San Diego Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins: Live Grades and Analysis for Miami

Thomas GaliciaContributor IINovember 17, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 17:   Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after a touchdown during their game against the San Diego Chargers at Sun Life Stadium on November 17, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins (5-5) have defeated the San Diego Chargers (4-6) 20-16 in a battle for pole position for the final playoff spot in the AFC. 

The victory ties Miami with the New York Jets for the final AFC playoff spot, with two games left against their AFC East rivals. For the Chargers, a loss puts them one game back of both the Dolphins and Jets for the final playoff appearance, with Miami owning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chargers. 

Here's a look at Miami's grades for today's game. 

Miami Dolphins Game Grades
Position UnitFirst Half GradeGame Grade
Pass OffenseBB
Run OffenseAA
Run DefenseDD
Pass DefenseCB
Special TeamsCC
Week 11 vs. San Diego Chargers


Game Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: There was a lot to like, but also a lot to be annoyed by.

Tannehill wasn’t precise at all today, missing long passes—which has become the norm for him—and making too many bad third-down reads. And would it kill him to look for someone who’s past the first down marker?

The statistics however paint the picture of an efficient quarterback with only one major mistake. The problem is, Tannehill made plenty of major miscues that can’t be overlooked.

Run Offense: Miami’s running game was effective in this game, but any production would have been an improvement over the last game. Daniel Thomas was the most productive back, which is a surprise to everyone who watches this team.

Run Defense: When running the ball, the Chargers were able to go wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted. This run defense has to improve. Too many teams have had their way on the ground against Miami.

Pass Defense: As the game went on, the pressure increased, but on the final drive the tackling left a lot to be desired.

Special Teams:  Brandon Fields had a nearly perfect punt late in the fourth quarter that was nearly undone by bad punt coverage, which allowed San Diego to gain an extra 10 yards on the return. Every other aspect of special teams was fairly good today, except for that punt coverage.

Coaching: They get an A today. The play-calling was superb, it just could have been executed better by the players. The best part about this grade: win or lose, I would have given it to them.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 17:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball during their game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on November 17, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: Once again, Ryan Tannehill has had issues with the deep ball, and also threw two horrendous passes, one that should have been picked off and one that was.

Once the Dolphins started using a moving pocket and rolling him out, Tannehill was effective and efficient. He still has to play much better in this game though. He has been mediocre, despite going 14-for-21 for 153 yards.

Run Offense: Daniel Thomas has been Miami’s best offensive player this afternoon. I’m just as shocked as you are. I credit the play-calling for the good run game that has produced 48 yards on 10 attempts, which is even more surprising than Thomas' performance.

Run Defense: Unsurprisingly, the Dolphins have had problems stopping the run. The Chargers ran for 76 yards on 13 attempts and they made it look easy.  

Pass Defense: The Chargers haven’t passed the ball all that much in the first half, with Philip Rivers only attempting 11 passes. However, 99 yards on 11 passes is still a large amount.

Special Teams:  Some very bad special teams play was exhibited on the first punt of the game. Brandon Fields should not be the guy recording the tackle.

Coaching:  Offensively, this game has been called very well. The problem has been the execution, especially Tannehill’s passing. Defensively, the Dolphins have been too aggressive with their blitzing, and the Chargers have taken advantage of that by effectively running the ball.

Overall, I can’t complain too much about the Dolphins coaches: the players simply aren’t executing well despite them.