The Dolphins had a poor start, a very good middle (scoring 19 unanswered points) and a horrendous ending, which is why they are now 4-5, why they now need help to get into the playoffs, and why they could potentially see a housecleaning come this offseason (if not sooner due to some other issues surrounding the team).
Here are the grades for Monday's game:
|Position Unit||First-Half Grades||Game Grades|
Week 10 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Game Analysis for the Miami Dolphins
Pass Offense: For two-and-a-half quarters, the Ryan Tannehill-to-Rishard Matthews connection was the best thing going for the Dolphins.
Then came the final drive, and Tannehill was an outright disaster. Weirdly, he wasn't too bad this evening, completing 27 of 42 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns with the one interception on the final offensive play of the game.
Run Offense: The Dolphins had two rushing yards on Monday night. How did they do so poorly against the Buccaneers when they did so well against a team that could stop the run in Cincinnati?
Run Defense: The run defense was the worst aspect of the game, allowing the Buccaneers to run for 150 yards on the evening.
Mike James ran for 41 yards. That's great, except it was all on the first drive when he broke his ankle, according to Chris Wesseling of NFL.com.
Pass Defense: This was actually the best part of the game, and even it got burned from time to time.
Special Teams: Brandon Fields was huge for the Dolphins this week. Marcus Thigpen, not so much save for a punt return in the third quarter.
Coaching: "They should be prepared to play a bad Tampa Bay Buccaneers team with an 11-day break, right?"
I ended my Bengals vs. Dolphins Game Grades piece with that quote. Boy, was I wrong. The Dolphins started slow just like they did against the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons, then they ended the game the same way they ended it against the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
No discipline (bad penalties on Mike Pouncey in the first quarter and Phillip Wheeler in the fourth quarter) and horrendous play-calling. Unacceptable, no matter what they might be going through.
First-Half Analysis for the Miami Dolphins
Pass Offense: Tannehill himself hasn't done too bad. If anything, he and Matthews have been the best players on offense.
Tannehill was excellent in his two-minute drive, which is where he seems to be at his best. Overall, he's 15-of-19 this evening, throwing for 121 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and a 110.7 quarterback rating.
Run Offense: This is perplexing to me that the same line (Nate Garner at left guard, no Jon Martin or Richie Incognito) that dominated a good Cincinnati Bengals defensive front has been dominated by a bad Tampa Bay defensive front. The running game has also been complete garbage after the best game it has had.
Run Defense: James looked tremendous against the Seattle Seahawks. To see him do well in the first drive of the game wasn't surprising. The disconcerting part was how well Brian Leonard did against the Dolphins in the first half (32 yards on eight carries).
Pass Defense: Between the pass-interference penalties and some bad big plays sprung by the Buccaneers offense, it's hard to believe that the Bucs have only thrown for 80 yards in the first half—it felt like 800 at times.
Not enough pressure up front for Miami, though, which could help in the second half.
Special Teams: Thigpen has been terrible so far, while Fields has been Fields.
Coaching: At times, it looked like the coaching staff had lost this team. Outside of the last drive of the half, it looks like they have. This team came into the game unprepared on both sides of the ball and was also undisciplined and unfocused.