Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

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Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:00 pm

The Dolphins traveled all the way to London to treat their fans across the pond to a particularly piss-poor performance. Alliteration aside, this game was just an embarrassment in every phase of the game.

Things started off on a sour note, as Jakeem Grant inexplicably took the opening kickoff deep out of the endzone to get to the 15 yard line. Terrible decision. Things looked up after that, as the Phins marched all the way down to the 4-yard line, on a drive highlighted by sharp Cutler passing to Devante Parker and a 23-yard completion to Julius Thomas. Cutler was absolutely on fire on that drive…until the final play, where he underthrew a fade to Thomas. Thomas completely gave up on the play and the ball was intercepted. After that drive the Dolphins offense flew back to Miami…or at least it seemed that way. They never sniffed the endzone again, getting shutout 20-0 by the Saints.

I’m going to start with the defense today. If you didn’t watch the game, you might say “Oh, the Phins held the Saints to 20 points…the D must have had a solid game.” Well, yes and no. Yes, the Phins kept the Saints out of the endzone for the most part, holding Brees to under 300 yards and limiting the Saints’ 3-headed rushing attack to under 100 yards. But, the fact is, the Miami D just could not get off the field. The Saints dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 34 and a half minutes. The Saints converted almost 50% of their 3rd downs, and were especially proficient in the second half. The usual ‘bend-don’t-break’ defense for the Phins did little more today than keep the ball away from their own offense. No one on D could cover receiver Michael Thomas.

Despite a few QB pressures (in addition to a sack by Wake, I noted pressures from Timmons, Vince Taylor and Charles Harris), the Dolphin pass rush was ineffective. The pass rush can be summed up by the Harris pressure, where he beat his man and got to Brees – but only after Brees got the ball out and completed a 10-yard pass for a 1st down. For the record, first-round bust-in-the-making Harris was otherwise invisible. Timmons was quiet in his Dolphin debut, but I’d give him a positive grade overall. Rookie Davon Godchaux continues to underwhelm, with no real positives and his 3rd offsides penalty in 2 games. Rookie CB Cordrea Tankersley got the start over the injured Byron Maxwell, and though Tank gave up a ton of completions I thought he played well overall – particularly on a nice batted pass near the endzone in the first half. I thought Reshad Jones finally played a decent game, though he still has yet to make an impact play. Bobby McCain had a tough day, missing some tackles and playing pretty poor coverage. Nate Allen did nothing. Kiko Alonso had a tackle for loss in the first half, but spent the rest of the day either out of position or getting carried by ball-carriers (see the run-after-catch screen by Kamara, where he carried Alonso three yards forward for a first down.) Brees completed 29 passes, including 11 in a row in the 4th quarter…that pretty much sums up how bad the pass D continues to be. Not much else to say about the D…just a very mediocre showing.

I wish the Miami offense was mediocre. Instead, they were awful. After that first drive, the O just disappeared. No rhythm, no consistency, no rhyme or reason to the playcalling…just a mess. The OL continues to suck in the run game. I don’t understand how they could be so bad, but for the third week in a row Jay Ajayi was hit in the backfield everyt ime he touched the ball. RG Jermon Bushrod was particularly bad; I saw him getting pushed into the backfield on nearly every run. Pass pro was inconsistent and at times awful, as Cutler got sacked 4 times – twice on key third down plays. Key stat: the Dolphins gained about 80 yards on the opening drive, and ended the game with a net of 186 yards of offense, with just 11 first downs.

Despite having early success with intermediate-level passes, especially to Parker, Cutler spent the rest of the day throwing nothing but short passes – most within 0-5 yards of the line of scrimmage, even in third-and-long situations. I counted a grand total of one deep pass on the day – an incompletion to Parker that came at 11:35 in the 4th quarter. Gase called this game like he was terrified of his team messing up – just no faith whatsoever in his $10 million QB and so-called “great” receiving corps. Gase doesn’t understand how to use Ajayi, as he completely abandoned the running game in the second half. And one wonders why the Dolphins saw the need to pay Kenny Stills $8 million a year, and then essentially ignore him for 3 games. The Phins had the ball for less than 4 minutes in the 3rd quarter…just no ability to get first downs. Throwing 1-yard passes to Jarvis Landry is a waste of everyone’s time, yet the Phins continue to do it. Cutler looks like he’s regretting his decision to un-retire, and the players around him look lost and lifeless.

