The Miami Dolphins opened their 2016 preseason against the New York Giants tonight. The game was primarily a chance for the players down on the depth chart to get extended playing time for both teams. Players like Cameron Wake, Arian Foster, Ndamukong Suh, and Reshad Jones did not play at all for Miami, while many of the defensive starters who did play were replaced after one possession.
Throughout the game, I kept my immediate reactions, which you can find below:
- First possession for the Giants was way too easy. Defense allowed 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 plays, with two penalties as well. Tackling looks bad.
- Touchdown Giants. 7-0.
- Dolphins go three and out on their first possession. Offensive line allowing pressure too quickly. Still a lot of work to do there.
- Bobby McCain is struggling early. Working outside instead of in the slot which could be some of the issue.
- Bobby McCain with the nice pass breakup as soon as I write the above.
- Offensive starters back on the field for the second possession. Ajayi with two strong runs to start, but second called back by Ja’Wuan James holding penalty.
- Tannehill pass on 2nd and 10 tipped by Jay Ajayi. Nearly picked off.
- Jason Pierre Paul and Olivier Vernon nearly get to Tannehill again. Just saves the safety with a shovel pass out of bounds. Offensive line still an issue. Tannehill pressured/hit on three of four pass attempts. Not a good look.
- Chris McCain with the sack.
- That’s it for the first team offense. Two punts all they manage.
- Laremy Tunsil comes it at left tackle.
- Second team offensive line holds off the second team defensive line from the Giants on Matt Moore’s first pass attempt, but Moore throws it straight to a defender. Interception returned to Miami 11 yard line.
- Good pass breakup by Brandon Harris on third-and-goal from the one. Perfectly done.
- Field goal Giants. 10-0.
- The Dolphins continue to shuffle the offensive line. Laremy Tunsil moved inside to left guard, Urick John at left tackle. Billy Turner to right tackle.
- Dolphins go three-and-out again. Turner was beat badly on third-down to allow the sack. Offensive line shuffling has to find something eventually.
- Chris McCain tried to collapse the running lane, but it opened the outside run for a 12-yard gain. Needs to stay disciplined.
- Offense goes three-and-out again.
- Julius Warmsley with his second sack of the night. Good way to try to earn a roster spot.
- Bobby McCain with the interception. Great reaction to track the ball and leap for the pick.
It was great fun and exciting day! Interception by the Miami Dolphins pic.twitter.com/xi9JVf2O9J— Kgaber1 (@KGaberlavage1) August 13, 2016
- Matt Moore back in with the second-team offense. Will they be able to find a first down?
- Leonte Carroo makes his first reception. The rookie is buried on the depth chart right now, but should be able to work his way up.
- First down! We have a first down!
- But that was all. Field goal attempt after the next third-down.
- Off the left upright. Field Goal Dolphins. 10-3. 49 yards.
- Walt Aikens strips the ball from Ryan Nassib, Spencer Paysinger picks it up and runs back to the Giants five yard line. Good play from both players. Aikens worked his way to Nassib as he was scrambling.
- TOUCHDOWN! Damien Williams 5-yard run! 10-10.
- When Chris McCain is free to chase down a quarterback, he really moves. Good sack as Ryan Nassib tried to scramble away from pressure.
Chris McCain with a SACK at the two minute warning. pic.twitter.com/HsfQexZWtz— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 13, 2016
- Interception! Great tip drill. Lafayette Pitts with the pass breakup, tipping it up into the air. A.J. Hendy with the interception.
- The offense is dangerously close to finding some rhythm.
- Or not. Moore flushed from pocket and throws it away - but a holding penalty is called. Then a sack.
- Or maybe they did. Somehow, a tipped pass goes straight to Matt Hazel who could have walked into the endzone. The ball was a bad overthrow by Matt Moore, intended for A.J. Cruz, but it goes straight to Hazel somehow. TOUCHDOWN Dolphins! 17-10.
