That was an ugly one. There's no denying that the New Orleans Saints just gave the Miami Dolphins an old fashioned beat down. It started with the defense letting the Saints walk down the field on their opening drive, and it just spiraled out of control from there.
The Dolphins started the game clearly looking to take Jimmy Graham away from Drew Brees, and they did it well early. The problem was, they could not stop Darren Sproles as well, and that's where they got in trouble. Sproles had 114 receiving yards, all in the first half, along with two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air.
Miami began to rotate their coverage to Sproles early in the second period, only to then see Brees find Jimmy Graham, covered by rookie Jamar Taylor making his NFL debut, for a 27 yard touchdown. The score came after Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill fumbled away the ball on a scramble attempt where he tried to get extra yardage rather than
The Dolphins would put up a 34-yard field goal from Caleb Sturgis, and a five yard touchdown run from Lamar Miller in the first half.
The second half was when the wheels really fell off for Miami, with the Saints putting up two quick scores in the third period to extend the lead to 35-10. Miami was able to score on a nine play, 67-yard drive at the start of the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late by that point.
The Saints added a field goal mid way through the fourth period, giving us the final 38-17 score.
The final tally fore the night had Ryan Tannehill 22-for-35 for 249 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions, a 57.9 passer rating. On the other side, Drew Brees as 30-for-39 for 413 yards with four touchdowns, a 144.5 passer rating.
Lamar Miller ran the ball 11 times for the Dolphins for 62 yards (5.6 avg), with a touchdown, while Tannehill had four carries for 48 yards. The Saints saw Khiry Robinson run 12 times for 37 yards (3.1 average), while Darren Sproles carrier four times for 28 yards (7.0 ypc) and a touchdown.
Sproles led the way with seven receptions for 114 yards and a score, while Miami's Brandon Gibson caught six passes for 71 yards. The Saints also had Jimmy Graham catch four passes for 100 yards and Marques Colston had seven catches for 96 yards. The Dolphisn also had Charles Clay catch six passes for 42 yards and a touchdown, while Marcus Thigpen had one reception for 50 yards.
Concerning for the Dolphins was the lack of production from Mike Wallace for another week, who was targeted seven times, but only came away with 3 receptions for 24 yards. Wallace and Tannehill are clearly not on the same page yet.
Tannehill was intercepted three times, as well as lost the one fumble - now leading the league with six fumbles on the season - while the Dolphins were able to get one late fumble recovery, but it turned into nothing in the end.
Jared Odrick and Olivier Vernon both recorded a sack for the Dolphins, while the Saints were able to pull down Tannehill four times (Tyrunn Walker, Junior Galette, Cameron Jordan, and Martez Wilson), moving the league leading number of sacks allowed to 18 on the season.
The Dolphins were without leading pass rusher Cameron Wake, who was inactive with a knee injury.
Caleb Sturgis continued his perfect field goal streak with his first quarter kick.
The major take away from this game is, the Saints are a better team. Everyone knew that going into the game, and that the Dolphins would have to be perfect to stay with the Saints. They weren't, and they didn't. But, the team is still 3-1 on the season, and heading home. They will have another tough match up with the Baltimore Ravens, but it should not be as tough as what they faced tonight.
Use this thread to vent/commiserate, and let's all start getting ready to face the Super Bowl champs this Sunday.
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