Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

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Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:07 pm

In what was truly a tale of two halves, the Dolphins went to Atlanta and shocked the world with a 20-17 victory.  The game began as most Dolphins’ games do, with the Phins doing nothing in the first half and falling behind 17-0.  The second half, however, was all Dolphins, as they scored 20 unanswered points to win the game.

Without question, this was the most impressive win of the Adam Gase era.  In fact, it’s the first time the Gase-led Dolphins have won a game on the road against what most would consider a good/great team.

The offense was about 100 times better than it’s been at any point this season.  Jay Ajayi led the way with 130 yards, as the OL finally gave him room to run.  Ajayi was simply unstoppable on the ground.  Cutler was off-target and wildly inconsistent, but did enough good to counter the bad.  Landry had a great game, with several key catches and a TD.  There was finally a Kenny Stills sighting, as he hauled in 4 catches and a TD.  Grant and Carroo did nothing, although Grant did draw a flag on a deep route.  Julius Thomas was once again quiet.   The OL played well overall, allowing zero sacks and giving Cutler a chance, and they were very good for the most part in the run game.

Gase’s playcalling was much better today, as he finally woke up and realized that Ajayi is the key to this offense.  I don’t think I saw one bubble screen, and there were actually a couple of deep passes.  The Phins actually tried to get first downs in the passing game, which is a nice change, and it worked.  As much as I’ve killed Gase so far, today he gets two thumbs up.

The defense started off poorly, getting absolutely destroyed by both the run and pass in the first half.  But they settled down and pitched a shutout in the second half.  Wake and Suh had nice games, and Jones again was all over the field.  Timmons made some plays and Hayes had an excellent tackle for loss.  Once again, the Phins gave up too many completions and the pass rush was very inconsistent.  They gave up too many 3rd down conversions and the Falcons had several huge runs.  But, any time you can hold the Falcons scoreless for an entire half, it’s a great game.

The Dolphins’ season is now looking up after this high quality road win.    Pretty much everyone expected the Falcons to win this game by 10+ points, and the Phins proved ‘em all wrong.  Excellent win, and something to build on.  There are some winnable games coming up the next few weeks, and this lost season now has a chance to turn around.

Hero of the Game: Jay Ajayi and Reshad Jones
Goat of the Game: after a win like this, I’m not labeling anyone a goat!

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:34 pm

I disagree that the Falcons are anywhere near a "good/great" team. In fact they're looking more and more like they did the season after the season they were 13-3 and reached the NFC title game. That just happened to be the last time they played the AFC East and they started 1-4 with losses to the Fins, Jets and Pats and finished 4-12.

There's a reason no team since the '72 Fins has won a Super Bowl the season after losing it.

This is five straight games BTW that the D has held the opponent to 20 or less. It's starting to become a trend, or at least not a fluke. I couldn't care less how many yards or completions they give up under those circumstances. I said it before and I'll say it again, this D deserves a congressional medal of honor for performing so heroically with this offense.

Say what you want about Dennis Hickey, but he did draft Ajayi and Landry, the two best players on offense right now. I also heard the O-line started playing a lot better after Pouncey was hurt. If that's the case then he needs to be gone after this season. And so does Caroo and his 0 catches on 3 targets for that matter.

Again, the league right now is such a morass of mediocrity that even as bad as the offense is, this team could actually scrape into the playoffs again. Which would be the second straight season they'd be making it without Tannehill BTW. Just sayin'.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:50 pm

DolFan 316 wrote:I disagree that the Falcons are anywhere near a "good/great" team.
There's a reason no team since the '72 Fins has won a Super Bowl the season after losing it.

...

I couldn't care less how many yards or completions they give up under those circumstances.

The Falcons are absolutely a good team. They'll probably win at least 10 games and are a playoff team for sure. That said, they really looked lost in the second half today.

As for the Miami defense - yards and completions are huge because they keep the ball in the other team's hands and keep drives alive for your opponent. You can't score on offense if you don't have the ball. Especially with an offense that is struggling, it is insanely important for the defense to get off the field and get the ball back to the offense.

