Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

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Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:12 am

Beer: Long Trail IPA

Heroes of the Day: Ndamukong Suh, Reshad Jones, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry, Ryan Tannehill, etc.

Goat of the Day: Jamar Taylor


November 27, 2003 was the last time the Dolphins scored 40 points in a game. Every other team in the NFL has scored 40 at least once in that span. This is a testament to the Dolphins’ offensive ineptitude over the past dozen years.

Yesterday, that drought ended, as the Dolphins exploded for 41 points in the first half against the hapless Texans. Highlighted by an unbelievable 3 TD pass plays of 50+ yards and a TD run of 85 yards – plus a pick 6 on defense – it was the most dominant half of football I’ve seen from any NFL team ever, let alone the Dolphins. The offense was able to do literally anything it wanted both on the ground and in the air, and the defense forced a plethora of three and outs. “Ass kicking” isn’t a strong enough description; “total annihilation” may not even be enough.

We learned last week that new coach Dan Campbell is a Metallica fan. Well, I think he took the song “Seek and Destroy” to heart, because that’s exactly what his team did yesterday. And even though the Phins were outscored 26-3 in the second half, it didn’t matter. The game was over long before then.

Ryan Tannehill was perfect yesterday, completing 18 of 19 passes for 282 yards and 4 TDs and a perfect QBR of 158.3 (setting an NFL record in the process, with 25 straight completions dating back to last week). Those numbers are eye-poppingly good, but I have to say, it was probably the easiest game Tannehill ever had. I’ve been screaming since Philbin took over about how this offense is based on yards after catch, but our receivers can’t do it. That was absolutely not the case yesterday. Tannehill delivered perfect passes all day, but it was his receivers that did the real work. Whether it was Jarvis Landry breaking tackle after tackle on his way to a 50 yard TD, or Rishard Matthews slicing through the defense for a 53 yard TD or Lamar Miller taking a screen to the house for 54 yards, the keyword for the Miami offense yesterday was “YAC”. That is how this offense is supposed to look, and damn did it look good! Landry played like a man possessed, weaving in and out of traffic and breaking tackles left and right – amazing!

And, Lamar Miller added 175 yards on the ground (including an 85 yard TD) as the Phins piled up 248 rushing yards. The OL was brilliant on running plays, and it’s becoming obvious that keeping Billy Turner on the bench was one of the worst moves in a career of bad moves by former coach Joe Philbin. It looks like Turner is already the team’s best run blocker, and the running game has come alive since he entered the starting lineup.

Defensively, it’s hard to imagine a team playing any better than the Phins did in the first half. By the end of the first quarter, the Texans had a grand total of zero yards. They also had an embarrassing 6 three-and-outs in the first half.

Leading the charge for the Dolphins’ D was the $114 million man, Ndamukong Suh. In the first 5 games, Suh was little more than a space-eater. Some people tried to justify his play by saying “that’s his job”. To that I say bullshit. You can get any minimum-salary veteran to occupy blockers and take up space. What makes Suh special is his ability to make big plays and dominate, and he simply didn’t do anything like that for the first 5 games. But yesterday, he exploded onto the scene with a monster game – a bunch of tackles for loss, non-stop QB pressures and hits and two sacks. That is why he’s the highest-paid defensive player in league history, and hopefully this was the game he needed to get back on track.

The defense as a whole was just awesome. Reshad Jones continued his All Pro level of play – the guys is playing out of his mind right now. Cam Wake again had a monster game with 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, and the much-maligned LB corps actually made plays. The secondary did a great job of limiting star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to just 50 yards and making him a non-factor.

Not much negativity to mention, although there were a few things. I didn’t like that the Phins basically shut it down in the second half – I would have preferred to keep the pedal to the metal. Tannehill was hit more times than he should’ve been, as the OL continued to struggle in pass protection. Tanehill was sacked 4 times and was limping by the end of the game. Not acceptable. Special teams weren’t very good, with a missed extra point, limited return yardages and one big kick return given up. And as good as the secondary was overall, Jamar Taylor (and, at times, rookie Bobby McCain) struggled mightily in the second half, as receiver Nate Washington repeatedly beat him all over the field. Obviously, none of these negatives really hurt the Phins yesterday – but the schedule is about to get much tougher.

The Dolphins have gone from a boring, unwatchable team to a powerhouse seemingly overnight. They are now physical, aggressive and dominant – exactly the opposite of what they were under Philbin. It’s mind-boggling that an in-season coaching change could make that much of an impact, but Dan Campbell has done it. Now, we have to take these two wins with a grain of salt because, quite frankly, the Titans and Texans suck. Shit gets real Thursday night with a trip to New England. Facing the Patriots on a short week is never a good thing, but the timing is perfect for the Phins. They are riding high after two dominating victories, and Campbell will have them fired up for this game. A win Thursday firmly puts the Phins back on the map and in the playoff chase. Hard to call a week 8 game “huge”, but in this case I think it is. It’s a big test for this Dolphins team, and a win could solidify Campbell’s place as an NFL head coach.