Adam Gase looks like a man who is in way over his head. I think he needs to give up play-calling duties, because this season he’s been a disaster. His team is sloppy, undisciplined, and has no identity. Gase also continues to make head-scratching decisions, today using all of his timeouts with 4 minutes left in the game and the Phins down 13-0…essentially ensuring that there wouldn’t be enough time for his team to come back. The bloom has come off the rose…the boy genius now looks like a fraud.

The Dolphins face the Titans in Miami next week. As I type this, the Titans are getting embarrassed by the Texans. Unless the Dolphins make drastic changes, I think the Phins could be just what the doctor ordered for the Titans. The Dolphins are the only team in the NFL to not score a TD in the first half so far, and if that trend continues the Phins will likely fall to 1-3. I know, I know…Gase started 1-4 last year and got the Phins to the playoffs. But really, what are the chances that that will happen again? That’s no way to live, and right now the Phins look like the worst team in the AFC East.

Hero of the Game: none. I honestly can’t think of anyone that played well enough to earn the title.

Goat of the Game: Adam Gase, for once again having his team unprepared and calling a crappy game.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:30 pm

FWIW - Jakeem Grant got one play on offense (that I saw). Guess what it was? Yep, a fake jet sweep - the only play we ever do with him.

Note to Gase: if you never actually give the ball to Grant on a jet sweep, the opposing defense isn't going to fall for the fake. More dumb shit from Gase.

Speaking of Grant, I don't like him, but maybe - just maybe - he can provide the spark on offense that none of our other "great" receivers can. If nothing you do is working, try something different.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:34 pm

Gase quote from today...the bold is mine:

"Our defense is playing well," Gase said. "We're not holding up our end of the stick."

Gase is the head coach...when he says "we" shouldn't it refer to the entire team? Nope...Gase only cares about the offense. He's not a head coach - it's obvious. He's nothing but an offensive coordinator, and a crappy one at that.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:36 pm

Watching Red Zone channel all day, I can honestly say that the Dolphins are the most boring, unwatchable team in the NFL - and it's not close.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:01 pm

How did I forget to mention Gase calling a wildcat play??? WTF??? Seriously??? That's the sign of a coach that is totally lost.

Never thought I'd say this, but I miss Bill Lazor. Gase can go suck a bag of dicks.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:08 pm

I just want to say it took a tremendous act of courage, even heroism, to even watch this game, let alone write about it. More than any of these SJW protesters will ever have. I'm completely serious. I spent my morning shopping for groceries, then went to bed and slept most of the day.

Getting shut out by the Saints should be grounds for immediate firing, regardless of the circumstances. Period.

I was a complete fool for thinking this team could POSSIBLY start out 3-0. Seriously, WTF was *I* thinking?!?! Shocked Worst mistake I've ever made in nearly 20 years of posting.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:21 pm

316 wrote:I spent my morning shopping for groceries, then went to bed and slept most of the day.

316 FTW! Now that's a winning play!

The only good part of today for me was starting off with Bloody Marys and then drinking many beers. Getting drunk is the only way to deal with this trainwreck of a team.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:24 pm

I may do this Sunday morning grocery thing every week, the church crowd is still in their homes getting ready so there's hardly anyone in Wal Mart, and I detest crowds as it is. Not sure why I never thought of it before. Of course 'round these here parts you can't buy alcohol on Sunday but oh well.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by CarsonChris on Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:07 pm

Why did we beat the Chargers? Going to totally screw us in the draft.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:12 pm

CarsonChris wrote:Why did we beat the Chargers? Going to totally screw us in the draft.

IKR? This bunch of bumblers, busts and bums can't even suck properly. Meh.

I seriously admire the Chargers BTW for making the tanking look good. They're putting the '11 Colts to shame.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by Degarmo on Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:38 pm

We didn't beat the Chargers, they gave us a free win. It helps keep us out of the giant sweepstakes mistake some team is going to make in drafting Darnold.

Don't count out the Giants or Browns for No. 1 overall as well, 316.

Well, Bills lead the division, that team that had a "fire sale" and was supposed to be the worst team in football.

