Sometimes, a team has to scrap out a road win, and that is exactly what the Miami Dolphins did on Sunday as they came back from a 10-0 deficit to beat the Washington Redskins 17-10 in a Week 1 contest. Not everything was right for Miami on the day, but at the end of the game, they walked away with a "W" and that is the most important thing. The Dolphins sit at 1-0 this week as the prepare for the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.
The coaches will have plenty of film to show the players, places where things could have been executed better. The Dolphins, however, made adjustments at half time, hung in a game that looked to be going badly throughout the first half, and made the first downs at the end of the game, all things they struggled to do last year. Things may not have been perfect on the day, but they were not horrible either.
This morning, we take a look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from the game for the Dolphins.
There are three players who deserve the Good label this week. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry clearly was among the impact players of the game, catching eight passes, a game high, for 53 yards, as well as returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown - the game winning touchdown. Landry looked good, making grabs and turning up field immediately, fighting for yards. The play late in the third quarter where Landry caught a pass eight yards from the line of scrimmage, but somehow fought his way for three more yards, with three Redskins trying to tackle him, picking up a first down, is the perfect example of what Landry brought to the game.
Safety Reshad Jones was a monster on defense during the game. He was simply everywhere, making tackles in both run support and in pass defense. He fell down on the Redskins' touchdown, but other than that, Jones was solid throughout the game, racking up 12 tackles on the day.
Welcome to the Dolphins Jordan Cameron. It's been a very quiet Preseason for Miami's tight ends, but Cameron exploded on Sunday. The free agent acquisition for Miami this offseason was laying out for balls, was lowering his shoulder for yards after the catch, and simply looked like a great addition to the offense. Cameron caught four passes for 73 yards on the day, including two 27-yard receptions. He did not find the endzone, but he was a big factor in the game, and, in a game in which Dion Sims was out after sustaining a concussion, Cameron was a favorite target for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The run defense gets the top billing under the bad. Washington ran for a 4.4 yards per carry average on the day, picking up 161 yards on the ground. Alfred Morris was a beast during the game, and Miami struggled to slow him down, especially in the first half. The Redskins clearly ran away from Ndamukong Suh, or were double-teaming/cut-blocking him throughout the day, but the rest of the Miami run defense struggled to slow down the ground attack from Washington.
Ryan Tannehill was not "bad" but he clearly was not "good" throughout the day either. I'll give Tannehill the benefit of the doubt, following a great Preseason, assuming he was pressing a little and was amped up for the regular season, but it still was not the performance we all expected to see against the Redskins. His stats look good, 22-for-34 for 226 yards with a touchdown and a 93.5 passer rating, but he was just slightly off most of the day. For example, on the play in which Sims suffered his concussion, Tannehill had the tight end wide open in the endzone, and put the ball out of bounds. He did the same thing a little while later on a Kenny Stills thrown down the right sideline. It was not a bad performance - but it just was not as sharp as we have seen Miami's quarterback.
No other way to describe it but ugly. This was my tweet during the game when that happened. I think it pretty much sums up what every Dolphins fan was thinking at the time:
OH MY GOD.— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) September 13, 2015