 points a game, which ranks 27th in the NFL. They face a stellar defense in the Jets, who come in ranked 4th in total defense, giving up 298.3 yards per game. The Jets are givng up 191.7 yards in the pass game, which ranks 4th, and are giving up 106.7 yards in the run game, which comes in at 17th in the NFL. They are the top ranked scoring defense in the NFL, giving up 13.7 points per game.
Once again, the Dolphins will go into the game without starting OLT Branden Albert, who is still dealing with a hamstring injury. This is not good news for a unit that continues to struggle, especially the 2 offensive guards. Somehow, the Dolphins will need to perform better on the offensive line if this offense is going to have any chance for success. QB Ryan Tannehill is coming off a 3 interception game, but one pick was on pass that Jarvis Landry had and popped up in the air for a pick, while the other came on a blitz in which Tannehill got hit. Unfortunately, that turned into a pick 6. RB Lamar Miller has only 105 yards in 3 games, and I expect to see more of Jonas Gray in the game Sunday. That said, OC Bill Lazor has done an very poor job of even attempting to get the run game going. Remember, the Dolphins ranked in the top 12 in the NFL in the run game last year. WR Rishad Matthews has been a big surprise and has played well for Miami. Jarvis Landry has played well, but Greg Jennings had a couple of big drops in the game last week. I think we could see a lot more of Devante Parker in this game. TE Jordan Cameron is a game time decision I believe. The Dolphins need him, as they face a very stout Jets defense. Would be nice to go down the field vertically every once in a while to.
The Dolphins come into the game defensively ranking 26th in total defense giving up 391.0 yards per game. Miami is giving up 246.0 yards per game in the passing game, which ranks 19th, and are giving up 145.0 yards per game in the run game, which ranks a disappointing 31st in the NFL. Miami is giving up 24.7 points a game, which ranks 19th. They face a Jets offense that ranks 21st in total offense generating 333.3 yards per game. The Jets rank 19th in passing offense at 232.7 yards per game, while ranking 20th in rushing yardage with 100.7 yards per game The Jets are scoring 22.7 points per game, which ranks 17th.
If there has been any unit more disappointing in the NFL, I would like to see it. Many thought the Dolphins would have one of the better defensive units in the NFL, and one of the most dominant DL, yours truly included. Well, this defense has not been not remotely close to being one of the best units, just the opposite. It's easy and convient for people to say Ndamakong Suh has not played well and not been a factor, but this is not true. He is coming off a 4 tackle, 2 for loss game agains the Bills last week. Where are the guys playing on the DL around Suh, Mitchell, and especially DE's Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon. Those 2 have been MIA, and the Dolphins desperately needs those 2 players to return to form. The defensive line along with the struggling linebacker unit will have to play well this week, as you can bet the Jets will look to go after the Dolphins with the run game. The secondary, and especially CB Brice McCain REALLY struggled last week and was eventually replace by Jamar Taylor, who will be the starter on Sunday. Also struggling in the secondary were the safaties opposite of Reshad Jones. Both Michael Thomas and Walt Aikens had bad days last Sunday, from missing tackles to being out of position in pass coverage. This unit has to play better, from stopping the run to generating pass rush from the frount four and linebackers, to tackling better and tighter, better coverage in the secondary.
Last, but not least, special teams for Miami needs to be solid. There are 3 phases to a game, Offense, Defense & Special Teams. PK Andrew Franks is 3-4 on field goals and 4-5 on extra points. P Matt Darr is averaging 50.1 on punts, but more importantly, has a net average of 42.9. He also has placed 4 inside the 20.
No need to really say to much more about this game. I think my subject line says it all. Season on the Brink says it all.
If there is any truth to the "unnamed sources", then all I have to say that this is 4 games too late. The front office does not give us blog writers and fans enough credit - this was what we were predicting at the end of last season if we continued down the same coaching path. Sure, when Tannenbaum and Hickey brought in some shiny toys in the liks of DT Ndamukong Suh, WR DeVante Parker, TE Jordan Cameron, WR Kenny Stills, WR Greg Jennings, DT Jordan Phillips, and RB Jay Ajayi, we all thought that even HC Joe Philben and DC Kevin Coyle couldn't bugger it up. Wrong on all counts.
Ross, we fans just cannot take seeing free agent talent seriously underachieving when they come to Miami, and those that leave playing better than they ever did on our team. NFL.COM reported this ...
The Miami Dolphins are considering shaking up their coaching staff if the team loses to the New York Jets this weekend in London, multiple sources have confirmed to NFL Media. "If the team loses three in a row, don't be shocked if someone on that coaching staff gets fired," one well-placed source said. "(Ross) is a remarkably loyal person," said one source who knows the Dolphins' owner. "But I don't think that loyalty is limitless."
LAZOR IS PART OF THE PROBLEM
I know, I know. He was our future head coach in the waiting. After all, he sat under Joe Gibbs, Mike Holmgren, and Chip Kelly before coming to Miami. All of his former head coaches praised him and we expected a lot from him. So much that we gave him a pass even when he dialed up a pass heavy game plan when the offensive line had serious holes.
Perhaps some of Lazor's problems is the lack of protection that Tannehill is getting. I'll show a stat on that a little later.
I am sure that you've heard of Ian Wharton. In fact, I'll let Ian Wharton show you in pictures as that is the best way that I learn as well.
