The Miami Dolphins lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-16 last night. The good thing is, it was just the preseason and the game does not really count. The bad thing is, turnovers simply killed the Dolphins, including two on punt returns. It was ugly at times, though the offense did look pretty good throughout the starters' time on the field.
Before the game, we took a look at five players to watch for the Miami offense. This morning, we take a look back at those five players.
1. Charles Clay
No way around it: Clay was not good Saturday night. He was targeted six times in the passing game, and only caught one pass. Ball after ball seemed to just fall out of his hands. In a game where he could have cemented himself as the guy to replace Dustin Keller, Clay seemed to shrink. It was not pretty.
2. Ryan Tannehill
How would Tannehill respond without Dustin Keller? He would simply spread the ball around, and go 17-for-27 for 150 yards with a touchdown, earning him a 90.0 passer rating. His stats should be even better than that, with passes dropped left, right, and center for Miami's second year passer. Tannehill looked in control and was making good decisions. He still holds on to the ball a little too long at times, but, on the night, Tannehill looked good and should be ready when the regular season opens two weeks from tomorrow.
3. Daniel Thomas
Thomas' stat line looks bad, with seven carries for three yards. But, take away the one 20 yard run from Lamar Miller, and he had seven carries for 15 yards. It's better, but not by a lot. The Buccaneers had the number one rush defense last season, so the Miami running game struggling against it was not all that surprising. Thomas ran hard when given the ball, but there was simply no where to run.
On a side note, Lamar Miller picked up blitzes well during the game, which should help solidify him as the starting running back.
4. John Jerry
Jerry started at right guard for the Dolphins, but only played two series. He looked rusty out there, missing some blocks and leading to pressure on Tannehill or hits on the running backs. It was not a great performance, and it was nothing to make anyone feel better about the right guard position, but it was good that Jerry got out there and he should be ready to claim his position as the starter in practice this week and in the New Orleans Saints game Thursday.
5. Brandon Gibson
It was an up and down night for Gibson. A guy who could see his targets move up with Keller not able to play this year, Gibson could have locked in his role as a part of the offense on the night. He led the game in receptions with five, and yards at 43. He also found the end zone. However, he also led the game in targets with eight, and the drops that came from those extra three targets were ugly. Gibson is not in danger of missing the roster, but he could see Tannehill look elsewhere before targeting him if the drops continue to be a problem.
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