Saints vs. Dolphins: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis for Miami
The Dolphins' final preseason game is now in the books, after what would have been a thrilling comeback if the game had been a regular season game. Beginning late in the third quarter, the team began to be outplayed significantly by quarterback Ryan Griffin, tailback Khiry Robinson and the Saints offense. However, miscues kept the Dolphins in the game.
The Saints blew a coverage on fourth-and-3, allowing Marvin McNutt to catch a 56 yard touchdown pass. Griffin had his Saints offense back on the door step of the end zone, attempting to score the go-ahead touchdown, but threw an interception trying to hit a back in the flat.
Dolphins - 24
Saints - 21
I hope you enjoyed the Live Blog and hopefully you will stay tuned to Bleacher Report for other Live Blogs this season.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Line: Dolphins -5.5
Television: CBS-4 (Miami-Dade and Broward Counties)
Television: WTVX (West Palm Beach)
Television: WBBH (Fort Myers)
Television: WRDQ (Orlando)
Radio: 105.9 FM (Miami)
Radio: 940 AM (Miami)
Radio Español: 1140 AM (Miami)
Suddenly, all three receivers fighting for the fifth wide receiver spot have decided to put their foot forward. Chad Bumphis made a nice play on a punt return that was called back on penalty, and followed up with two nice catches for 27 yards. Brian Tyms added a couple of catches of his own, and finally Marvin McNutt ran a deep route from the slot and caught a 56 yard touchdown.
The fifth receiver spot could end up a tough decision for the Dolphins' coaches.
The clock is ticking on some players in their bid to make the team.
One such player is tailback Jonas Gray. Currently, he is not making his dream happen. He has had very little room to run, however ultimately what will decide his fate is whether he has put something down on film that makes the team fear what another team may do if they put him on waivers. Thus far, he has not.
Another player with his chances expiring is receiver Chad Bumphis. He has an ace in the hole in the form of special teams coach Darren Rizzi's desire to pair up at the punt return position. However, that alone will not get him on the team. He needs to show that he can be a consistent player from the slot. He has yet to make a catch tonight.
Corner Julian Posey made a very costly mistake that ultimately cost the team a touchdown. With safety Jordan Kovacs in man coverage on a slot receiver, Posey stayed up in a press position and allowed his receiver a free release into the middle of the field, which was vacant due to the coverage call. Quarterback Ryan Griffin hit Preston Parker in stride and the play brought the ball all the way to the goal line.
Michael Egnew battled back with a really keen catch to convert a first down. What was most impressive on the play was how he took a big hit immediately after securing the ball, and he held onto it.
The linebackers are having a very difficult time containing tailback Khiry Robinson of the New Orleans Saints. He broke several tackles just during the third quarter.
Checking back in after getting caught up.
Defensive tackle Vaughn Martin is having an excellent game, all the way around. In addition to his plays against the ground game, he also had a nice pass rush as he stunted around the right tackle and showed off his athleticism.
Dion Sims is having a nice game with short catches underneath the linebacker coverage. He is not necessarily showing run-after-catch ability on these plays, but he's getting to his spot quickly off the line. This was a Dustin Keller specialty and the Dolphins will be thrilled with what he is showing in this regard.
The offensive line is having a terrible time opening up running lanes for both Mike Gillislee and Jonas Gray. Of the two, Gray has been the recipient of the worse blocking as he has been hit in the backfield a handful of times.
Brian Tyms and Chad Bumphis are the primary receivers fighting for that fifth wide receiver spot. Bumphis has once again been handed punt return duties for a fourth game in a row. This is significant as Darren Rizzi made it clear he would prefer a committee approach to punt return duties.
The only other players likely to make the roster who have even college experience returning punts are Brian Hartline and Rishard Matthews, and the chances of the Dolphins making a Week 1 choice to have one of those two return punts without having practiced them in the preseason is very low. Corner DeAndre Presley returned punts in the Hall of Fame game, but his chances of making the team are minimal.
Brian Tyms threw some punches early in his bid to make the team with a very impressive series. However, he made a critical mistake not coming back to the football on an end zone hook route, and it cost the team points off the board as the defender beat Tyms to the football and intercepted it. Chad Bumphis also had an interception thrown his way, but there was very little he could have done about it as Pat Devlin either should have not thrown the ball, or he should have placed it higher based on the corner's position.
The Saints receiver Nick Toon once again made corner R.J. Stanford whiff on a tackle attempt after the short catch. Stanford is having a rough game.
Kelcie McCray made a great read on a deep attempt by quarterback Ryan Griffin. However, he let the would-be interception slip right through his hands. A play later, he made a great tackle on an attempt to check down underneath on third-and-4, not allowing the tailback to get the necessary yards after the catch to get the first down.
Derrick Shelby is having a good game as a pass rusher. Here he shows an ability to move from one blocker to another fluidly, using his hands and feet to create spacing for himself and a free lane to the quarterback.
Nate Garner played the position of left tackle during the evening and showed his limitations. At the point of the attached picture you can see that pass rusher Jay Richardson has already won with his hand use and ability to get his hips back to the inside, moving his feet while using his hands. On the same play, right guard John Jerry also got bull rushed directly back into the quarterback's spot, but Pat Devlin was already sacked by Garner's man.
After a fumble which gave the Dolphins a red zone opportunity, the team tried to get Michael Egnew more involved in the passing attack.
Despite some false impressions given by the Dolphins' announcing crew, the bottom line was that Egnew had some spacing on the two plays, but Pat Devlin just could not find him.
Here we see receiver Brian Tyms continue his nice series with what very well could have been a touchdown catch, had quarterback Pat Devlin shown a little more patience and the strong arm to push the ball to the corner of the end zone while on the move.