Why? "If the defense stands in the exact spot they line up, they are STILL in position to defend ALL of these routes."
I know, it is disappointing. Perhaps these plays were designed for the red zone and Lazor used them because of the poor pass protection. Or maybe he is just in over his head.
DOLPHINS HAVE INVESTED A LOT IN THE TRENCHES
Do you know how much the Dolphins have invested in their offensive line? They have three first round picks along that line: LT Branden Albert, C Mike Pouncey, and RT Juwa'an James. Pouncey and James were first round picks with Pouncey being an All Pro center and James in the second year. James' growth was set back last year when the Dolphins moved him from RT to LT as a rookie due to Branden Albert's season ending injury. This year, Albert is working his way back in the line up, but too quickly for his body to handle as we are seeing nagging injuries. His replacement, Jason Fox has performed just as well as our guards ... poorly.
How bad are our guards? Both starting guards are rated in the bottom 5 of the league according to Pro Football Focus.
What about our defensive line? According to the experts, Suh is having a very good year and ranks as the #5 DT in the NFL. He is working in a new scheme where they are expecting him to play in the 2 gap, and this has people scratching their heads because that is usually a 3-4 defensive alignment when you only have 3 defensive linemen. You will not see a lot of penetration by Suh in that type of scheme. He should be opening things up for Cam Wake and Olivia Vernon, and that isn't happening because they are playing poorly this year. Wake has not played at 100% this year, and Vernon has played worst each year under Coyle's system. It is a contract year for him, so, you know he wants to ball out there.
Here are a couple of stats from PFF on the condition of our lines.
Well, that's all I have. Win or lose next week, I should have something more positive to write about. It isn't easy to write a blog when your passion is playing like they don't care. You know a coach is on the way out when players start to stick up for him when talking to the media, but their performance on the field is lacks the support.
And how do you like our home game being played in England? Why didn't the Jets give up a home game instead? Then again, if we play at home as we did in Buffalo then it is good we aren't playhing there. It's a total disrespect to us fans to have to watch a game like that. I can take losing if we play with a lot of passion and put our best on the field as I would be proud of our effort. I am totally ashamed at our performance with the Bills.
Oh, and this is our team, not Ross' team. Owners and coaches come and go, but we fans really own this team with our support and finances. Listen to this fan and fire Philben and Coyle and allow a temporary coach who coaches with passion take over the team during the bye. Our coach will most definitely have to come from the outside.
Also, can Miko Grimes just go away? And take Omar Kelly with you.
It’s the smell of a putrid defense rotting in the Florida Sunshine. While everyone has an opinion on how to fix it… I strangely do not. In order for the defense to be this bad, it has to be the scheme. I’ve heard everything from blown assignments to penalties to poor tackling. Let me say this: If your scheme has one guy making the tackle.. the offense will start winning those battles. When I coached young players we had one motto “Swarm to the football”. Coyles defense usually has defenders arriving late on the scene (out of position due to the scheme) then missing the tackle because they’re not in a good position. So , my fix is to fire the DC however I need to expand on that. Coyles defense was ranked fairly high through 10 games last year. When injuries hit the LB and DL, it dropped significantly. Very simply put, his defense is so complex the players coming in were not playing, they were thinking. Philbin decided to tell his DC to “simplify” his defense obviously to make it easier for subs to come in and play at a higher level. This entire process has failed miserably. The defense is so simple now that the opposing offenses obviously can pick it apart. We’re not talking the likes of a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers here either. We’re talking Kirk Cousins, Blake Bortles and Tyrod Taylor…. Hardly all pros. So ultimately, Philbin has to take responsibility here for the failure.
If the defense wasn’t so bad, the OL would be again the subject of a good blistering. The interior line is a joke. I’m not even sure the OL coach in Miami has been called out but he should be. I have to ask myself the same questions. I’ve got an all-pro center, pretty decent LT and RT, yet the guards are as putrid as they come. It really doesn’t matter who they plug in it doesn’t get any better. I’m beginning to suspect scheme here. It is supposedly a zone blocking scheme. I’m not seeing that. I’m seeing one guy after the next getting pancaked into the backfield. Again, I have no choice but to think this is due to a poor coaching philosophy which again lies right at the feet of Joe Philbin.
Finally, I see a ton of panic. People are upset. Last year when they dropped to 1-2 against KC at home I called for calm. Although I’m going to take the same approach here, I don’t have the same confidence that the ship will be righted this week. The Jets are 2-1 and playing good, hard football. Miami is 1-2 and playing about as poorly as I’ve seen the team play. I have zero confidence they can win this game. Here’s the reason: Miami sucks against small ball. They can’t stop the quick pass. The QB takes a 3 step drop, throws a practice out or in to his WR or TE and viola! We have a 7-10 yard gain that turns into a 10-20yd gain later when tackles are being missed. Miami’s interior line is being cut block, lanes created, no one gets their hands up, CBs are 12 yards off the WR … it is simply small ball, pitch and catch. They’ve had 3 weeks to try and solve it… they haven’t changed a thing. They keep expecting the players to play better. Well, if they don’t make changes this week to their approach defensively.. the Jets will roll to an early 10-20 point lead and their defense will eat up the interior of our OL trying in vain to pass block. It is the same story… because nothing changes. Getting better doesn’t just mean tackling better…. It also means changing up the scheme to stop it. I’m not holding my breath.