Gase does seem over his head, and there is little to no talent on the offensive line. That's something all the shit teams have in common.
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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by finskev on Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:20 pm

Stills 3 catches for 13 yards, since when did he become a possession wr. I only saw the opening drive and missed the rest so I guess I was Spared. Starting to miss Tanny which I never thought would come out of my mouth.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by rightchea on Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:34 pm

JMP wrote:How did I forget to mention Gase calling a wildcat play???  WTF???  Seriously???  That's the sign of a coach that is totally lost.  

Never thought I'd say this, but I miss Bill Lazor.  Gase can go suck a bag of dicks.  

So it true. I turned it after the second touchdown by the Saints. IMO, Gase just doesn't have the confidence in himself to do what he needs to do to win. He is playing scared instead of pushing the ball down the field. If anything he doesn't trust Cutler.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:49 am

Degarmo wrote:We didn't beat the Chargers, they gave us a free win.  It helps keep us out of the giant sweepstakes mistake some team is going to make in drafting Darnold.

Don't count out the Giants or Browns for No. 1 overall as well, 316.

Giants VS Chargers up next. Battle Of the Baddies, baby!!! Just sayin' Cool

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:44 am

rightchea wrote:Gase just doesn't have the confidence in himself to do what he needs to do to win. He is playing scared instead of pushing the ball down the field. If anything he doesn't trust Cutler.

That's sure how it seems. And if Gase doesn't trust Cutler, he better figure it out fast - he begged this guy to come out of retirement and handed him $10 million...and now he doesn't trust him? You're the coach - fix it.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by rightchea on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:48 am

finskev wrote:Stills 3 catches for 13 yards, since when did he become a possession wr. I only saw the opening drive and missed the rest so I guess I was Spared. Starting to miss Tanny which I never thought would come out of my mouth.

I have to agree with you. It is unfortunately that Miami fans is going through it with Cutler.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:51 am

Is Stills not getting open, or is Cutler just not looking for him? If any of you get the 'All 22' feeds of the game, let us know. I honestly don't know the answer.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by mercury22nathan on Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:13 am

from what i could see on the TV coverage, the Saints DBs had no fear of the Phins WRs. they lined up real tight in single coverage and i very rarely saw the Phins getting any separation. add to it that Cutler had no time to let plays develop before the rush was on top of him. the result was attempted quick strike passes a couple yards within the line of scrimmage, but the defense was dropping the WRs as soon as they caught it - no YAC at all. unfortunately, this is what an offense that has a line that can't run or pass block looks like. the Phins even tried a designed run by Cutler out of the shotgun (gaining 5 yards) in the 2nd quarter.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:38 am

mercury22nathan wrote:from what i could see on the TV coverage, the Saints DBs had no fear of the Phins WRs.  they lined up real tight in single coverage and i very rarely saw the Phins getting any separation.  add to it that Cutler had no time to let plays develop before the rush was on top of him.  the result was attempted quick strike passes a couple yards within the line of scrimmage, but the defense was dropping the WRs as soon as they caught it - no YAC at all.  unfortunately, this is what an offense that has a line that can't run or pass block looks like.  the Phins even tried a designed run by Cutler out of the shotgun (gaining 5 yards) in the 2nd quarter.

Teams are gearing up to stop Ajayi. That means the passing game has to step up. It seems like everything is failing - the OL, the QB, the receivers...and most notably, the coaching. If Gase can't figure out how to attack teams that are stacking the box and playing single coverage, then he needs to give up playcalling duties NOW. Unfortunately, I don't think we have a legit play-caller on this coaching staff.

If our so-called "great" receivers - and the $6 million dollar man, Julius Thomas - can't get open against Saints' rookies and third-stringers, that doesn't give me much hope moving forward.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:59 am

BTW the Rams currently lead the league in scoring. The. Rams.

After just 11 games of 30-plus points in five years of the Fisher Era, they have three already this season.

Why is it that they can improve that much under their offensive genius coach and the Fins can't?

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:07 am

DolFan 316 wrote:BTW the Rams currently lead the league in scoring. The. Rams.

After just 11 games of 30-plus points in five years of the Fisher Era, they have three already this season.

Why is it that they can improve that much under their offensive genius coach and the Fins can't?

Mind-boggling, isn't it? We can't even score ONE damn TD, and the Rams are lighting up the scoreboard.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:12 am

Things started off on a sour note, as Jakeem Grant inexplicably took the opening kickoff deep out of the endzone to get to the 15 yard line. Terrible decision.

