Sunday, October 6, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Miami Dolphins
By James Walker
MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the Miami Dolphins' 26-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens:
What it means: After a 3-0 start, the Dolphins are stumbling into the bye week with a 3-2 record. Miami had a brutal schedule to start the season, and this probably would have been fine by most Miami fans at the start of the season. But Miami raised expectations after its fast start, and now the perception is the team is struggling. A few big plays at the end gave Miami a chance, but rookie Caleb Sturgis missed a 57-yard field goal at the end.
Stock watch: Ryan Tannehill's stock is back up after a horrible Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints. Tannehill bounced back from a four-turnover performance in New Orleans and had a much better game Sunday. Tannehill threw for 307 yards, one touchdown and had zero turnovers. He also nearly led a game-tying drive at the end but took a big sack.
As far as stock down, Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman had another questionable week of play calling. He made another poor third-and-1 call on the opening drive that was reminiscent of a call from last week's loss to the Saints. Despite heavy criticism last week, Sherman ran outside for no gain and was forced to punt for the second week in a row. The Dolphins also called a timeout before the play. The run-pass ratio was also drastically out of whack for such a close and competitive game. Miami's offensive line also allowed six sacks, which ups the Dolphins' total to 24 sacks allowed this year.
Injury updates: Miami Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake returned to the lineup Sunday, but it was brief and he was mostly ineffective. Wake, who has a sprained knee, played in the first quarter only and didn't register a tackle. He will get two days to rest. Dolphins starting linebacker Dannell Ellerbe also injured his shoulder in the second quarter and didn't return. Cornerback Nolan Carroll injured his ribs in the third quarter and didn't return.
What's next: The Dolphins get a much-needed bye in Week 6. After a 3-2 start, it's time for Miami to re-evaluate the team, improve and get healthy. The Dolphins will host the Buffalo Bills (2-3) in a big AFC East battle in Week 7.