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What we learned from the Dolphins second preseason game vs the Carolina Panthers

Here are five things we learned from the Miami Dolphins 20-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

I try my best to not overreact during preseason, a task that is easier said than done. If you’re on Twitter, you have the pleasure of watching the game unfold with thousands of other Dolphin fans. Emotions run high, and a lot of regrettable things are said. But during this process there’s one thing we must remember, preseason is for evaluating players and getting the team ready for the regular season.

Next week’s game is the most important of the dress rehearsals and should showcase starters well into the second half. That’s not to say there wasn’t a lot to takeaway from the Dolphins 20-27 loss to the Panthers. Tannehill played late into the second quarter, as did a majority of the team’s first-team players.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the Dolphins second preseason game vs the Carolina Panthers.

Ryan Tannehill looked accurate and decisive

Adam Gase admitted his team would not show much during the preseason, but without starting wide receivers Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker, Ryan Tannehill looked good. Tannehill finished the day 14/17 for 100 yards and looked sharp and decisive with his throws. It is clear that in year three with Adam Gase, Tannehill has a firm understanding of the offense.

Here, the Dolphins line up in 12 personnel (1 HB, 2 TEs). Playaction freezes the defense and a nice blitz pick up from Drake. gives Tannehill time to deliver a strike to Albert Wilson on the outside. As we saw in previous years, there are very few quarterbacks more efficient off playaction than Ryan Tannehill.

In this play, Tannehill reads the defense and knows exactly where he’s going with the football. A nice route from Jakeem Grant on the outside, creates separation. Tannehill delivers a well placed ball and a toe tap from Grant results in positive yards. First down!

One more from Tannehill.

The offense will look very different in the regular season with both Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker in the starting line up. But I was very happy with what I saw from Tannehill.

Robert Quinn is a monster

Truth is, Matt Kalil probably should not be playing football anymore and there’s a good chance he’s going to get Cam Newton hurt if he continues to play this way. Nonetheless, Robert Quinn looked the part of a menacing pass rusher and opposite of Cameron Wake, will cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.

Robert Quinn looked explosive all game long. Here he uses his quick hands to shed the block, and then explodes around the tackle on his way to the quarterback. Quinn is a second away from forcing the fumble.

This time he gets to Newton, but again looks explosive off the line of scrimmage. His speed and quickness is too much for Kalil, who never stands a chance.

Last one from Quinn, who again manhandles Matt Kalil and gets to Cam Newton for the sack. He won’t be going against old left tackles every week, but he looked every bit the part of a top defensive end. Could we be seeing a resurgence from Robert Quinn?

Growing pains for Raekwon McMillan

This is the most painful for me to type, because as we all know I’ve been a big fan of Raekwon McMillan since the beginning of time. Over the course of the first two preseason games, McMillan doesn’t look confident in himself or his knee. This is to be expected from a guy who has only played 2 12 quarters professionally, but we need to see more from the Dolphins starting middle linebacker moving forward.

In this play, McMillan gets washed out by the tight end. Aside from that, the entire defense looks lifeless and gives up a huge 71-yard run to Christian McCaffrey. Plays like this CAN NOT happen during the regular season.

For the most part, McMillan looked good in pass coverage. Although it is hard to know who had what assignment in this play, McMillan looked lost and was unable to recover. Easy touchdown.

Here are two plays that show the good Raekwon McMillan.

It is preseason and again, this is just his second appearance in a NFL game. There is plenty of time for him to get things right and develop into the middle linebacker the Dolphins and their fans hope he becomes.

Kenyan Drake is special

We all know the Dolphins have three quality running backs, who will all have a significant part in the workload. But there is one running back -who despite what a depth chart might say- is the clear cut starter. His name is Kenyan Drake and he has shown flashes of greatness early on in preseason.

Very few running backs can spin out of a tackle in the backfield, change direction, and use his speed and vision to break off a big run. Kenyan Drake is one of them.

Here’s another example of his vision and ability to use his speed to get to the outside. Drake has become a patient running back and coupled with his speed, has the potential to break off a big run at any time.

One more from Drake on a stretch to the outside. This was key during the Jay Ajayi Era in Miami. The only difference, Drake is patient and has the speed to get around the corner in a hurry. I can guarantee, you will see a lot of this in 2018.

Bryce Petty deserves second-team reps

We are all aware if Tannehill goes down the season is over. But that doesn’t mean the team should remain complacent in their search for a viable back up behind #17. No one can argue David Fales has made significant strides since the last time we saw him in 2017. It would also be hard to argue that Brock Osweiler deserves to be on a NFL roster. Which leaves us to Bryce Petty, who has looked very good during his limited action in the first two preseason games.

Here are three reasons why he deserves a chance with the second-team and why he should absolutely be in a competition with David Fales. (descriptions are embedded)

Give the man a chance!

Other observations

  • Chase Allen looked instinctive and could be pushing for more playing time with the #1’s
  • Penalties remain a huge problem and killed several drives on Friday
  • Bobby McCain did nice as CB2 opposite of Xavien Howard
  • T.J McDonald is a liability in coverage
  • Offensive line looked shaky and struggled at times in pass protection
  • Jerome Baker continued to impress and should be a day-one starter
  • Defensive tackle is still a work in progress
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick looked natural at nickle, where he played a lot during his time at Alabama
  • Did I mention Brock Osweiler should be cut?
  • Xavien Howard had a nice interception and blanked Devin Funchess on a bad Pass interference call

This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow him on Twitter!

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