The third preseason game came and went and we’re still left wondering what to expect opening game against the Titans in two weeks. It was disappointing to learn that the Ravens were sitting out most their key players on Saturday night. I get that it was their fourth game and the field was wet from all the rain, but I was hoping to see a quarter or two of our first string against theirs battling it out. I mean even just one quarter would have been cool. With that being said, I was hoping to see our team put up some major points since we were playing their second/third string. Well, that didn’t quite happen like many of us were hoping to see. There were some good things to come from Saturday’s game, some things that will need to be addressed, and possibly some things that hopefully won’t happen again. I’ll share what I thought was the good, the bad, and the ugly (kinda embarrassing).
We have no major injuries from the game. I bet if you asked other teams what their main goal of preseason would be, that would state to have all their players remain healthy. Honestly, that should always be the top priority. Jakeem Grant went out of the game on a concussion protocol, but the Dolphins informed us later it wasn’t major and he should be ready by week one.
What else was good from Saturday and overall from the last three games? Our quarterback. As Adam Beasley tweeted on Saturday, and I agree with him, the Dolphins have had some issues this preseason but Tannehill is not one of them.
The Dolphins have had some issues this preseason. Ryan Tannehill has not been one of them. He has completed 74 percent of his passes for 247 yards, a touchdown and no turnovers. Passer rating: 99.0— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 26, 2018
Each week he is becoming more confident and decisive. When Tannehill steps out on the field I see a guy who is taking command of the offense. He has a plan in place that he is ready to execute without hesitation. Our offensive line was hit or miss at times, but they have been helping him become more comfortable and mobile in the pocket. I saw some fans on twitter express how they believe Tannehill has no pocket presence and gave the example during the 1st quarter with 3:42 remaining. It was 3rd & 4, and once the ball was snapped, Tannehill has maybe two seconds before he was sacked. Here is the play I’m discussing.
What do I call that? A really good defensive play by the Ravens. Period. Remember last season when we had Cutler. You know what would have happened if that was him? Most likely he would have panicked and just thrown the ball, and probably right into the hands of a Raven’s player. Oh, I’m so glad those days are over. Anyways, let’s move on to what we all want to see more of this season and that is Tannehill to Amendola for a touchdown.
Such a beautiful thing to see, am I right?! I’ve been waiting to see a play like that during a game. You hear about those two connecting hundreds of times during practice, but seeing them connect during the game gives you hope. It’s something to smile about my friends. That play was an improvement for our offense from the last couple games. We converted a third down, inside the red zone, and our starting offense finally scored their first touchdown. I’m always the person who tries to see the positive in things (the glass is half full kinda person) and that drive was encouraging. Remember Gase stated last week that he is holding back much of his play calling till regular season games. Well, I’m excited to see what they have in store.
I discussed in depth about Drake like week, but I have to briefly mention him. The guy is a beast. Yeah, we have veteran RB Frank Gore who had a brief presence in Saturday’s game, but I think after Drake has been playing these last few weeks, and end of last season, we may be seeing much more from Drake. In Saturday’s game he had a 30-yd run (his second carry of the game) and then had a 36-yd catch (on Dolphins next possession) to put us on Raven’s 41 and got us in field goal range. It seems others are expecting some impressive playing from Drake as we begin this season.
If you play fantasy football, it would be a shame to not have him on your team. I’m expecting so much more from this guy. I finish the Drake discussion with this tweet from Cameron Wolfe. I think he perfectly sums up my exact feelings.
Kenyan Drake is certainly the Dolphins' most exciting offensive player. Wouldn't be surprised if he's considered their best offensive player by the end of the year. 1K rushing season?— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) August 26, 2018
Let’s discuss a few players from the defense. First off, real quick since I spent time on him last week, Robert Quinn had another quarterback sack on Saturday night. He should have had two, but either way, him and Wake together are going to be a threat to quarterbacks this season (especially if the refs can stop missing holding calls on Wake).
Now, moving on did you all notice 4th year DT Jordan Phillips making his presence known on Saturday? It was about halfway through the first quarter and here you see Phillips bring Griffin down. Here is a clip that Omar Kelly tweeted out ( the best footage of this play I could find).
Jordan Phillips gave the Dolphins defense two back-to-back impactful plays, then needed to be subbed out the game. The Dolphins need roughly 15-20 plays a game like this from him for this defense to be good. pic.twitter.com/Q3bhcFTYaY— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 26, 2018
Kinda funny considering Omar has never been a big supporter of him, but seemed to be singing a different tune on Saturday night (not a shocker). Phillips was giving the Raven’s oline a difficult time for sure. Will we see a lot more of him this season? If he continues to play like he did on Saturday, I hope so.
One other player to mention would be rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who had some impressive playing this week. His awareness and agility is going to help him become one special player this season. Gase stated his transition into the NFL has been rare. They are expecting big things from him. Did you hear Bob Griese mention during the game that Minkah was the Dolphins best draft pick in quite a while. Now, I’m not saying I completely agree with that, but I think he could turn out to be a top player for sure.
Let’s go ahead and mention Kiko’s play, Yes, I know it’s been mentioned on the thephinsder.com and several other articles, but let’s see this embarrassing play one more time.
Sorry Kiko, you gotta stay on your side. pic.twitter.com/KEfW4gmoSj— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 25, 2018
He already doesn’t have the best reputation around the league because of a questionable hit last season, but that mistake (yes kinda funny at the time) just has more people around the NFL laughing at the Dolphins. So he made my bad list this week, because we don’t need more reasons to be laughed at as a team. Kiko, get it together buddy. I like ya, but come on.
The Ugly and Embarrassing
No, we don’t have a reliable backup quarterback. I’m a bit terrified of this and we all should be. If anything is to happen to Tannehill, our season is over as of now. I hope Gase goes with Fales, rather than Osweilier, but neither one have made a strong case for themselves. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see Petty on Saturday and based on reactions from social media, others shared my same feelings. It’s kinda funny though, my mother called me on Sunday to discuss the game with me. She has never been into watching games, but has been now after I started my weekly contributions. Here is what she said to me, and I tweeted it out yesterday.
My mom called me today to tell me about the game (She started watching games because of my weekly articles). She goes, "That number 8 guy.The QB one. He's bad. He doesnt seem to know what to do with with football and just throws it to anywhere." You're right mom. He is terrible.— Kathleen (@kathleen_noa) August 26, 2018
Yes, mom, many (or most) of us believe Osweiler should be cut, but apparently Gase may have other intentions for him. I hope for our sake it’s not the latter. I’m hoping some veteran quarterbacks are cut in the next week or so and we are able to snag a better backup option. However, today Gase was asked about the backup situation and if our backup quarterback is on the roster and he replied with, “Yes”. Well, I really hope it’s Fales.
The Week Ahead
We have one more game left this Thursday night in Atlanta. I will be attending that game since I live in Atlanta. I will be surprised to see any of our starters playing. Quarterback wise the game will be split up between Fales/Osweiler and players hoping to have their last few chances to seal their roster spot. I’m going to enjoy a live stress-free football game, take some pictures of our players, and enjoy a few beers at the Falcon’s stadium with some of my fellow Dolphins’ buddies. One last week people and then it’s showtime.