The Miami Dolphins came away victorious in their Week 1 contest against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. With the 23-10 scoreline looking good, especially with in the win column, several players stood out on the day, and not always for good reasons. Let's take a look at whose stock rose Sunday, and whose fell.
Stock Up: Dimitri Patterson - Before training camp started, I was predicting Patterson would be cut, based on his high salary cap number and the likelihood he would not be starting, and possibly not even among the first level of reserves. All Patterson has done since then is make me eat my words. He didn't just claim a roster spot, he took over the starting role, leading to Richard Marshall being cut. Then, going up against his former team on opening weekend, he picked off two passes. Patterson is the real deal as the number two cornerback for the Dolphins.
Stock Down: Lamar Miller - Some of this is the offensive line, which we will discuss in a minute, but Miller definitely did not look like a player able to serve as a starting running back. He was indecisive and was brought down behind the line of scrimmage too often, including a stretch where he was brought down for minus two yards three runs in a row. The line struggled to open up running lanes, but Miller just looked overwhelmed in his first start.
Stock Up: Brian Hartline - Something about Ray Horton defenses agree with Hartline. Last year, he went off to 253 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals, where Horton was the defensive coordinator. On Sunday, he had 114 yards and a touchdown. As teams continue to utilize the Browns' plan to cloud Mike Wallace no matter where he is on the field, Hartline should see more opportunities for days like Sunday.
Stock Down: Offensive line - There's no doubt that the offensive line did not play well throughout the game. The Browns have a good front seven, but there was simply no running room Sunday, and running the ball should be the strength of this offensive line. The line did get better as the game went along in pass protection, but it's still an area they have to improve if they are going to succeed this season.
Stock Up: Ryan Tannehill - Even with the offensive line allowing way more pressure than they should have, Tannehill worked through his progressions and put the ball where it should have gone on most plays. A couple of overthrows or a ball that was tipped and intercepted don't take away from the fact that Tannehill actually looked poised and decisive on Sunday. It was not a perfect day, but Tannehill definitely looked the part against the Browns.
Stock Down: Mike Wallace - Wallace's stock isn't down because of a one catch, 15 yard performance. It's not down because he was frustrated because of that performance. It's because Wallace chose to display that frustration publically and seemed to throw the coaching staff under the bus in doing so. Today, he came out and said he was upset with himself, not the coaches, but whatever the case, turning into diva-receiver after one game - especially a game the team won - is a little dramatic. This story was overblown, but putting himself into that position in the first place was unnecessary.
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