Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

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Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:47 pm

Some good things tonight, but overall far too much bad.

Ajayi ran hard and had a couple of short TDs. I'd like to see more consistency on a play-by-play basis in the running game, but that's more on the OL. Ajayi is ready.

Cutler had a pretty "meh" game, with an awful fumble and a few passes that were off the mark. He was bailed out on a great catch by Parker (who took it 70+ yards) on an underthrown jump-ball pass that could have been intercepted.

Landry wasn't targeted a lot, but he looked like Landry. I'd like to see him get more in sync with Cutler. Stills ran some nice routes and looked to be open most of the night.

The OL was mostly terrible, with every starter missing blocks and getting beat at times. Tunsil completely whiffed on a block that led to the Cutler fumble. Bushrod looked old and slow. Davis may have been the best lineman tonight, which is a good sign. Good to see Pouncey on the field, but he didn't have much of an impact.

Julius Thomas scored an easy short TD on a nicely-executed route across the goal-line, but otherwise had a rough game. He looked a little lost out there to me.

The brightest spot of the night for me was the special teams, where the coverage teams were simply outstanding. Backup LB Deon Lacey looks like he's earned a spot on the 53 on STs alone.

And now, the defense. Despite forcing a couple of turnovers, the D looked really, really bad - maybe worse than the crap we saw last season. The middle of the field continues to be a huge concern, as the Dolphins literally have no one that can cover the middle.

The LB play was just embarrassing, especially Hull and Alonso. Talk about invisible. Timmons looks like he still has some gas in the tank, so that's a plus, but he also looks slow. I don't think there is a worse LB unit in the NFL when it comes to coverage. The Pats are going to carve up this D.

Veterans Byron Maxwell and Reshad Jones were both terrible, with Maxwell getting burned all over the field and Jones being out of position and missing tackles. I expect a lot more from those guys.

Some good things at DE from Branch, Hayes (tipped pass that led to an INT) and Wake, but I was less impressed with the DTs. Suh had a solid game, but I didn't see much push in the passing game from anyone else, and the other DTs were pushed around in the run game. I kept a close eye on the Godchaux vs. Phillips battle, and I give the edge to Phillips tonight for his excellent INT and long return. But neither player was all that impressive, both easily getting blocked and Godchaux missing a couple of tackles.

The Eagles took their starters out late in the first quarter, but the Phins kept all their starters in (minus Cutler) for the full first half. The Eagles #2s beat the Dolphins #1s 14-10 in the second quarter. Not what you want to see.

Not much to say about the Miami backups, because for the most part they were unwatchable. LB Chase Allen missed a bunch of tackles, but he also made a bunch and was very active. He's raw, but looks like a keeper. The backup QBs were pathetic, with Moore looking as bad as I've ever seen him (and that's saying a lot) and Doughty and Fales looking like players that should be looking for new careers very soon. Doughty, especially, just didn't belong on the field. I didn't even see first-round pick Charles Harris, which is not a good sign.

Overall, I saw some encouraging things on offense, but the OL remains the weak link. Defense looks like a disaster.

The depth on this team remains very poor across the board, and I don't think they can survive anymore key injuries.


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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:54 pm

One more thing: Gase has to figure out how to keep his offense on the field. It was a big issue last season, and it looks like nothing has changed. Just 2 of 11 on third downs tonight, and the Eagles had the ball almost twice as long as the Phins did. 20 minutes of offense in a 60-minute game is just not good enough.

I know this is preseason, but again, this was an issue last year too.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by CarsonChris on Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:40 pm

Ajayi is a beast. He needs support behind him. Parker showed the catch radius. Hope he has a strong year. Cutler looks as comfortable as a QB can that's running for his life.

Wish Gase brought it an old veteran defensive coach. We need a D coach that can make this group better. Need a coach that can put together a defensive game plan.

Looks like a 7-9 team. Enough offense to win some games but a defense that can't stop anyone.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by Degarmo on Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:06 am

Tunsil looked like absolute shit a couple of times, and quite frankly, had an air about "I don't give a shit" about him. Perhaps it was just me diving deep into a couple of plays in particular, but I'm not sure where his head is at.
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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by Birdmond on Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:54 am

CarsonChris wrote:Ajayi is a beast. He needs support behind him. Parker showed the catch radius. Hope he has a strong year. Cutler looks as comfortable as a QB can that's running for his life.

