Batted down by the Texans

Well, the fantasy upset by the Miami Dolphins over the Houston Texans was clearly not achieved, but there was actually a ray of hope if phins fans looked close enough. This is going to be a long season for the Dolphins, however they will not give up and will improve as the season progresses.

With two minutes to go in the first half, the wheels fell off, and the Dolphins completely, skidded off the path of success, and crashed and burned into halftime. They turned the ball over 3 times in the last 2 minutes, and each mistake led to a touchdown, so a very tight 3-3 game turned into a 24-3 blowout. Ryan Tannehill, must either take a bigger drop back in the pocket or just be more aware of defensive hands in the air, so he can refrain from have his passes batted in the air. This was a problem that both Robo Henne and Matt Moore had, so is there a deeper issue going on here? Not only that but, you can bet your ass that every team that the Dolphins face this year are going to have their defenders throwing their hands in the air as if they were a room full of students eager to answer the teacher’s question. The Dolphins also had the same red zone problems of not being able to punch the ball in for a touchdown. However, I liked that Philbin had the balls to keep going for it on 4th down, because we all know that the fist pumping Sparano would have just kept kicking field goals, and be thrilled to lose 30-16.

Even though the Dolphins lost by 20, and football gambling fans got pounded if they picked them getting the points, the game was a lot closer than the score shows. First of all the Dolphins turned the ball over 4 times, and could not create one turnover of their own. You will never win a game when you commit that many turnovers, and 3 of them lead to 21 points.

The positive spin is that the Dolphins rush defense pretty much stone walled the Texans running attack, which is one of the best in the league, holding them to a 2.4 yards per carry. However, the Dolphins secondary had no answer for Andre Johnson, who lit them up like a flame thrower for 119 yards on 8 catches and a touchdown. Reggie Bush had a very solid game averaging 4.9 yards per rush and contributed 115 all purpose yards. For those football gambling fans that are playing fantasy football, Bush is going to be a stud. I was also impressed with Brian Hartline, who made 3 very nice catches.

The Dolphins are going to be a work in progress this season, and even though the end result may be a loss, the long term result will be a team that will become better. If they can make smart decisions this offseason, they may be back on track. I know this is sad, I am already mentioning “making wise offseason acquisitions.”


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  • Lance

    It’s interesting that aside from the last three minutes of the first half, I didn’t find myself getting overly frustrated with the Dolphins. Yes, I felt hopeless when the offense had the ball inside the 10-yard-line, and yes, our tight-end production is virtually non-existent, but they gave plenty of reason for optimism.

    The batted passes was identified as a problem before the draft, and they need to fix that NOW.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      That is funny you say that, because I was feeling the exact same way, and that has not been a feeling i have had for many years now. I was not constantly cursing them out, they didn’t play that bad. Plus the Texans are no slouch, these guys could arguably be the best team in the AFC. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if we could have got to halftime still knotted at 3.

      Yeah over the years I have not seen any team have more batted passes, has to be fixed immediately, but i think this staff can do it.

      • Lance

        I believe Houston would’ve played a different game had we been tied at halftime, and we still would’ve lost. It’s better to make these mistakes early against a great team so we can learn. I may be naive, but I see the possibility of this team’s potential increasing throughout the season, and though we may only win 5 or 6 games, we might have something special to build off of for next season.

        • Jimmy Bourbon

          Yes i agree to both of your statements, I think we will be a team that will look better by the end of the season, even if our record does not show it

  • phinfreak

    The only schematic complaint I have is that we didnt challenge vertically more, that we over emphasized the quick short pass, which was anticipated by Texans coaches and DL, that we didnt make adjustment to that during the game by rolling, sliding, booting Tanny out, which could have been a difference.

    Sprinkle in a couple pump fakes and double moves by WR’s and we could have had a guy open downfield. What’s scary is that this is HS football type adjustment and it didnt happen in the big ol NFL!

    This week against Da Raidaz….take the under!

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      Yeah we didnt challenge vertically because we don’t have any WR capable of beating CB’s deep. Also one of RT’s strength’s according to the draft guru’s was is ability to throw on the run. So lets utilize it. The Raider game is going to be very ugly, but we can win that game, Palmer is garbage, we have pick him off at least twice, and if we can stop McFadden then we stop the Raiders offense

  • Ireland is a country not a GM

    Thanks for mentioning that Carson Palmer is garbage. The next great QB to come out of USC will be the first. Rodney Peete, Palmer, Matt Leinart, Matt Cassel, Dirty Sanchez. You could say a couple of them have been decent, but far from great. I hope the “Suck for Barkley” people that will eventually come out as this season goes on keep that in mind.

    I was really surprised midway through the 2nd quarter when we led. We were running the ball pretty well and Tannehill looked pretty composed. Even after his three picks, he didn’t seem too rattled. The batted ball thing is definitely fixable. Like you said, the Phins don’t have a deep threat so it makes assessing Tannehill that much tougher. Maybe the Phins can hire Matt Millen just for next year’s draft?

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      Great point about the USC QB’s, the one thing I do like about Barkley is that he has started since he was a freshman, so he has tons of game time experience. That would be a very interesting decision if we were in the position to draft Barkley. Yes I agree we need someone like Matt Millen doing our drafting for us. I was impressed that RT did not allow the mistakes get to him, that is very promising.

  • phinfreak

    RE: “we dont have a deep threat…”

    I disagree….we had one vertical pass caught by Hartline. It is erroneous thinking that you should/could only throw deep if you have a speed burner at WR.

    Not true. Yes, a speed threat improves your ability to hit long pass, and to threaten the D and cause them to respect it.

    But any NFL caliber WR should be able to coordinate w scheme and play design a vertical route (+20 yds). Speed is not the only method to get open on vertical routes.

    There are plenty of WR’s who do not have great straight line speed that can get open AND make the catch downfield, many examples across the league. See TE’s as one example.

    It is a function of proper timing to call that play, down and distance, formation, D looks given, etc, not just speed.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      With us it is a talent issue because as great as Bess is he is not a deep threat. I agree with you about Hartline, he actually is very deceptive and his strength is in the yards per catch department. In his three seasons he has averaged 16.7, 14.3 and 15.7, which is very solid. Maybe you are right and he is our deep threat, more importantly we need someone on the team that is a viable target in the red zone. Thats why I say get Plaxico, but I know that is never going to happen

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