Today was a perfect example of why the pass defense is a problem...the Phins' D let the Falcons march down the field on that final drive with ease, right into FG range. No pass rush, poor coverage. If the Falcons hadn't decided to throw the ball downfield on that final play, for some strange reason, the game is tied and goes to OT and maybe the Phins lose. Things worked out today, but anyway you slice it the pass D is an issue.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by rightchea on Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:22 pm

Here my take on the Defense. Keep Tank where he is at, release Maxwell and McCain they are is worthless, move Howard into the slot and find a good DB across from Tank. Another person that is needed is someone opposite to Jones. The DL is what it is but needs to be younger. Suh does his thing cause he is big and Wake is getting old. Heard 49ers just release Bowman, who most likely didn't want to be apart of the mess in San Fran. Timmons is looking like a better pick up every game.

Offense just got lucky. Should have been two INT but luckily Falcons DL caught for roughing the passer. Cutler is the same person that he was with the Bears. Poor pass decision and lack of motivation. I pray that this is his last year with the Fins. For the fact that Miami OL did look better without Pouncey says a lot. He is either causing the issue on the OL or he getting in the way of other blockers which is causing more issue. Draft another C and get him out of here (Trump voice)

Best plays of the game:
Jones INT and Kiko ALonso carrying Falcons WR.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:28 pm

rightchea wrote: For the fact that Miami OL did look better without Pouncey says a lot.

Yep, I thought Jake Brendel played pretty well at center after Pouncey went out. Who knows...maybe we have our future starter in Brendel?

And yeah, that play where Kiko carried Taylor Gabriel was pretty damn funny...strange, but funny!

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by CarsonChris on Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:50 pm

The absolute hero of the game is Cordrea Tankersley. Without the tight coverage and deflected pass we may have lost the game!

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:20 pm

CarsonChris wrote:The absolute hero of the game is  Cordrea Tankersley. Without the tight coverage and deflected pass we may have lost the game!

That was an excellent play. This kid looks like a keeper.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by CarsonChris on Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:23 am

JMP wrote:
CarsonChris wrote:The absolute hero of the game is  Cordrea Tankersley. Without the tight coverage and deflected pass we may have lost the game!

That was an excellent play. This kid looks like a keeper.
An hour to hour and a half after I wrote that Palm Beach post stole the idea from me.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:51 am

CarsonChris wrote:An hour to hour and a half after I wrote that Palm Beach post stole the idea from me.

I thought it was common knowledge that the local Fins media reads us on at least a semi-regular basis. They know who the smart crowd is Cool

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by mercury22nathan on Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:40 pm

very, very surprised (and pleased) the Phins pulled this one out. and while i thought the defensive effort was quite laudable, should i be concerned that it took a roughing the passer penalty, a 26 yard punt and a muffed punt to make our offense competitive. and even then it required a Jones interception deep in the Phins own territory to avoid certain OT or a game losing TD. they're not going to get those breaks all the time. the 2nd TD was a 5 play 13 yard drive and the 2 FGs were after only covering 21 and 46 yards. i'll celebrate this victory, but is it fool's gold?

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by scotgif on Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:53 pm

Look it is a win, In the NFL, a win is hard to get. Anytime you win, you are happy, BUT, this team still has lots of holes and needs. 

Let's not kid ourselves. I said at the beginning of the year, we will probably be right around 8-8, or thereabouts. Still feel that way. We may win a couple that we probably should not, and lose a few the same way.

This team needs at least two more offseasons to fill all the holes they have. Shall we name them? Safety beside Jones, At least 2 more OL'men, maybe 3. TE, QB, Young playmaking LB, same for D line (playmaker).

