Usually, these posts have sections on each quarter on how both the offense and defense performed, including the players who had the better outings. However,on this post, I wanted to switch things up a bit and include a "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" section with videos on each division...I also did not want to boor you to death with facts about a game that really did not have much excitement past the 1st Quarter. With all that being said, let's take a look at how the Miami Dolphins performed against the young and athletic Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Henne: 0:00-1:50. Defense: 1:50-2:50, Moore: 2:50-3:07
Chad Henne: Henne’s career has had more ups and downs than an elevator; one week he does well, the next week he does badly. Last week against the Carolina Panthers, Henne performed on an elite level going 15-24 for 194 yards. Did that mean he was going have a bad outing in week 3? The stats said "yes," but Henne said "no." #7 had seemingly his best performance of the pre-season going 10-13 for 175 yards (averaging 13.5 YPP) and a Touchdown to Brandon Marshall. What impressed the most was Henne’s leadership in the pocket, calling audibles, getting the ball quickly out of his hands, and most importantly, eyeing the entire field as you see in the video. You may say "it’s only pre-season shut up!" but when you play that well against a young, playoff contenting team like Tampa Bay, you cannot brush Henne’s performance off your shoulder.
Defense: Although they suffered the loss, the Miami defense was able to limit Josh Freeman from having any rhythm at all.
Vontae Davis: Showed the media that he can talk-the–talk as he shutdown every receiver that came his way. Vontae forced Freeman to throw the ball away on a CB blitz and also caught a leaping interception down the left sideline, which unfortunately was called back due to a penalty.
Cameron Wake: Earth-Wake was involved positively in almost every play, whether it was tripping Josh Freeman for a Kevin Burnett sack, deflect passes from behind the QB, or even playing man coverage.
Kevin Burnett: Burnett continues to show Miami why he was the right choice over Channing Crowder as he possesses the ability to play on every down and get to the Quarterback at any given moment. He has taken the role of a leader on the defense along with Karlos Dansby, and so far has given Dolfans no doubt that they have improved on the defensive side of the ball.
Notable Mention: Will Allen sacked the QB in the end zone for a safety, but once again, it was called back due to a penalty.
MOORE TO MOORE: For the past month-or-so we have heard Matt Moore and Marlon Moore connecting on various occasions. Last night in Tampa, these two connected for back-to-back big-gain plays totaling 42 yards. Jared Odrick, after the game, mentioned both Moore’s as being "Brothers from other mothers." Marlon has definitely made a strong enough impact to force Sparano to possibly make a hard choice at the WR spot.
PENALTIES: If you thought the Carolina game was a bad outing penalty-wise, think again. Miami had 11 penalties totaling 75 yards, and a couple of them were costly. Jason Taylor had an illegal contact penalty after a Will Allen sack in the endzone, and Jared Odrick had an offside penalty, which caused Vontae Davis’ interception to not count. Others, like Jared Masrtud, Lousaka Polite, Will Allen, Nate Garner, and Vernon Carey had penalties as well. This is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed; sloppy penalties can prove to be very costly in a regular season game.
O-LINE: At this point, calling the O-Line play "ugly" is a compliment. Only one player had a decent outing on the line, and he is a rookie (Mike Pouncey).
Marc Colombo: Bringing in Colombo looks like it was a mistake (as of now). After re-watching the game, Colombo looks like he has more interest of being off the field than on it. His laziness translates into sacks & run stops. If he wants to keep his job from being stolen by Lyndon Murtha, his work ethic needs to change drastically and he must take advantage of his big body.
Vernon Carey: Moving Carey to G seems to be another mistake (as of now) on the Line. Carey looks quite old and un-athletic when going up against these fast D-Line men. Abused is the more appropriate term to use when it came to Carey on last night’s performance. VC was on the floor more times than he was standing on it. If Sparano truly is the "O-Line Guru" people claim, then I only hope that he is teasing us and has something big up his sleeve.
NOTABLE MENTIONS: Nate Garner and Lyndon Murtha were also heavily "played" upon the Line last night.
WORST OF THE WORST:
JOHN JERRY: Jerry has no business being on this team, let alone the NFL. His constant lack of strength, aggressiveness, and common knowledge has seemed to frustrate every Dolphin fan and reporter out there, including Omar Kelly, who described him as "A big marshmallow." This Marshmallow was destroyed against Tampa Bay, and the worst part about it was the fact that he played against the 3rd Team D at various moments.
RUNNING GAME: Although our O-Line decided to take a vacation last night, that was no excuse for the lack of running efficiency.
Reggie Bush: After his outstanding debut against the Panthers, Reggie Bush looked to carry on his performance into Raymond James Stadium, but he couldn’t have done worse on the ground. Bush found no rhythm at all as he carried the ball 5 times for -1 yards. Hopefully, it was only a fluke.
Daniel Thomas: DT33 had the better of the running back performances, but still performed fairly bad as he carried the ball 7 times for 16 yards,
Larry Johnson: Unfortunately, there were not a lot of Larry Johnson sightings as he only carried the ball twice for 7 yards.
Week 3 is in the books and the Miami Dolphins clearly have a lot of work to do. Tony Sparano must interact with his inner "guru" and somehow figure out a way to get this O-Line in ship shape condition. With 11 penalties, all players must learn from this game and try to perform without mistakes that can prove costly in the long run, and Jeff Nixon (running backs coach) must help these young RB’s find consistency in their rushing attacks. Miami will now come home to face off against their player-manufacturers, the Dallas Cowboys, in what looks to be a great test for this Defense, and an even greater test for those who want to make the 53.
(p.s: sorry for my amateurish video recording)