Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons: 6 Dolphins Negatives from Last Night's Game
Miami had a relatively busy offseason. They addressed their offensive line with their first pick by taking center/guard Mike Pouncey. They brought in two running backs: Daniel Thomas out of Kansas State and Reggie Bush from New Orleans.
On defense they let go of linebacker Channing Crowder and replaced him with Kevin Burnett from the San Diego Chargers.
They added a speedster at wide receiver in Clyde Gates and signed tackle Marc Colombo from the Dallas Cowboys.
Everything was looking up for the Miami Dolphins; that is until they stepped on the field.
Daniel Thomas Ran the Ball Poorly
Daniel Thomas was poor running the ball from scrimmage, his longest run being three yards. With the opportunities he was given, he did very little.
He is supposed to be a powerful, tackle-breaking runner, but I don't see it. In his highlights from Kansas State, he rarely seems able to run through defenders. I don't know where he got that reputation.
With that said, some of the blame can be put on Miami's offensive line. They didn't clear good enough holes to break big runs. Also, he was only given 5 carries.
He did manage to catch a pass out of the backfield that he took for 25 yards; ironic considering that is supposed to be Reggie Bush's role.
In the end I don't think that Daniel Thomas will be an issue. This was a bad game, but I think he will be able to show us why Miami traded up to get him. Running backs are a dime a dozen and made by their offensive lines, so when Jake Long is back Thomas will be significantly better.
The Offensive Line Backups Are Bad
A big concern for the Miami Dolphins heading into training camp was the backup players at the offensive line positions. The starters are very good, but they gained value after watching how bad the second unit is.
They couldn't clear holes for the running game and collapsed many times. They broke down in pass protection.
Miami cannot afford to lose any starters; if they do the Dolphins are in serious turmoil.
As a former offensive line coach, head coach Tony Sparano should be able to help them progress at a fast pace. He now needs to get them into shape quicker, or many problems will arise.
Sean Smith and Vontae Davis Might Not Be as Good as Miami Hoped
The Dolphins had hoped that Sean Smith would be good enough to start opposite Vontae Davis. Davis is a rising star and had a great year in 2010, but he got beat a couple of times against the Falcons.
On one play he allowed Julio Jones to come across the middle of the field and gain plenty of yards after the catch. He looked lazy on that play and wasn't running very hard.
Last year Jason Allen was terrible starting at the other corner position. Sean Smith stepped in later in the year and had a decent campaign. He had many interception chances that he dropped though.
Sean Smith didn't have a terrible game, but there are still question marks.
Let's hope that they get it into gear quickly.
The First Team Defense Got Burned
In 2010 Miami was a very good defensive team. They ranked 6th at the end of the season and easily could have been higher had it not been for a bad game against the Patriots.
The starters for Miami allowed 17 points by Atlanta's starting offense. Miami was beaten through the air and on the ground. At one point they even gave up a big run to Atlanta's fullback.
If they play this badly every game then Miami is in for a tough season.
Dolphins Starters Lost 17-7
If you don't account for backup time, Miami lost this game.
The starting offense couldn't get anything going. They failed to put points on the board with exception to a play where Brian Hartline was left wide open.
The defense couldn't stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense at all. They failed to shut them down once and were embarrassed.
If this is an indication of how the year will go, Miami will be a very bad team.
Chad Henne—Enough Said
This offseason Miami failed to address the quarterback position and assured fans it was because they had faith in Chad Henne.
I tried my hardest to believe them for a while, and gave him the benefit of the doubt. I thought of ways he could improve and used the talent around him as the reason that he could be successful.
Safe to say, he has not improved and does not look like a player who can be successful.
Chad Henne threw two interceptions and only completed 50% of his passes.
The first interception was a catchable ball thrown behind Anthony Fasano; it was an easy pass to make and Henne failed to execute it. We'll put this one on Fasano because he could have had it.
I can't find words to describe how bad the second one was.
It proved to me that Chad Henne has not corrected his poor decision making skills. He is the same erratic quarterback that Dolphins fans suffered through last year.
Can he be a long term solution at QB?
It seems highly unlikely.
He threw one touchdown to a wide open Brian Hartline.
The second team looked good and managed to win the game for Miami.
Wide Receiver Roberto Wallace had a big game. I have always thought that this kid had potential and he showed it. He caught 3 passes for 60 yards with one touchdown.
Phillip Livas had a huge 75-yard touchdown return.
Matt Moore played well. It was against a second unit, but success deserves praise. I actually feel like he could be alright when Henne gets the boot.
Lets Hope That Miami Played This Way Because It Was the Preseason
The first unit was bad, but the god news is that they can't get too much worse.
I' hoping that this was only because it's the preseason. Usually players don't want to get hurt during this time and this could be an explanation as to why they played this bad.
If this really is the team that Miami is going to be then at least they have the quarterback for the job. It is possible that Miami's playing for draft picks and only cares about losing enough games to get a good quarterback.