Saturday, August 10, 2013
What to watch revisited: Dolphins
By James Walker
Entering Friday night’s preseason game against Jacksonville, I provided three key things to watch for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins won the game, 27-3.
Let’s take a look back at the exhibition game and how Miami performed in key areas.
1. Offense-line play: This has been the biggest issue for the Dolphins in training camp. There were some issues early, but the pass protection improved as the game went on. Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill got sacked on the first drive because of a miscommunication between center Mike Pouncey and right guard Josh Samuda. There were several other plays that broke down and forced Tannehill to scramble, but some of that was due to Tannehill holding the ball too long. The fourth drive had sterling blocking for the run and passing game, which led to an 80-yard touchdown drive.
2. Ryan Tannehill: Miami’s 2012 first-round pick had a shaky start to the preseason against Dallas. But Tannehill bounced back with a better outing against Jacksonville. He finished 5-of-9 passing for 75 yards and a touchdown throw to starting tight end Dustin Keller. The final drive was key for Tannehill; he completed three passes for 52 yards. His strong finish will at least quell some concerns for another week.
3. Tackling on defense: I was curious to see whether Miami’s poor tackling last weekend against the Cowboys was a one-game issue or a growing trend. It turns out Miami’s defense put those concerns to rest. The Dolphins’ starting defense played fast and flew to the football. Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert (19 yards, one interception) couldn’t get anything done against Miami’s defense. The second team and other backups also did a good job to preserve the lead and keep Jacksonville out of the end zone.