The Miami Dolphins pummeled the Oakland Raiders this past weekend, winning 38-14 in London. The game was exactly what Miami needed after two weeks of struggling. As they go into the bye week, we take a look at the stock ratings for the team, in what is potentially coming out of a bear market and flirting with moving into a bull market.
Stock Up: Ryan Tannehill, quarterback - To say Tannehill played well against the Raiders may actually be underselling what he did. Add all of the typical "It was the Raiders" caveats needed, but at the end of the day, Tannehill answered a week of questions, distractions, and speculation by having his best game of the season, and perhaps of his career. His final stat line, 23-for-31, 278 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interceptions and a 109.3 passer rating, is not even as good a day as it should have been. Tannehill actually connected with Daniel Thomas on a third touchdown pass, but it was nullified after a holding penalty from tight end Dion Sims. Three plays later, Tannehill's interception came on a ball that hit Sims in the arms, but bounced up and into the hands of a defender. If that touchdown had stood, ending that drive right there, Tannehill would have had a 24-for-30, 288 yard, 3 touchdown performance, giving him a 156.3 passer rating. It was a very special quarterback performance, to include a stretch of 14 straight completions at the end of the first half.
Stock Down: Ball security - Miami needs to work on holding on to the ball when anyone has it. This is not an isolated one player thing. It's not a one position thing. It's not just an offense thing. Whether it is a running back getting hit near the goal line, a wide receiver in space, or a punt/kick returner, the Dolphins are putting the ball on the ground way too often this year, three fumbles against the Raiders, two of which were lost.
Stock Up: Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, running backs - One of those fumbles came from Miller, just as he was reaching the goal line for the second time on the day. A few plays later, thanks to a Brent Grimes interception, Miller was able to punch the ball in and pick up his second score of the day, but the fumble still happened. At the end of the day, however, Miller and Thomas combined for a good day on the ground for Miami. Miller led the way with 12 carries for 64 yards and the two scores, giving him a 5.3 yards per carry average. Thomas backed that up with five carries for 35 yards, a 7.0 yards per attempt average. You could even add Tannehill into this, who added 35 yards on the ground on five attempts as well.
Stock Down: Dion Sims, tight end - It might be picking on Sims at this point to include him here after pointing out his two bad plays above. They were pretty bad though, at least timing wise. He had one reception for 18 yards, on two targets. Of course, that second target was the pass that ended up intercepted.
Stock Up: Defensive secondary - The Dolphins secondary finally pulled in their first interception of the year when Brent Grimes came away with a third quarter Derek Carr pass. That was quickly followed by the second (Jimmy Wilson) and third (Walt Aikens) picks. Add in a fumble recovery for a touchdown from cornerback Cortland Finnegan, and the Miami secondary had a field day.
Stock Down: AFC East - Technically, this doesn't come out of the Dolphins-Raiders game, but that game was so impressive, I do not feel like adding a third stock down. The AFC East had an ugly day this week, unless of course you are a Dolphins fan. For us, it was a Perfect AFC East Weekend. The AFC East, however, is now looking like the weakest division in football - as many analysts are starting to call it. The New England Patriots are slipping, the New York Jets may be changing quarterbacks soon, and the Buffalo Bills already did. Will the Dolphins be able to take control of a division that does not seem to have a dominant team?