Jaguars vs. Dolphins: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Miami
The Miami Dolphins provided the few fans that made it out to Sun Life Stadium with their best overall performance of the year.
The offense was on its game for most of the afternoon with an impressive effort from Ryan Tannehill as well as Reggie Bush. The defense gave up big yardage during garbage time but managed to hold the Jaguars to only three points the entire game.
The Jaguars are now 2-12 and on track for the first overall pick. The Dolphins move up to 6-8, and while still long shots, are not yet mathematically eliminated from the AFC Playoffs.
Here's a look at Miami's grades on what turned into a great afternoon for the Dolphins.
Ryan Tannehill: A+
Overall Game Grade — A+
Yes, Ryan Tannehill gets an A+. I have to give it to him considering that he made some great throws through tight windows and was insanely accurate. On the afternoon, he went 22-of-28 for 220 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions with a quarterback rating of 123.2 while also running for 52 yards.
Impressive day for the rookie, who showed plenty of signs of growth that the Dolphins want to see from him. But some perspective: it was the Jacksonville Jaguars. Still an A+ game though, even despite the fumble early in the game. He recovered well from it.
Fourth Quarter — A+
Tannehill's drive in the fourth quarter showed the potential that he possesses. He was on target for all of his passes, leading to the touchdown pass to Fasano.
Third Quarter — A
Tannehill really deserves a touchdown for his tremendous third quarter today. I hope the A makes up for it. Tannehill has made some great throws, with two potential touchdown passes dropped by Brian Hartline and Marcus Thigpen respectively.
Second Quarter — B-
Tannehill did well on Miami's second drive of the quarter, and wound up with a great touchdown pass to Jorvorski Lane. However the bad decision on the first drive downgrades his quarter grade to a B-. It would've been lower had the Dolphins only scored a field goal.
First Quarter — B-
The first drive looked promising for Tannehill and the Dolphins, however a dropped pass by Rishard Matthews forced Miami to settle for the field goal.
The second drive of the quarter however saw Tannehill put way too much on a pass to Reggie Bush, followed by him throwing the ball out of bounds on third down as opposed to throwing to a wide open Matthews.
Not bad, but considering the hot start, not very good either. B- seems right here.
Overall Game Grade — A-
It took a while for Miami's offense to open up, as they spent the first half in the muck. But in the second half, we got to see some great execution from the Dolphins' offense.
Bush was inconsistent but still great, while Tannehill was both efficient and prolific. Great day all around.
Reggie Bush — A-
I really didn't know how to grade Reggie Bush. On one hand he did a lot of dancing behind the line and missed some big holes that would've led to huge runs. On the other hand he did average five yards per carry and ran for 104 yards on 21 attempts. But half of those yards did come on a 53-yard scamper in the third quarter.
I figured an A- fit since he did play well statistically and you can't forget that 53-yard run, which did lead to a field goal.
Daniel Thomas — Incomplete
Only one carry for six yards, but it appears that Thomas isn't getting a lot of playing time due to injuries. I can't knock him for that, plus he was productive on his lone run of the afternoon.
Lamar Miller — A
Miller only had six carries on the afternoon, but was very effective with those carries. He also pulled down a catch for two yards. Given the opportunities presented to them, it's an A.
Jorvorskie Lane — A
Lane's blocking was a big reason for Miami's offensive success, and he was able to add two catches for a touchdown. Great game for Lane and Miami's whole running back corps as a whole.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Brian Hartline — A
Congratulations to Brian Hartline for breaking the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Hartline had another good game for the Dolphins, catching five passes for 77 yards. Even more impressive is the fact that Hartline wasn't targeted until the second half.
Rishard Matthews — B
Matthews did have a dropped pass that shouldn't have been dropped, but the other times he was targeted saw him catch the ball three times for 23 yards.
Marlon Moore — A
Moore was only targeted twice, but both times he made the catch, including a 20-yard catch in the third quarter.