- Seriously, that was such an odd play. Hazel went out of bounds on the route, but the tip by Cruz made it legal for Hazel to catch the ball. So strange.
- Halftime. Dolphins lead 17-10.
- Dolphins get the ball to start the second half. The offense needs to find something and sustain a drive here.
- Isaiah Pead with back-to-back great runs. Busts one up the middle, then bounces the next one outside and suddenly, Miami is picking up first downs.
- Dominique Jones with the bad drop after a good pass from Matt Moore. Should have been a first down.
- Moore comes back and throws for first down on the next play. Good movement of the ball early in the second half.
- Moore sacked. Loss of seven. No where to go with the ball on the play.
- Dolphins punt. Good angled punt by Matt Darr to pin the Giants at the 10 yard line.
- Dolphins release injury updates: Julius Warmsley (concussion - out); Shamiel Gary (neck - questionable); Chris McCain (elbow - questionable)
- What a punt by the Giants. 65 yards and backed Jakeem Grant back to the 15. He recovers and somehow keeps his feet as he stumbles, getting back out to the 25.
- Brandon Doughty in the game now. Can the rookie move the offense?
- Screen pass to Jakeem Grant. Wow! He accelerates incredibly quickly, and when he is at full speed, he is simply blasting past people. Miami has to keep finding ways to get the ball in his hands.
- Another pass to Grant as he crosses the field. Good pass and a good catch.
- Field goal. Dolphins. 20-10. 28-yards.
- Giants punt. Jakeem Grant again showing his speed. Nearly breaks the return for a touchdown. Fast may not be a strong enough adjective for Grant.
- Daniel Thomas now in at running back. Good strong run for a first down. Another strong five-yard run, but a crack back block by Thomas Duarte nullifies it.
- Brandon Doughty throws the ball behind Daniel Thomas on a screen pass. Bad pass, but luckily it was still going forward so just an incomplete pass.
- Dolphins running plays out of the pistol. That’s new.
- Dolphins go back to the screen to Grant, but Giants cover it well. Doughty just has to slide down.
- Another good run from Daniel Thomas on third-and-28. Picks up 10 yards on the draw play, but Miami punting. Another good punt from Matt Darr, who pins the Giants inside their own 10-yard line.
- Dolphins get the ball back at the Giants 25-yard line after the Giants drop a handoff. Daendre Coleman with the recovery.
- Zac Dysert in at quarterback now.
- TOUCHDOWN! Zac Dysert to Thomas Duarte on 4th-and-1 from the 20, and Duarte cuts back to daylight for the score. 27-10.
- Chris McCain is back in the game. Was listed as questionable with an elbow injury at the start of the second half.
- Daniel Thomas appears to be buried on the depth chart, but he is at least running string late in this game.
- Dolphins kneel out the rest of the clock.
- Final score: 27-10 Miami.
The Dolphins need to do some work on their first-team offense, especially the offensive line. It is not panic-worthy, given it was two series in the first preseason game, but it is still worrisome. Once the second- and third-teams found some rhythm, they looked a lot better. Laremy Tunsil played both guard and tackle on the night, playing with the second team and throughout most of the rest of the game. He probably needs to start seeing more first-team snaps.
The defense is hard to judge because so many starters did not play. The first drive by the Giants was ugly for the defense, with missed tackles and penalties biting the team. That was New York’s only touchdown, however, as the defense locked down after that and was able to come away with some turnovers. Chris McCain looked good throughout the night other than one bad play on a run. Bobby McCain had a good interception and could have made an argument for him to be considered as an outside cornerback, with Michael Thomas working as the nickel.
Jakeem Grant looked good as a returner and as a receiver. His speed is incredible, and he still looked fast in a full-speed NFL game. Matt Darr is impressive with his punting and Andrew Franks’ 49-yard field, despite hitting the upright before going through, was plenty strong enough.
It was not the best game Miami could have played, but it was the first preseason game and there were some good things that came out of it.