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The Miami Dolphins suffered a devastating 31-23 loss Sunday night by the hand of the New York Jets. It was a game of many mistakes, on both sides.
Miami suffered countless missed tackles, mental mistakes, and had a punt blocked. New York had nine penalties.
Although the Dolphins came up short and endured their first loss of the season, there were are many positives to be taken from last night’s disappointment.
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QUARTERBACK – Miami realized they weren’t going to be able to pound the ball against a physical Jets defense. They finally opened up the offense and let Chad Henne air it out. He finished with 363 yards passing and his final pass was a hair away from becoming the overtime forcing touchdown in the final seconds. If you’re going to take one positive from this game, it’s Henne. Grade: B+
RUNNING BACKS – Ricky Williams had another fumble but thankfully it wasn’t lost. It’s about time Miami goes to the Wildcat less frequently. Last night it was a buzz kill. It halted momentum on several occasions. An attacking, physical defense will usually win out against that formation in the long run. Ronnie Brown (11 RUSH, 54 YDS) experienced moderate success and found some nice holes in the second half. Grade: B
RECEIVER/TIGHT END – Brandon Marshall (10 REC, 166 YDS, TD) lit up the Revis-less Jets. He got rolling and looked unstoppable for most of the game. It was disappointing they didn’t go to him on a slant or crossing pattern in the final moments. Brian Hartline (5 REC, 84 YDS) and Davone Bess (6 REC, 86 YDS) stepped up when called upon. Grade: A
O LINE – Pass protection was outstanding. They do need to improve their run blocking, however. This isn’t the same mauling group from last year. They’re more finesse and the Miami game-plan will have to be rearranged around that. This group may be better suited for draws and sweeps rather than runs straight up the gut. Grade: B
D LINE - They looked fatigued down the stretch as the Jets experienced success running the ball. This marks the second consecutive week the Dolphins defense couldn’t control the ground game. The line, in combination with the linebacking crew, also didn’t get much pressure on Mark Sanchez. Grade: C
LINEBACKERS - The Jets had a great game-plan in pass protection. They really did an excellent job at limiting Cameron Wake in pass-rushing situations. The tackle had help on Wake from a back or tight end for most of the game. They also went right at him with screens and counters as he was mostly ineffective against the run. Karlos Dansby has been continued to be a beast on defense. Grade: B
SECONDARY – Jason Allen was exposed in week three after the best game of his career against the Vikings last week. Part of the problem is that because Vontae Davis is so good, defenses look to the other side of the field almost exclusively. Allen missed a tackle on the Braylon Edwards touchdown and then blew coverage on a critical third down late in the game.
He needs to step it up. Safety Yeremiah Bell needs to improve as well. He hasn’t been his usual solid self, missing tackles and making countless mental mistakes. Grade: C
SPECIAL TEAMS – Kicker Dan Carpenter continues to produce. He connected on all three field goal attempts, including a 50-yard kick in the second half. Punter Brandon Fields pinned the Jets within their own 20-yard line three times. Punt protection was terrible after allowing a block at an important part of the game. Grade: C+
COACHING – The offense was solid, but tried to get too cute at times. Way too many end-arounds and Wildcat runs. The Jets were ready for that gimmicky stuff.
OVERALL – It was a fun, exciting game and the Fins nearly pulled away with the victory. A loss this early in the season, in this manner, could end up being a good thing. Hopefully the team plays angry next week and pummels a weak New England defense who was torched by the Bills this weekend.
Next Up- New England, Monday Night Football