Miami Dolphins: Winners, Losers at the Season's Quarter Mark
The Miami Dolphins have had a rough start to the year. Sitting at 0-4 and in the basement of the AFC East, the Dolphins have some changes coming on the way unless they can turn the ship around quickly. However, despite the lack of winning, some members of the team have played well.
The Dolphins have not been terrible in their opening games and they may not deserve to be 0-4, but the NFL is cruel. After giving up more than 500 yards to Tom Brady and losing a last-second lead against the Browns, the Dolphins have played better than their record suggests, but that doesn't cut it.
So here are three winners and three losers so far for the Dolphins.
Winner: Yeremiah Bell
Yeremiah Bell has been a tackling machine in the first quarter of the season. Bell is tied for fourth in the NFL in tackles and has seen plenty of action. In the Week 4 loss to the Chargers, Bell had 14 total tackles, which led the team.
Bell has yet to cause any turnovers with his tackles, but tackling in the secondary is very important to any team. The problem for the Dolphins is that a safety has the most tackles on the team. That only means the defense is giving up a lot of yards.
Loser: Miami Secondary
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The Miami secondary has been dreadful. To be fair, the Dolphins have played three of the best quarterbacks in the NFL already in Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub and Tom Brady. Brady put on a clinic against the Dolphins, although he has been doing that against everyone (except the Bills).
The Dolphins have given up the third-most passing yards through Week 4 with 1,248 yards. Brady accumulated 522 yards in Week 1, so the defense has been better since then. The Dolphins secondary is better than 30th in the NFL, but up to now it hasn't shown that.
Winner: Daniel Thomas
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Daniel Thomas was the Dolphins' second-round pick this season and he has been a bright spot for Miami when he has played. He missed the first game against New England and the Week 4 matchup with San Diego because of injury but has starred in the two games he has played in.
Thomas has 202 rushing yards in two games, which places him 20th in the NFL (the others have played more games). Thomas is rushing for 4.9 yards per attempt and has made the loss of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown easier to swallow with his success.
The future is bright for Thomas as long as he can stay on the field.
Loser: The Quarterbacks
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When the Dolphins drafted Chad Henne they thought they had an answer to the quarterback situation. Henne has not performed for the Dolphins and his injury in the Chargers game does not make the situation better.
Matt Moore is Henne's backup and, after a stint in Carolina, hasn't proven that he is an NFL quarterback. He went 16-of-27 against San Diego for 167 yards after coming in to replace Henne. In a division with Tom Brady, the Dolphins need to answer the quarterback question before being serious contenders in the AFC.
Winner: The Organization for Partaking in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes
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The Dolphins, Vikings, Colts and Rams are the only winless teams left after Week 4. The Rams will win games against the weak NFC West and they already have their franchise quarterback. The Colts are waiting for Peyton Manning but may take Andrew Luck if they get the No. 1 pick. The Vikings are interesting because they drafted Christian Ponder, but Luck may be the better option.
Other teams are sure to enter the sweepstakes, but if the Dolphins are lucky enough to get the No. 1 pick they would have a franchise quarterback to build around as well as something to get the fanbase excited. Luck would be the first franchise quarterback since Dan Marino (I'm not comparing Luck to Marino, don't worry).
Loser: Tony Sparano
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If the Dolphins do not come back and have a respectable year, Tony Sparano will be out the door. After making the playoffs in his first season in 2008, Sparano has been unable to garner that magic again. This may be his last season with the Dolphins if they don't make a strong push.
The Dolphins will stick with Sparano through the bye in Week 5, according to ESPN. If the losing continues (especially in Week 6, against the Jets on Monday Night Football), expect the Dolphins to make a change sooner rather than later.
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The Dolphins are a disaster right now. Heading into the bye, the Dolphins are winless and have dug themselves in a hole that they may not be able to get out of. The quarterback situation has not been answered and the head coach's position may soon be vacant.
The Dolphins have played better than their record says, but the only statistic that matters in the NFL is wins. Miami has to come back strong for the rest of the season if it has any hope of saving its season and its coach's job.
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