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Browns at Dolphins: Good, Bad, and Ugly from Miami’s win

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins beat the Cleveland Browns in an overtime game at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. The game did not go exactly as planned, but at the end of the day, the team came away with the win. Things are not always pretty, they are not always great, but a win is still a win, and at the end of the season, this will count just the same as any other “Ws” the team has.

The Dolphins turn around and play the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night, which means we are going to be pouring over this game as we also get ready for the team’s next contest. As we do each week, let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from yesterday’s game:

The Good

  • Jarvis Landry - Landry caught another seven passes for 120 yards with a touchdown on Sunday. With the Monday night game still to play, Landry is tied with Antonio Brown for the league lead in receptions at 24 on the year and he is third in the league in receiving yards with 314. Landry is a man on a mission early this season, and, despite inconsistency with much of the team, he is putting up monster stats thus far.
  • Reshad Jones - If Landry is not the top player on the Dolphins thus far, it is only because Jones is playing out of his mind at safety. Yesterday, he recorded 10 tackles, nine of them solo, with half-a-sack and three tackles for a loss. He is supporting the run, he is in coverage, if there is an offensive snap, Jones seems to be around the ball when the tackle is being made. His 31 tackles this year are fourth in the league, three behind a tie among Jerrell Freeman, Luke Kuechly, and Zach Brown. Of the top 15 players in tackles thus far, Jones is one of just two safeties, the only non-linebackers, on the list, with Arizona’s Tony Jefferson the other safety. (Side note: Kiko Alonso is sixth in the league with one fewer tackle than Jones.)
  • Scoring offense - The offense should not be in the “good” category, but the team did put up 30 points, 24 of them in regulation. The Miami defense should be good enough (it’s not) that 24 points or 30 points is enough for Miami to win comfortably. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill did throw a pick-six, so it was not all on the defense, but going up against a rookie third-string quarterback, they have to do better (and we will discuss it more below), but the fact that Miami is putting up points after averaging just over 19 points a game last year means the scoring offense is headed in the right direction.
  • Jay Ajayi - He carried the ball seven times for 28 yards, giving him just a 4.0 yards per carry average and was not anything special most of the day (and is included in the “ugly” portion below). But he gets a mention here because, after being the presumed starter to being demoted to second string, then being left at home for a road game, then, when Foster is hurt, the team starts Kenyan Drake over him, Ajayi had to feel great when he crossed that goal line to win the game on Sunday.

The Bad

  • Ryan Tannehill - I know there are people out there who are probably screaming right now that Tannehill is the biggest problem on this team (I’m guessing those are the same people who are tweeting that the Dolphins need to fire Adam Gase three games into his rookie season as a head coach), but that is simply not the case. Tannehill’s biggest issue right now is consistency. He goes from frustrating in a half to in a rhythm in the next half. It is almost drive-to-drive at this point. He had a decent stat line on Sunday, throwing for 319 yards on 25-for-39 passes with three touchdowns, but he also had two interceptions. Tannehill is currently 7th in the league in passing yards, 14th in completion percentage, 6th in touchdowns, 5th in interceptions, 11th in sacks, and 17th in passer rating. He is all up and down the leaders board, which pretty much sums up his season thus far.
  • Ja’Wuan James - Adam Gase benched James for the game-winning overtime drive because of the hits he was allowing to happen on Tannehill. The team turned to Billy Turner over James. That would usually end up in the ugly category, but there were worse things happening in this game.
  • Jordan Cameron - The tight end missed most of the game undergoing concussion testing. For a player with a history of concussions, that is not a good sentence.
  • Anthony Steen - Another injury that could have ramifications. My guess is Mike Pouncey is ready to go this week, but if he is not and Steen has any sort of aggrevation, the team could have to scramble to figure out a center.

The Ugly

  • Defense - If anyone can find the Miami defense, especially the run defense, would you please return it to the training facilities in Davie? They had to leave it somewhere (Denver in 2014?). Vance Joseph has to figure out how to solve this, because the team is just allowing anyone to run through them right now. Oh, and can someone consider covering Terrelle Pryor? Just stay near him. That’s all we are asking.
  • Running game - 25 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown looks like a good day - especially if your starting running back did that. Instead, that is all of the Dolphins’ rushing from the game, including a 15 yard run from Damien Williams, and a 13-yard run and a 3-yard run from Jarvis Landry. Without those two, the Dolphins carried the ball 22 times for 86 yards, or a 3.6 yards per carry average. That is not good enough to support the passing game. The team needs Arian Foster back, and they need to figure out what the offensive line needs to be doing better to get the running backs into space.