Wish Gase brought it an old veteran defensive coach. We need a D coach that can make this group better. Need a coach that can put together a defensive game plan.

Looks like a 7-9 team. Enough offense to win some games but a defense that can't stop anyone.

The defense is troubling but the potential of the offense has me drooling. At least when we lose the games will be fun to Watch. I do believe several defenders were playing not to get hurt with the exception of Maxwell who I'm pretty sure couldn't guard me. At least we know we'll clear 10 million in cap space next year by cutting his sorry arse. I'd start Tank over Maxwell and let the Rookie learn. At least Tank has blazing speed to make up for his lack of experience.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:48 am

I tend to agree with you about the corners, Bird. Maxwell is a dead end on this team...he's playing his last season for us. So why not give the rookie a trial by fire? In reality, though, barring injury I don't expect to see Tank get much action in the first half of the season.

We could be in for a lot of shootouts this year, with the offense having some big-play ability and the D giving up chunks of yards and points. Again, Gase needs to keep his offense on the field as long as possible. Gotta cut down on the 3 and outs. Longer, sustained drives will help to at least keep the D fresh.

I'm curious to see how this offense will fare against the better teams. Last year was pretty damn bad in that respect.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by white1 on Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:50 am

Agree on two points you guys raised.

WTF is wrong with Tunsil. He needs to play better. Much better. I've already given up on JuWan James, please don't tell me BOTH of our first round tackles aren't worth keeping beyond their rookie deals. BTW, how is that Ravens tackle working out, the one they took over Tunsil? I'm afraid to ask.

Our defense. Ugh. Burke may have the shortest career as a DC in league history if this is what we bring to the regular season. Broken coverages, missed tackles, where the hell are our linebackers? What I wouldn't give to see a guy like Wade Phillips over this defense. We need a veteran coach on that side of the ball. My biggest worry by far is to see a repeat of the second half of 2016. That was historically bad defense.



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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:06 am

white1 wrote:
Our defense.  Ugh.  Burke may have the shortest career as a DC in league history if this is what we bring to the regular season.  Broken coverages, missed tackles, where the hell are our linebackers? What I wouldn't give to see a guy like Wade Phillips over this defense.  We need a veteran coach on that side of the ball.  My biggest worry by far is to see a repeat of the second half of 2016.  That was historically bad defense.

We are very weak at LB and Safety. No way around it. Like I said, the middle of the field is easy pickings for smart offensive coordinators - both run and pass. Short passes in the middle are going to destroy us all season - again. I'd love to be a TE playing against the Dolphins.

I really do hate this defensive scheme. Hardly any blitzing and head-scratching formations. For example, you drop Wake into deep zone coverage in the middle of the field in the red zone??? Really??? That TD Alshon Jeffery scored last night was an absolute joke...the Eagles must have been salivating when they saw what the defense did. And maybe...just maybe...it might be a good idea to tell your corners that when they cover a speed receiver on the outside (like Torrey Smith last night) to disrupt him at the line so he can't gain momentum and run right by you. So sick of seeing our corners play 10 yards off the line. You let a guy like Smith get a 10-yard head start and it's all over.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by DolFan 316 on Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:46 am

white1 wrote:Agree on two points you guys raised.

WTF is wrong with Tunsil.  He needs to play better.  Much better.  I've already given up on JuWan James, please don't tell me BOTH of our first round tackles aren't worth keeping beyond their rookie deals.  BTW, how is that Ravens tackle working out, the one they took over Tunsil? I'm afraid to ask.

Our defense.  Ugh.  Burke may have the shortest career as a DC in league history if this is what we bring to the regular season.  Broken coverages, missed tackles, where the hell are our linebackers? What I wouldn't give to see a guy like Wade Phillips over this defense.  We need a veteran coach on that side of the ball.  My biggest worry by far is to see a repeat of the second half of 2016.  That was historically bad defense.

This post made me think, and I like posts that make me think Very Happy SO...I did a search to find out just how bad this D was the last half of the season (games 9-16) compared to every other Fins D since 1978 (start of the 16-game schedule).

In terms of points allowed it was bad, but four other Ds were worse, including '14 which was the worst.

http://pfref.com/tiny/W7Ae9

HOWEVER...in terms of opponents' total yards yes, last year's D was the worst.

http://pfref.com/tiny/J5KhY

And only the '88 team allowed more first downs the last half of a 16-game season.

http://pfref.com/tiny/MYxUx

So yeah, pretty bad. I suppose you could make the argument for historically bad, except the Fins somehow were 6-2 in that span.




