Quarter-mark report card: Dolphins

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
4:00
PM ET
The Miami Dolphins are in last place in the AFC East at 1-3.

Here is the quarter-mark report card for Miami:

Offense: B

The Dolphins are No. 9 in total offense and getting a lot out of their limited resources. Miami’s passing game and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill finally exploded in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins hope that is a sign of things to come. Miami’s running game has been consistent throughout. Running back Reggie Bush continues to prove he can be an every-down back.

Defense: B

The front seven is terrific. The back four? Not so much. Miami’s run defense is No. 1 in the NFL. Defensive tackles Randy Starks and Paul Soliai have been tremendous in stuffing opponents at the line of scrimmage. Linebackers Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett and Koa Misi have been good flying around to the football. The secondary has struggled, but corner Sean Smith is making good strides in his fourth season.

Special Teams: C-

Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter has three big misses that have cost Miami games. Punter Brandon Fields continues to be one of the most underrated players in the division. Marcus Thigpen and Davone Bess are a solid tandem returning kicks.

Overall: C+

I want to give the Dolphins a higher grade, because they really are playing hard. But wins and losses matter in this league and the Dolphins are 1-3 and in last place in the AFC East. Miami is two overtimes away from being 3-1, but no one cares about that at the end of the year. The Dolphins are in a hole they will try to climb out of.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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