Let's enjoy this and hopefully, revenge the jests debacle of week 2 this week. Can not take getting swept by the freakin jests.
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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:19 pm

I just can't understand why every season we have to start off playing like garbage for the first few games, and every game we have to play like garbage in the first half. It's so damn frustrating!!! This team gets me so pissed off early on that I can't even enjoy a win anymore.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:44 pm

Of course it could be fool's gold. However, have to be encouraged by signs of life from the running game, and the defense appears to be improving each week.

The Falcons offense is powerful, limiting them like we did was very impressive - not to mention a 2nd half shutout.

I think part of the key was it looked to me like we used a 2 TE set regularly, giving us extra power in the running game. We can build more off of those formations, so teams may expect a run only to spring one of the receivers or TEs open down the field.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:22 pm

white1 wrote:Of course it could be fool's gold.  However, have to be encouraged by signs of life from the running game, and the defense appears to be improving each week.  

The Falcons offense is powerful, limiting them like we did was very impressive - not to mention a 2nd half shutout.

I think part of the key was it looked to me like we used a 2 TE set regularly, giving us extra power in the running game.  We can build more off of those formations, so teams may expect a run only to spring one of the receivers or TEs open down the field.

The running game is just so up and down on this team...hard to trust it week in and week out. We ran great week 1 and week 6...but we couldn't run at all in the other games. Same story as last season - Ajayi had those 200-yard games, but he also had a bunch of games where he basically did nothing. It comes down to the OL - just too inconsistent. The Jets' game will be a nice test, because our OL couldn't move their DL at all last time. We'll see if anything has changed.

Yesterday, the Falcons helped us out by pretty much abandoning the run in the second half - for no apparent reason - but anyway you slice it, the Dolphin D really stepped up in the second half.

I just can't be sold on the offense with Cutler...you just never know where the ball is going once it leaves his hand. His accuracy and ball placement was terrible for most of the day yesterday, as it's been all season. I'm just glad Gase opened up the playbook some yesterday, to at least keep the offense a bit unpredictable for a change. Not sure why it took him 4 and a half games to figure it out.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by mercury22nathan on Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:07 am

JMP wrote:I'm just glad Gase opened up the playbook some yesterday, to at least keep the offense a bit unpredictable for a change.  Not sure why it took him 4 and a half games to figure it out.

and yet...

Cutler struggled throughout, completing just four passes the entire games further 10 yards in the air and none in the ‘going-deep’ category (20-plus yards in the air).

https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-refocused-miami-dolphins-20-atlanta-falcons-17

that's not gonna get it done unless Ajayi continues to put up 130-plus yards per game.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by JMP on Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:17 am

By 'opened up', I mean that there were fewer of what I would call "wasted" pass plays (bubble screens, 3rd down passes behind the line of scrimmage, etc.), there were no stupid wildcat plays, and there was even a creative call on Landry's TD - where we saw zero creativity in all of the previous games. There were also 2-3 deep passes, as opposed to 1 or none in previous games, and though none were completed Grant did draw a huge PI that gave us a scoring opportunity. The offense was very stale in the first 4 games, but Sunday I thought it was much more dynamic.

But yes, Cutler was still a mess despite the win. He really looks like he's done - his mechanics are a disaster and ball placement is crap.

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by Degarmo on Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:18 pm

In many situations, ball placement is key.

In football too.
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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by DolFan 316 on Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:02 pm

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy cheers cheers cheers

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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by white1 on Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:26 am

In all the excitement of the upset victory, I forgot to mention one thing from the game.

My new favorite Jersey that I saw - #5 Ray Finkle. That, may be a keeper. I'm looking into getting one for myself.


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Re: Game 5 thoughts: Dolphins at Falcons

Post by finfanatic on Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:35 pm

I agree...Cutler has the mechanics of Plastic Man or Gumby...Dammit!

He is off target JUST ENOUGH where it takes the receivers off route to catch, and JUST out of time a bit enough that the whole passing game is out of sorts.

And to think, I was half convinced that Cutler might be BETTER than Tannehill!!

All I can say is Pray...PRAY... Very Hard that nothing happens to Ajayi, cuz if it does, this offense is toast...


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