The MIami Dolphins trail the Carolina Panthers 20-7 at the half. The story of the game so far may be eerily similar to most of last year's game threads - early struggles. The Dolphins seemed to come out with no rhythm or urgency, and fell behind quickly.
While the defense was without key starters Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby, and Kevin Burnett, it was still painful to watch how out of sorts the team seemed to be. There was limited pressure on Cam Newton, and the defense could not stop the run. The highlights of the half on defense, besides the Chris Clemons fumble recovery, may have been plays that did not count.
Sean Smith came down with a great interception, then was called for pass interference. Vontae Davis seemed to get inside Steve Smith's head, with the two of them scuffling on several occasions. Unfortunately, in a scuffle that resulted in Davis losing his shoe and helmet, he got called for the unsportsmen like conduct penalty. Overall, the replacement referees played a bigger role in this game than they should have - and stopped the Dolphins even more than the Panthers did.
The offense struggled early in the game too, but with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill making his first start, it's a little more understandable. The Dolphins were able to get Tannehill past his obvious nerves and that drive moved the ball down the field well, resulting in a touchdown run by Daniel Thomas.
Tannehill finished the half 11-for-23, for 100 yards. He was sacked four times. He also had four passes deflected at the line of scrimmage.
The second half of the game should feature the Dolphins second teams, including Matt Moore. After this game, we should have a better idea of who wins the starting quarterback job, but fow now, I would say it's about even between Tannehill and Matt Moore.
Enjoy the second half, and hopefully the Dolphins can come back.