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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by white1 on Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:51 am

Nice analysis DF! Good to see the stats back up what the games painfully revealed. I really don't want to go through that again.

Don't get me started on those Pats games. We never - and I mean literally never - were in those games. Embarrassing.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:10 am

The Phins played some of the worst teams in the league during their 9-2 run last season. I don't think this year's schedule will play out that way.

And it is worth repeating: the problem with giving up so many yards on D is that it keeps your offense off the field. I believe the Dolphins were last in the NFL in number of offensive plays last season. Part of that is third down struggles on offense...but the D allowing opponents to extend drives is an even bigger part. You can get away with that against, say, the 49ers. But when you're playing a team like the Patriots, you better damn well keep the ball out of Brady's hands if you want to win.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by white1 on Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:22 pm

Mysteriously, our 3rd down defense win percentage over the first half of the season was damn near top of the league. The bottom fell out on that, in a big way. Must have been the injuries to Howard, Jones, etc...


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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by Umix10 on Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:51 pm

I believe the offense will get a lot better because of the elevated deep ball game. Tannehill was more of a short passing game specialist. Gase knew this which is why Parker is getting a lot more looks then Landry. it sucks because Landry is in a contract year. He is a great all around receiver, but his presence will surely give Parker a lot of one on one matches. With a QB like Cutler, whose willing to go downfield more often then not, Landry's possession game will almost be the 2nd option. Cutler will actually set this team back another 2 years if he is as successful with this offense as i think he will.

When Tannehill recovers and is ready for next season, Gase will realize that Tannehill's stregths do not complement his offense after all. He'll want to get a QB with a bigger arm and proficiency downfield. To me it's important because in an offense like that. Stills and Parker become more important then Landry.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:02 pm

white1 wrote:Mysteriously, our 3rd down defense win percentage over the first half of the season was damn near top of the league.  The bottom fell out on that, in a big way.  Must have been the injuries to Howard, Jones, etc...


I haven't seen stats, but just going by what I remember I think teams did a lot of damage against us on 1st and 2nd downs, which sort of skews the 3rd down numbers a little bit. But the third down stat is very odd considering how long our D spent on the field.

But to me the really telling stat is being last in total offensive plays. It's really difficult to win games when you don't have the ball - which makes the 10-6 season even more of an outlier/anomaly. Really, there's no way that team should have won 10 games. I think it was a combination of improved coaching, an easy schedule, end-of-game miracles and a whole lot of luck. In this league, talent generally trumps all. Last year was an exception for the Phins, but I think this year they'll come back down to earth due to a tougher schedule and a real lack of talent on defense.

It all comes back to the draft. We continually draft role players and guys that take years to develop. It kills the depth on the roster and forces weaker players into starting roles.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by finfanatic on Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:20 pm

Same problems as last year it looks like.

Defense got no pass rush. They could not stop the run. And there were way too many open receivers.

Offense is inconsistent mostly because of the porous nature of the O-line and the inconsistency of the QBs.

Nothing much has changed.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by Birdmond on Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:11 pm

finfanatic wrote:Same problems as last year it looks like.

Defense got no pass rush. They could not stop the run. And there were way too many open receivers.

Offense is inconsistent mostly because of the porous nature of the O-line and the inconsistency of the QBs.

Nothing much has changed.

I think the results may be the same but I think you couldn't be more wrong saying nothing has changed. This offense is going to score some points. They may loose 45 to 42 but this season is going to be fun for a change. Probably disappointing, but fun.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:51 pm

It looks like Parker is already Cutler's go-to guy. Hopefully we'll finally get to see the Parker we've been waiting for. That would certainly add some excitement to the season.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by Birdmond on Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:07 am

JMP wrote:It looks like Parker is already Cutler's go-to guy. Hopefully we'll finally get to see the Parker we've been waiting for. That would certainly add some excitement to the season.

Agreed but I also think not enough has been said about Ajai. He looks phenomenal.

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Re: Phins at Eagles - game thoughts

Post by JMP on Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:22 am

Yep. Ajayi looks like he's ready. We just need more consistency in the running game. Even with the three 200-yard games, Ajayi had 80+ yards just 4 times last season, and he had under 50 yards in 6 games. The OL needs to do a better job there.

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