The Adam Gase era hasn’t started out exactly as planned. After losing to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1, the Miami Dolphins lost to the New England Patriots, 31-24 in Week 2. There is good news! This week, the Dolphins welcome the winless Cleveland Browns to their newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium, where rookie quarterback Cody Kessler will start his first NFL game. This could be the week the Dolphins finally get a win.
Much like the two weeks prior, I will give the Madden gods final say over who will win or lose. Miami suffered a disappointing loss last week to the Patriots, how will they fair in Week 3 vs the Cleveland Browns?
Here is a simulated version of the Week 3 match-up between the Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins
CPU vs CPU
Unlike the two weeks prior, the Dolphins lost the coin toss. Instead of being given the option to defer until the second half, the Dolphins would be receiving to begin their week 3 match-up vs the Cleveland Browns.
On the Dolphins first drive, the offense was unable to establish the run, and Ryan Tannehill was ineffective in the passing game. The Dolphins were unable to muster anything on offense, and Matt Darr was called upon to drastically change field position. He did just that. Darr booted a 66-yard punt, pinning the Browns inside their own 30-yard line. Cody Kessler would take the field as the Browns’ starting quarterback.
Kessler and the Browns marched onto the field, and three plays later they were trotting off, making way for the Brown’s special team’s unit. Punt.
And then Miami got the ball, with a similar result. PUNT.
The Browns return the favor and punt the ball back to the Dolphins.
Thank god, end of the first quarter.
Things were a little different on the Dolphins first drive of the second quarter. In fact, the team looked completely different. Kenyan Drake was given an opportunity, and he made the most of it. On the team’s first play from scrimmage, Drake takes a sweep around left end. He breaks a tackle and picks up a 14-yard gain.
This would remain the case for much of the Dolphins drive. The offense looked good and moved the ball efficiently. On this drive, Ryan Tannehill completed 7/7 for 58 yards. With 7:22 left in the second quarter, Tannehill completes a 10-yard pass to Jordan Cameron for the touchdown.
Both teams move the ball, but not well enough to score.
Key Halftime Stats
Tannehill 9/14 123 Yards 1 Touchdown
Kessler 7/10 72 Yards 0 Touchdown
Drake 8 Carries 44 Yards
Johnson 9 Carries 32 Yards
Landry 3 Catches 33 Yards
Cameron 1 Catch 10 Yards 1 Touchdown
Barnidge 2 Catches 22 Yards
Pryor 3 Catches 16 Yards
The Browns get the football to start the second half and march down the field with little to no resistance from Miami’s defense. However, with their backs against the wall, the Dolphins defense tightens up and forces the field goal.
For their first drive of the second half, the Dolphins progressively move the ball downfield. Tannehill completes passes to Stills, Landry, and Parker on the drive. However, like the Browns previous drive, the Dolphins are forced to kick the field goal.
Andrew Franks field goal from 46 yards out is GOOD!
Cleveland gets the ball back and begins to feed the rock to Hue Jackson’s two-headed monster. The Browns march down the field on the legs of Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell, getting the team in the red zone with 4:37 left in the third quarter. On 2nd and 10 from the 18-yard line, Hue Jackson draws up a well-designed screen-play. Johnson follows his blockers, making Dolphins defenders miss on his way to the end zone. Touchdown!
The Dolphins and Browns exchange punts throughout the third quarter, with the game tied and both teams playing a bit conservative. With under 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the game becomes interesting.
After a Browns drive which started deep in their own territory, Cody Kessler had the Browns on the move. On 2nd and 10 from Miami’s 44-yard line, Kessler’s pass is intended for Terrelle Pryor, but Xavien Howard jumps in front of the errant pass, recording the interception.
On the very next play, Tannehill fakes the handoff and rolls to his left. With the Browns unable to get pressure, Tannehill has time to go through his progressions. Landry is able to break away from the corner, running free down the middle of the field. Tannehill drops back and throws up a dart, 68 yards for the TOUCHDOWN!
Cleveland blocks the extra point, and the Browns get the football back with under 5 minutes to go.
The Browns come out determined to pull off the upset at newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium. Cleveland comes out in shotgun, 5 WR set. Kessler motions Duke Johnson into the backfield, and runs a draw play up the gut for a 12-yard gain.
On the next play, Crowell takes the handoff around the right end for a huge gain, 37-yards on the play. Kessler hurries to the line of scrimmage snaps the ball and heaves a quick strike to tight end Gary Barnidge. The Browns have the ball at the Dolphins 36-yard line.
Two Minute Warning
After the two minute warning the Browns come out in a trips set, with two running backs in the backfield. Kessler fakes the hand-off to Duke, pitching the ball to Crowell who gets a modest gain of six. On the very next play, Kessler drops back to pass. As he scans the field, he notices a wide open Rashard Higgins who makes the clutch catch to get his team inside the red zone.
A few plays later, Isaiah Crowell takes a counter around the left end for the game-winning touchdown. The Browns pull off the remarkable win, defeating the Miami Dolphins.
Tannehill 17/29 289 Yards 1 Touchdown
Kessler 22/30 268 Yards 1 Touchdown
Drake 16 Carries 69 Yards
Johnson 17 Carries 88 Yards 1 Touchdown 6 Catches 36 Yards 1 Touchdown
Landry 7 Catches 99 Yards
Cameron 6 Catch 52 Yards 1 Touchdown
Barnidge 4 Catches 33 Yards
Pryor 4 Catches 21 Yards
Duke Johnson 17 Carries 88 Yards 1 Touchdown. 6 Catches 36 Yards 1 Touchdown
Next week the Dolphins will take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.