On this play at the top of the picture you can see Tyms has used his hands very subtly and effectively (without getting called for any penalties) to put the defensive back off balance while he breaks to the outside corner of the end zone.
Considering Brian Tyms' physical gifts, if he is able to continue playing this way during the game, he may make the roster as the fifth receiver.
The Dolphins seemingly made an effort to feature tailback Mike Gillislee on their second offensive drive of the night, but mixed up that effort with attempts to get the ball to the physically gifted receiver Brian Tyms.
Two interesting things are happening simultaneously during this still shot. Back at the quarterback you can clearly see John Jerry having a very difficult time blocking his man on the inside, who is able to flash at Pat Devlin forcing an early over throw while trying to get the football to Tyms. Jerry did not have a good game last week and he will need to do better than this to give the team confidence in the right guard position.
Simultaneously, Brian Tyms has executed a double move at the top of your screen which, as you can see, fooled the corner and forced him to extend his arms in pass interference as Tyms was in the process of blowing by him.
Brian Tyms is having a nice series.
At the top of this picture you will find Brian Tyms just off the line of scrimmage on first-and-10 following the Saints' initial score of the game.
The reason I highlighted this is because of how cleanly Tyms got off the line against press. At this point he has his arm extended to fight the jam and has essentially already won the route. The catch from this point on was more about the execution of the quarterback and whether or not Tyms was destined to drop the football. In this case, he was not. This ended up a very good first down gain.
Shortly after a heroic effort by Saints receiver Nick Toon converted a first down off third-and-10, the Saints got another great effort from tailback Mark Ingram who broke linebacker Jason Trusnik's attempt at a wrap-up tackle and scrambled into the end zone for a touchdown.
The Dolphins' first drive ended on a three-and-out effort, and the Saints' first try ended with a long touchdown drive.
Saints - 7
Dolphins - 0
A few miscues by the Saints offense later and New Orleans faced another third down, this time third-and-10.
Once again we see Derrick Shelby's ability to bend at the bottom of his rush and come back to the quarterback, which is a key necessary trait for pass rushers. Many pass rushers can get to the outside, but their ability to get narrow and bend here so that they do not get washed out and put on the ground is what makes a player productive.
This was an excellent pass rush by Derrick Shelby, but unfortunately once again the Saints found an open receiver who was able to make the play necessary for the first down. Receiver Nick Toon got open against corner R.J. Stanford of the Dolphins, came back to the football and then made Stanford fall to the ground with nothing in his arms but air as he missed the tackle.
After defensive tackle Vaughn Martin had made two more very impressive plays against the run forcing a third-and-3, left defensive end Derrick Shelby (jersey #79) showed off his pass rush abilities by slapping down the blocker's hands and getting his hips around the outside to put pressure on Luke McCown.
Unfortunately, McCown was able to find an underneath outlet receiver for a completion and a first down, despite the pressure.
Later on the same New Orleans Saints offensive drive, we find corner Jamar Taylor (jersey #22) once again with the bull's eye on his back as Mark Ingram bounces the ball to the outside where Taylor should have had containment.
The receiver had thoroughly blocked him and opened up a lane for Ingram to run through on the sidelines for a good gain.
Defensive tackle Vaughn Martin of the Miami Dolphins has had a rough preseason. Having watched his San Diego tape when the Dolphins announced his signing during the off season, I did not expect much from him even though the Dolphins apparently did. I thought he showed a lack of flexibility and suddenness, though his core strength was through the roof.
Plays like these will help him make the roster after all, rather than force the front office to make a business decision. As you can see, Martin gets his hips fully into the running lane, forcing the runner to cut back. To make matters better for Vaughn, he got off the block and actually made the tackle on the runner. This was excellently done.
On the following drive by the New Orleans Saints offense, Luke McCown completed a quick pass to Marques Colston over the middle.
With rookie corner Will Davis ailing and out of the game, fellow rookie Jamar Taylor (taken in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft) is getting an opportunity to make a case for playing time. Taylor has battled hernia issues for most of camp and has only returned to practice in the last few weeks.
On this play, he did not make a strong case for himself as he fell right off the tackle attempt on Marques Colston.
The Dolphins' first drive ends in offensive futility with two runs and a pass on third-and-long.
Mike Gillislee got the start at tailback tonight and while there was running room to be had on at least one of his two runs, it was not much.
On the first run of the day, Gillislee did not necessarily make the wrong read. He cut back into the first gap where the the defender had failed to get his hips all the way into the gap. Some better blocking might have resulted in more real estate on this run. However, as you can see from the attached picture, had Mike Gillislee followed his lead blocker to the outside, he may have found fertile ground with a seal block from Evan Rodriguez and free access to the sidelines.
The Dolphins went to the air on third down. They brought out a three-wide receiver personnel package that featured Marvin McNutt working the slot, with Rishard Matthews and Brian Tyms on the edges. A miscommunication between quarterback Pat Devlin and wide receiver Rishard Matthews resulted in Devlin throwing a deep fade into the hole between the corner and safety coverage, while Matthews cut his route short by a considerable amount.
Coverage has begun on my end. It appears that the starters will not be playing tonight, with the exception of right guard John Jerry.
Jerry had a very challenging game last week coming off the time he spent injured and out of practice. In the past he has shown that he can be played into proper game shape.
Nate Garner will be manning the left tackle spot, and that should be interesting. Dallas Thomas will be playing right tackle.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 29, 2013
Before the game starts we have a few relevant updates, courtesy of some of the Miami Dolphins' local beat writers.
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