Marcus Thigpen — B
It wasn't a bad effort considering that it was Thigpen's first time in the slot all season, but he was productive in his one reception for 15 yards.
Anthony Fasano — A+
The impending free agent tight end is making a great final push to get a new contract with the 'phins, and today it looked like he fit into this offense thanks to six catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Charles Clay — B
Clay left the game in the second quarter with an injury, but prior to getting hurt he did catch both passes thrown to him. That's worth at least a B.
Nate Garner — A+
Richie Incognito — A+
Mike Pouncey — A+
John Jerry — A+
Jonathan Martin — A+
The Dolphins' line kept Tannehill clean save for one sack that turned into a fumble for Tannehill. Even then, that was on Tannehill for not getting rid of the ball in time.
Other than that, the Dolphins' line dominated at the line of scrimmage, allowing Miami to call whatever play they felt. They all get an A+ for this performance, as they put on a clinic showing how to block.
Overall Game Grade — A+
I know the Jaguars are a terrible team, but that doesn't make holding them to three points any less impressive. Miami played a clean and impressive game on defense despite missing Koa Misi for the whole game and Chris Clemons in stretches. Nolan Carroll was also lost for the whole game in the second quarter.
Despite the injuries, a great effort.
Cameron Wake — A
Paul Soliai — A
Randy Starks — A
Jared Odrick — A+
Tony McDaniel — A
Jared Odrick gets the lone A+ due to his sack as well as his three quarterback hits. While I still think he'd be better as an interior lineman, he looked great as a pass rusher this afternoon.
Cameron Wake was relatively quiet this afternoon, but a lot of that has to do with the Jaguars double-teaming him, which freed up Odrick to roam free. He was still in the pocket the same way he has been this season.
Soliai, Starks, and McDaniel didn't make much statistical noise, but they did open it up for the linebackers to come into the backfield.
Kevin Burnett — A
Burnett was all over the field, collecting eight tackles (two for a loss) and a sack. On top of that, his coverage on intermediate passes was superb.
Jason Trusnik — A
Trusnik did a good job filling in for Koa Misi, collecting three tackles and keeping Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis quiet on the afternoon.
Karlos Dansby — A
Much like Burnett, Dansby was all over the field, accounting for six tackles and a pass deflection.
Sean Smith —B+
Ignore Cecil Shorts' six catches for 101 yards and remember that most of this occurred during garbage time, Smith played Shorts well, preventing him from scoring throughout the game and overall covering him well. He exceeded my expectations on the day.
R.J. Stanford — B
Stanford had quite the challenge covering Justin Blackmon, but he wound up passing the test holding him to only six catches, with the majority of them coming during garbage time. Stanford just needs to work on his timing as that Henne pass to Blackmon for a touchdown (which was reversed by Jacksonville's own lack of awareness) was begging to be picked off.
Nolan Carroll — Incomplete
Carroll was doing fairly well covering Blackmon until he got hurt. Had he kept it up, he likely would've gotten an A, but since we only saw part of one half of him, his grade is incomplete.
Jimmy Wilson — A
Wilson played just about every position in the secondary during the game, and was pretty good in coverage while in as a nickleback.
Reshad Jones — A
Another typical Reshad Jones game where he deflected a pass while collecting three tackles. If anything he underachieved but considering that Jacksonville had issues on offense all day, it's a good thing that Jones didn't have to tackle someone three times.
Chris Clemons — A
A neck injury is no joke, but seeing Clemons come back and record 10 tackles is pretty impressive.
Brian McCann — A
McCann only really saw action on the last drive, but did record two tackles and a big pass deflection to prevent the touchdown. Pretty good effort.
Special Teams: A-
Overall Game Grade — A-
Yes, I'm probably harping just a bit too much on that fake field goal. But it did downgrade the unit's grade from an A to an A-.
Overall Game Grade — C
Yes, a C. Why? The play-calling was too uneven throughout the afternoon, only really finding its groove in the fourth quarter. Then there was that fake field goal call, which still doesn't make any sense to me. I'm not impressed overall.