Totally defeated. That's what the Dolphins were today. And they were defeated in every phase of the game. And honestly, in my wildest dreams, I never thought that Sunday's game could have turned out that bad.
Totally defeated. That's likely how the 2007 Miami Dolphins will be defined in history. Considering the events of today's game, how could anyone possibly think this team could win a football game in 2007? They lost to arguably the 2nd worst football team in the NFL today by 27 points in their own damn stadium. How in the world can they expect to beat any of the teams remaining on their schedule? I don't know. Maybe once I get over this loss later in the week, I'll be able to find some hope for a win this year. But right now, I just don't see it.
One thing many of us were keeping a close eye on in this game was Cam Cameron's play calling. And it was slightly better than previous weeks. Out of 22 1st down plays (it was 23, but Beck took a knee on one), Cam called 17 pass plays. That's certainly much better than past weeks. Now the next step is for those pass plays to be over 10 yards. Even though he called more passes on first down, he was still too conservative and most routes were within a 5 yard box.
But the one play calling decision I really don't understand is the 3 plays Cam called after Joey Porter's interception. 1st down: handoff to Chatman for 5 yards. 2nd down: handoff to Chatman for 3. 3rd down: handoff to Chatman for -1. And then the field goal. That's just terrible. Seriously, that was the one of the worst play calling sequences I've ever seen in the NFL. Most coaches would try to be aggressive after a turnover when you start at the opponent's 33 yard line. Especially at 0-11. What do you got to lose? For Cam, only his job I suppose.
Which brings me to my last point about Cam for now. Already, the people who want to see Cam fired are pointing to this game and asking how any "Cam supporter" could defend him. And that's fair, I guess. It is hard to defend him. But here's one thing I know for sure: Cam Cameron did not lose this game. Was Cam out there on the field missing tackles? Was Cam out there on the field missing blocks? Was Cam out there letting the Jets convert on 3rd and long way too many times? Was he out on the field dropping passes? For anyone to say that this game, as embarrassing as it was, is an example of why Cam should get fired, I'd have to respectfully disagree. If anything, this game is a great example of one team's players not executing and making plays while the other team's players made plays. Of course, with all that said, I am personally getting closer and closer to the "fire Cam" bandwagon. I'm just not sure there will be room for me by the time I decide to hop aboard.
John Beck & the passing game
So we finally got to see our rookie quarterback really look like a rookie out there. I'd be lying if I told you I thought it would happen in this game. If anything, I would have banked on it occuring in one (or both) of his first two starts. Either way, a true rookie making his third career start is certainly allowed one of these games. And to be honest, it all wasn't his fault. The two lost fumbles both occured because of poor blocking or missed assignments. The first looked to be the fault if Chris Liwienski, who decided to take that play off I guess. The second one was because David Martin cannot block. He's useless as a blocker. This isn't the first time I've seen him get burnt trying to block and it sadly won't be the last. And that brings me to another point before we get back to Beck. These tight ends and running backs have got to learn how to pick up a blitz. Future opponents, when game planning for Miami, can clearly see that these guys can't handle a blitz. And they are getting our young quarterback killed. This has got to be adressed by the coaching staff in the coming week. Otherwise Buffalo is just going to blitz the crap out of the Dolphins all game long, and likely get to Beck often. And this provides yet another reason as to how valuable Ronnie Brown was to this offense. The guy, besides being able to run and catch, could also block very well.
Now back to Beck. Two of the three interceptions were simply rookie growing pains and we have to live with. The second interception seemed like a case where John just didn't see Kerry Rhodes to the inside. The final one was basically a desperate quarterback trying to fit a ball into an insanely tight spot, hoping to make a play. Again, a rookie error. The first interception was just bad luck, as it was deflected by a lineman and fell right into the arms of Darrelle Revis.
There were also a couple of plays where there did seem like another receiver was more open than the one John hit. But that's part of the game. A QB has to go through his reads. If he sees that he can complete the pass to his first read, he usually makes that throw. Perhaps there might have been some pre-snap read that he missed which prevented him from recognizing the potential for a bigger play or a more open receiver, but I'm not sure because, after all, I'm not a quarterback.
Despite all the negatives, though, we did continue to see something positive. And that's the willingness of John to stand in the pocket and deliver an accurate pass when he's under fire and knows he's going to take a shot after he releases the ball. We also saw John's arm strength on display on that deep ball that just was a bit too far for Ted Ginn. It sure does look effortless for John when he throws, which is a welcomed site for a quarterback-challenged franchise (since '99) like this one. And he did do a nice job of spreading the ball around. But you know what would be nice? What if some players on this team could make a few damn plays on offense? I counted 6 more dropped passes. That's not a good way to help out your rookie quarterback, you know?
And now we get to see a real good test of a young QBs mental toughness. How is John going to respond following this game? Did the physical pounding he took yesterday going to make him a bit more uncomfortable in the pocket? Are the interceptions going to make him more gun shy? Or is he going to respond by proving just how mentally tough he is and play well in Buffalo? We'll find out in 6 days.
Oh, and one more note. Beck's stats in Pittsburgh in piss poor weather: 14/23, 132. Carson Palmer's stats in Pittsburgh in better weather than Beck had: 17/44, 183. And keep in mind Cincy has much better players around Carson than Miami does around Beck.
So much for all this talk about an improved defense. Sure, the offense wasn't good, either. But the defense, which many people claimed to be "improving" was totally dismantled by a Jets offense that was without their leading receiver and was starting basically a rookie quarterback. and it's not even the points I'm mad about. Many of those were due to the starting field position the Jets had off Miami turnovers. But there's still no excuse for giving up 372 yards of total offense to the Jets. And there's no excuse for allowing the Jets to convert 55% of their 3rd downs, many of them longer than 6 or 7 yards.
It was the same old problems manifesting themselves yet again. They were unable to stop the run, allowing the Jets 163 yards on the ground and over 4 yards per carry. Inability to stop the Jets on third downs. And the inability to f*cking stop Leon Washington!! I can't stand that little f*cker!! I said it in one of my earlier posts, too. The Dolphins had to not let Leon Washington beat them. But on the very first drive, that little douche bag scampers in from 18 yards out. Then later in the game, he gets to put the final nail in the coffin by going in for a 12 yard touchdown. And in between those 2 plays, he had others, such as the 3rd and 12 shovel pass for a first down. I'm disgusted just going back and thinking about him. I hate him. I really do. He might be in my top 5 most hated players list. God do I hate that little sh*t!!
But I've rambled on enough. Just a few quick thoughts left.
This & That
-I love the cornerback blitzes. Will Allen is a perfect guy to do it, too. He's very fast and likes to get physical. I love those aggressive play calls and hope to see more of them in the coming weeks. More often than not, they work absolutely perfectly.
-Joey Porter showed up now for the 3rd week in a row. Could it have anything to do with his knee possibly just getting back to normal now?
-Congrats to Jason Taylor for picking up 2 more sacks. Just 2 more sacks get him into double digits for the 6th time in his career.
-We had multiple Lorenzo Booker sightings. That's very exciting. He's got some good hands and amazing acceleration. Hopefully we see more of him next week.
-The Dolphins have now gone 13 quarters without an offensive touchdown. That's absolutely unacceptable. When will the offense find pay dirt again? Will it be 2007?
That's all for now. As always, your thoughts below...