As they do every week of the NFL season, the guys at Pro Football Focus have posted their grades for every player from every game for Week 1 of the 2013 season. That includes the Miami Dolphins' 23-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. So, let's take a look at what the grades say for the Dolphins.
Cameron Wake (+7.8) - Wake was PFF's top rated pass rusher last year, but is slacking off at number two after one season behind the St. Louis Rams' Robert Quinn (+8.2). Seriously, though, Wake once again dominated the game, constantly making his way into the Cleveland backfield. In their Re-Focus article about the game, PFF writes:
"For a moment, it looked like our top-rated 4-3 DE a season ago might start the season slowly when he missed a tackle on fifth offensive play of the game. Unfortunately for the Browns, that moment lasted just a single play as Cameron Wake stood up his blocker to force a cut on the very next play. From then on, whoever Cleveland put in front of him didn't stand a chance. The end tallied four stops in the run along with 10 QB disruptions (three sacks, two hits, and five hurries) in 44 snaps rushing the passer, en route to a monster +7.8 grade on the day."
Paul Soliai (+2.9) - I tweeted this during the game, but, simply put, Soliai is a beast. He had his way with the Browns' offensive line, shoving the center, guard, or center and guard back into the middle of the pocket on multiple plays, and he was a force in both the pass rush and run defense elements of the game. For a player the team seems to take out when the opponents are in passing situations, Soliai played well against the pass rush on the 32 times he attacked Brandon Weeden.
Brian Hartline (+2.7) - Is there any doubt that Hartline deserves to be on this list? He had his second best career receiving yardage day, with both of those coming against Ray Horton defenses. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a 113.4 passer rating when throwing to Hartline.
Tyson Clabo (-4.3) - This one surprised me a little. I have not gone back to watch the film yet, so maybe Clabo did have a performance worthy of a -4.3, with nearly the entire negative score coming from his run blocking. PFF pointed out several times when the Dolphins' right tackle got beaten to the edge, leading to either a tackle for a loss for the defensive end, or forcing the running back to try to cut back inside, where there were no running lanes.
Lamar Miller (-3.0) - No matter how bad Clabo or the rest of the offensive line were on Sunday, averaging just 0.3 yards per carry on 10 attempts is going to give you a negative grade. Add in a bad day pass blocking, and Miller's -3.0 makes sense.
Olivier Vernon (-2.6) - Vernon came away with one quarterback hit and three hurries, but still had a negative grade from PFF on pass rush as well as run defense. On a day which featured the Dolphins dominating the Browns offensive line with a pass rush that resulted in six sacks and 16 quarterback hits, Vernon did not record a tackle and only had the one hit. After a good preseason, Vernon needs to keep up the pressure on the opposing quarterback.
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