We've reached that point in the week where we tour around the web to check out the latest NFL Power Rankings, and specifically the rankings for the the Miami Dolphins. This week, the rankings should come up some after the Dolphins dominated the Tennessee Titans 38-10 in a game in which Miami finally looked like the team most expected to see before the season started.
Will the power rankings reflect the awakening of the sleeping giant, as interim head coach Dan Campbell described the Dolphins' victory? It's time to take a look at what other sites are saying about Miami this week:
Interim head coach Dan Campbell has apparently energized the Dolphins' flat-lining team morale. Miami rolled in Tennessee and looked more like the team that many thought it'd be going into this season. There's still plenty of time for the Dolphins to climb back into this thing.
Mile High Report
Last week I said, "I wonder if two weeks of Oklahoma Drills can bring back the Dolphins to a time when they were relevant as a football team?" To the fear of neurologists everywhere, the answer is a resounding yes. This team is finally what this team was intended to be. Miami welcomed Tennessee to town, broke their jaw and may have injured Marcus Mariota for multiple weeks. The Dolphins started the season with a win before taking a three game win-less skid. Cameron Wake had his first four sacks on the season while causing two fumbles, Lamar Miller had his first 100-yard game of the season and Ryan Tannehill had two passes for touchdowns to match his two interceptions. The Dolphins get to beat up on Houston on Sunday.
A season-high in points. The first two rushing touchdowns of the season. Six sacks (after just one in the previous four games). The Dolphins got the Dan Campbell era off to a good start.
Told you these Dolphins would respond to Dan Campbell. Well, at least for one week. Miami got the defensive response the organization was looking for when it committed $60 million guaranteed to a boy named Suh in the spring. How about Reshad Jones delivering an early knockout blow with that pick-six? Scoring defense never goes out of style.
If you watched that team on Sunday, playing hard and winning easy, you have to believe that owner Stephen Ross might have screwed up this season by not firing Joe Philbin last December.
The Dan Campbell era is off to a good start. They looked like a different team against the Titans.
It's fair to call Dan Campbell's head coaching debut a rousing success.
Pro Football Talk
If he puked on his shoes before the game, the Gatorade shower washed it off.
Is this too high to put the Dolphins in the rankings after their first victory since their season-opening triumph at FedEx Field? Perhaps. But look around the league. There simply aren’t that many good teams right now. And the Dolphins, at least for one game, looked like a far different team with Dan Campbell, their no-nonsense interim coach, in charge. In-season coaching changes generally don’t work in the NFL. But maybe, just maybe the Dolphins will find a way to be the exception this season to that rule.
It’s just one game, but this Dolphins team looked much closer to the expectations of this team at the start of the year. The defense played great, and they actually were able to establish a running game. We will see if they can keep it up, but if so this Dolphins team could get back into the playoff race as crazy as that sounds.
What's Good?: First, interim head coach Dan Campbell certainly instilled a new attitude in these Miami Dolphins during the bye week. Maybe a few Oklahoma drills were exactly what the team needed to pull itself out of an early-season rut. The defense, especially, looked like a different animal. Cameron Wake dominated the Tennessee Titans with four sacks. The entire team only had one sack before Sunday's contest. The Dolphins' talented defense finally looked aggressive and flew to the football.
What's Bad?: While this doesn't exactly fall under bad, DeVante Parker's lack of contribution to the offense can definitely be described as disappointing. This first-round wide receiver only played a handful of snaps against the Titans and didn't catch a pass. According to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, the Dolphins coaching staff wants to see more consistency from Parker in practice. As the 14th overall pick in this year's draft, Parker should be making an impact on the field instead of being a practice issue.
What's Next?: Overall consistency now becomes the key to the Dolphins season. With a chance to get to .500 this weekend against the Houston Texans, Miami can put itself in position to compete for a playoff spot later in the year.