It's troubling to me that special teams, which are typically a strength for us, have been so bad. Don't even get me started on the punt and punt return units. Why, oh why, did we feel Haack was better? I'm still waiting for him to get a good, solid deep punt off. Meanwhile the Saints punter totally flipped the field on us, aided by a 15 yard penalty which moved the ball from the shadow of the Saints endzone all the way back to the shadow of our own. When we were in the same position, the Saints get the ball at damn near mid field due to our horrible punt plus the return. TONS of yardage sacrificed either by failing to punt well, or failing to return one without an immediate tackle and/or penalty.

The OL continues to suck in the run game. I don’t understand how they could be so bad,

I've got a couple ideas. Steen/Davis have no business playing LG. The injury we suffered in camp (forget the name) killed us there. Bushrod is getting no better at RG, in fact he may be playing worse than last season. Tunsil looks not nearly as good as Albert. Pouncey is clearly not 100%, and probably never will be again. In short, we've probably downgraded at three spots on the line, one returning player has been worse, and James may actually be playing better than any of them. And that's not a good thing.

Rookie CB Cordrea Tankersley got the start over the injured Byron Maxwell, and though Tank gave up a ton of completions I thought he played well overall – particularly on a nice batted pass near the endzone in the first half. I thought Reshad Jones finally played a decent game, though he still has yet to make an impact play. Bobby McCain had a tough day, missing some tackles and playing pretty poor coverage. Nate Allen did nothing.

Keep starting Tankersley. He will get better, which is much more than can be said for Maxwell. He actually almost had an INT on that defended pass. Overall he looked good. I am over Allen. So ready for McDonald to come back from suspension - he HAS to be better. Jones finally did show up I think he had one TFL.

Despite having early success with intermediate-level passes, especially to Parker, Cutler spent the rest of the day throwing nothing but short passes – most within 0-5 yards of the line of scrimmage, even in third-and-long situations. I counted a grand total of one deep pass on the day – an incompletion to Parker that came at 11:35 in the 4th quarter. Gase called this game like he was terrified of his team messing up – just no faith whatsoever in his $10 million QB and so-called “great” receiving corps. Gase doesn’t understand how to use Ajayi, as he completely abandoned the running game in the second half. And one wonders why the Dolphins saw the need to pay Kenny Stills $8 million a year, and then essentially ignore him for 3 games. The Phins had the ball for less than 4 minutes in the 3rd quarter…just no ability to get first downs. Throwing 1-yard passes to Jarvis Landry is a waste of everyone’s time, yet the Phins continue to do it. Cutler looks like he’s regretting his decision to un-retire, and the players around him look lost and lifeless.

Mind boggling.

Where are the slants? Where are the deep ins and deep outs? Posts? Crossing routes? Where are the bombs to Kenny Stills? I can't count how many times I've seen the same horrible sideways pass to a WR, and I only WISH it would gain 3 yards. More often it's 1 or 2, if anything at all. And you're absolutely right, most of the time it's on 3rd down and forever. At least PRETEND you're trying to get the first down.

Cutler has an elite arm and he likes big targets down field. Why not design pass routes and plays for that strength? Instead he's throwing Tom Brady-like short routes that require accuracy and touch.

Seeing first-year coaches around the league field effective offenses only makes it worse. Oh, did you see what Houston did yesterday with a ROOKIE QB? We're still waiting for the offense we were sold in January of 2016 to actually show up on the field for us. I'm hoping Gase is tired of it, because his fans have BEEN tired of it. For about 16 years and still counting.



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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:17 am

Don't count out the Giants or Browns for No. 1 overall as well, 316.

Speaking of coaches in over their head.... How long until McAdoo gets fired mid-season? That's a team LOADED with talent, on both sides of the ball, and they start 0-4. Unacceptable.

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by finskev on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:15 pm

Bad thing for the Fins but Great for us, Is people on this site SCORED more than the Fins Yesterday. Lol

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Re: Game 3 thoughts: Saints at Dolphins (in London)

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:58 pm

Regarding the offensive line, there's this:

And this should tell you how bad the Dolphins’ run blocking has been the past two weeks: Per PFF, 44 of Ajayi’s 46 yards on the ground against the Saints came after initial contact. In all, 148 of Ajayi's 184 total yards have come after contact this year; he has repeatedly been hit at or behind the line, which is an indictment of the team’s run blocking. That and Cutler have been the biggest offensive problems.

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article176524436.html


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