Dolphins vs. Patriots: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Miami

Thomas GaliciaFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2012

Dolphins vs. Patriots: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Miami

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    Final

    Miami Dolphins 0

    New England Patriots 28

    Miami loses terribly in New England to finish 7-9 on the season.

    The Dolphins shot themselves in the foot in this game, as two turnovers and dropped passes kept them out of the end zone and off the scoreboard.

    For New England they finish 12-4 and like the Dolphins will be off next weekend. Unlike the Dolphins though, New England will be preparing for a playoff game.

    Here's a look at how Miami grades throughout a horrible afternoon.

    Before we get there though, a message to Dolphins fans: thanks for the reads and for making this season a fun one to cover. Dolphins fans are the team MVPs, mainly the ones that have read all of my articles. Be on the look out for my season report card, which will be released Wednesday Morning at 7am ET.

Ryan Tannehill: C-

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    Overall Game Grade C-

    I can't complain too much about Ryan Tannehill's game, and let me explain why.

    First off, he showed toughness and resiliency bouncing back not only from his interception, but from what I thought was a concussion in the third quarter. I questioned Miami for putting him back into the game, but he appeared fine on the next drive.

    Secondly, his receivers killed him all day. If that doesn't tell Jeff Ireland what Miami needs this off-season, he should be fired immediately (he should be fired immediately anyways).

    Finally, put things in perspective. While he didn't have the year that RGIII, Andrew Luck, or Russell Wilson had, he had a pretty decent year considering what he had around him. Compared to other rookie quarterbacks throughout history, he was pretty good, and I see good things ahead of him.

Offense: F

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    Overall Game Grade F

    You get shut out, you get an F. It's that simple.

    I can't blame this whole performance on Tannehill (yet I know many of you will), since his wide receivers let him down throughout the game.

    Many of his other players let him down as well, like his offensive line and his running backs.

    Miami's offense needs to be revamped this offseason, and this game proved it.

Running Backs

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    Reggie Bush — F

    Let's start with the eight carries for 26 yards, with 18 of those yards coming on a garbage time run.

    Let's end there because it only gets worse from there. Reggie played his worst game as a Miami Dolphin in likely his final game as a Miami Dolphin.

    Ironic, isn't it?

    To his credit, he did bring down two receptions for 23 yards and gave Miami the closest thing to a highlight play with one of his receptions.

    Lamar Miller — C

    I was surprised Miller didn't get any more touches than he did, but he ran for 13 yards on the five touches that he did get.

    No, that's not good.

    However like Bush, when the ball was thrown his way he did produce. The only negative is he was only targeted twice.

    Jorvorskie Lane — C-

    Where was his blocking? Lane did have two receptions for 14 yards, but the rest of his game was non-existent during the blowout.

Wide Receivers

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    Brian Hartline — B

    I can be complimentary to Brian Hartline, who seemed to catch anything thrown his way and wound up with five receptions for 69 yards.

    He sure is going to make a great secondary receiver for the Dolphins next season.

    Rishard Matthews — B

    Matthews also had a decent day, catching the ball when it was thrown his way. He ended up with three catches for 36 yards out of six targets, but when he didn't catch his targets, drops weren't the issue.

    Armon Binns — D

    Drops were an issue with Binns, who was targeted seven times (as many as Hartline) and wound up only catching three passes for 40 yards.

    But his drops, were they deadly for Miami. One of them would've been a touchdown, and another would've set Miami up with great field position.

    Marlon Moore — F

    Moore seemed to disappear today, like many Dolphins.

    Anthony Fasano — B

    It was sad to see Fasano's day end the way it did (and how no penalty was called I will never know), but prior to that play, Fasano had a pretty good drive and overall a decent day, catching three passes for 31 yards.

Offensive Line

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    Jonathan Martin — F

    Richie Incognito — F

    Mike Pouncey — B-

    John Jerry — F

    Nate Garner — F

    *Drops the mic*

    Do I really have to say anything that those grades can't convey? By the way, Pouncey's B- comes from the fact that he blew a few plays too, but other than that he was the best of a horrid bunch this afternoon.

    What's worth mentioning is that Richie Incognito left in the fourth quarter with a neck injury, however he was terrible prior to the injury.

Defense: D-

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    Overall Game Grade D-

    I think I'm being generous with this grade. Miami's defense played uneven and uninspired football throughout the game, allowing Brady and the Patriots offense to run roughshod over them.

    New England's running attack dominated as well, giving Miami's defense fits and keeping them on the field.

    Not a good effort at all.

Defensive Line

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    Cameron Wake — C

    The Patriots seem to be the only team to have Cameron Wake figured out.

    Hopefully next season when the Dolphins get another rusher (big if, remember Jeff Ireland is running this team), this won't be such an issue.

    But today, it was huge.

    Paul Soliai — B-

    New England had its way on the ground on Sunday, and keeping Soliai occupied is a major reason for their success.

    He did manage two tackles for a loss and was one of Miami's better performers along the line.

    Randy Starks — C

    Starks was held up a lot by New England's offensive line, and was nearly invisible this afternoon.

    Jared Odrick — B-

    Odrick had a tackle for loss and a pass deflection.

    I can't say anything else good about his performance.

    Tony McDaniel — F

    McDaniel has had better days, his one tackle was a shared tackle, other than that his impact was felt by no one.

Linebackers

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    Kevin Burnett — B

    A concussion cut short Kevin Burnett's afternoon, but he was having a good one with 10 tackles and one hit on the quarterback.

    Koa Misi — D

    Jason Trusnik got the start for Miami as Misi was eased into the game, but Misi did record one tackle while on the field.

    Karlos Dansby — B

    Dansby led the Dolphins in tackles with 13 on the afternoon, and was their best player on defense not named Reshad Jones.

    Jason Trusnik — D

    You want your starting linebacker to get more than four tackles. I'm just sayin'.

    Jonathan Freeney — B-

    In relief of an injured Kevin Burnett, Freeny was able to record five tackles in his short time on the field.

Secondary

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    Sean Smith — F

    Let's stop all of this talk of Sean Smith getting the franchise tag. He not only had a horrible performance on Sunday, but is actually responsible for giving Kevin Burnett a concussion.

    I won't miss him one bit next season, which of course means the Dolphins will tag him.

    Brian McCann — B

    I really like this McCann kid, he works hard on every play and actually does a decent job in coverage. On top of that, he had a sack today as well.

    Will we see him in training camp next season? We should.

    Dimitri Patterson —C

    Patterson is another player who saw his day get cut short due to injury. Prior to getting hurt he wasn't great, but he wasn't embarrassing himself either.

    He was better than Sean Smith though.

    Jimmy Wilson — C

    Wilson did have five tackles, but he did have some missteps in coverage though.

    Reshad Jones — A

    Someone got an A in this game!

    Of course it was Reshad Jones, who had nine tackles on the afternoon.

    Chris Clemons — B

    With his five tackles and a (rightfully) called back touchdown that showed that you play until the whistle, I approve of Chris Clemons' afternoon.

Special Teams: B-

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    Overall Game Grade B-

    Some of Marcus Thigpen's returns were quite maddening, especially his kickoff return to start the third quarter.

    Kaeding's field goal looked decent until it hooked too much, due to the wind.

    But Brandon Fields was Brandon Fields: solid.

    Too bad the defense couldn't stop the Patriots offensive attack.

Coaching: C-

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    Overall Game Grade C-

    Shocked, aren't you?

    Shocked I'd be so positive with their grades? Let me explain.

    With better receivers, this was a good gameplan up until the fourth quarter.

    The problem: dropped passes, simple as that.

    The game plan seemed to be written as a memo to Jeff Ireland: we need playmakers, and we need them now!