Can the Phins beat the Patriots in New England? I wouldn’t have even asked that question a few weeks ago, because it would have been too absurd. But now…I don’t know that I’d bet on a win over the Pats, but the way the Phins are playing now they can beat anyone anywhere.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:04 am

JMP wrote:The Dolphins have gone from a boring, unwatchable team to a powerhouse seemingly overnight.  They are now physical, aggressive and dominant – exactly the opposite of what they were under Philbin.  It’s mind-boggling that an in-season coaching change could make that much of an impact, but Dan Campbell has done it.  Now, we have to take these two wins with a grain of salt because, quite frankly, the Titans and Texans suck.  Shit gets real Thursday night with a trip to New England.  Facing the Patriots on a short week is never a good thing, but the timing is perfect for the Phins.  They are riding high after two dominating victories, and Campbell will have them fired up for this game.  A win Thursday firmly puts the Phins back on the map and in the playoff chase.  Hard to call a week 8 game “huge”, but in this case I think it is.  It’s a big test for this Dolphins team, and a win could solidify Campbell’s place as an NFL head coach.

Can the Phins beat the Patriots in New England?  I wouldn’t have even asked that question a few weeks ago, because it would have been too absurd.  But now…I don’t know that I’d bet on a win over the Pats, but the way the Phins are playing now they can beat anyone anywhere.

I now feel the same way, if you couldn't already guess Very Happy Laughing

That "tough" schedule suddenly looks doable. The Pats are the only team left that are clearly superior, and the current Fins can surely split with them. If Philbin could do it so can Campbell!

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:07 am

Great writeup and totally agree. If the Phins win on Thursday night, Miami will start building an enormous, 500 ft tall Sphynx with Campbell's face on it.

Be prepared for a let down. We can totally beat New England. But we will need to be perfect, and make a bunch of plays in the fourth quarter to do so. Brady just lit up the Jets top ranked defense yesterday, so this won't be a low scoring game. If Belichek figures out what's behind the offensive explosion we have authored over two weeks, we're in for a long night.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by finskev on Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:24 pm

I haven't seen that much YAC From a Fins team since Clayton and Duper were in there Prime in 1984.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by finskev on Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:28 pm

This week's game is a Step-up from the Last 2 weeks, Prime time on National TV Against the Pats with easily 15 to 20 million watching, Chance to show People across the Country that this is real what we have seen for the last 2 Weeks and not some 2 week fluke.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by rightchea on Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:33 pm

But with Miami winning I not going to feel let down by Miami if they lost to the Pats. I have faith in that they will have a chance to win but I not going to be disappointed if they loss. If Miami wins then I am talking Hella trash to ever pats fan that comes across my way.

I do believe that Campbell has done to Miami what we were waiting on Philbin to do. There is nothing positive you can say about Philbin after what Miami offense and defense has displayed these last two games. This is a team that should be I say at least 4-2 or even 5-1. Ross really hurt Miami and making it to the playoffs this year is going to be an uphill battle.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by CarsonChris on Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:26 pm

Some people say the quality of the opponent has a lot to do with how we played but I haven't seen anyone else go out and lay 41 points on the Texans in the first half. That was the most dominating half of football I've ever seen. Resting some of the starters in the second half was a great idea. It gives backups time to improve and the starters time to rest and be ready for the short week.


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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:31 pm

CarsonChris wrote:Some people say the quality of the opponent has a lot to do with how we played but I haven't seen anyone else go out and lay 41 points on the Texans in the first half. That was the most dominating half of football I've ever seen. Resting some of the starters in the second half was a great idea. It gives backups time to improve and the starters time to rest and be ready for the short week.


Yep, and my only complaint about yesterday as far as resting the starters is that Tannehill should have been pulled after the 3rd quarter. No reason to risk an injury in a game that was already over, and in fact Tannehill did get pushed around a bit in that second half. Small complaint, but still...gotta protect the QB.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by rightchea on Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:40 pm

JMP wrote:
CarsonChris wrote:Some people say the quality of the opponent has a lot to do with how we played but I haven't seen anyone else go out and lay 41 points on the Texans in the first half. That was the most dominating half of football I've ever seen. Resting some of the starters in the second half was a great idea. It gives backups time to improve and the starters time to rest and be ready for the short week.


Yep, and my only complaint about yesterday as far as resting the starters is that Tannehill should have been pulled after the 3rd quarter.  No reason to risk an injury in a game that was already over, and in fact Tannehill did get pushed around a bit in that second half.  Small complaint, but still...gotta protect the QB.

I kinda agree with you but at the same time you want to make sure that Miami didn't loss it in the second half either. But I do agree with protecting your QB. letting Tannehill sit in the 4th quarter was a good move

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:44 pm

Yeah, if the OL was holding up I wouldn't have cared. But Tannehill took some big hits, and he was limping around at the end. I saw James, Albert and Thomas get beat numerous times in the second half, and I was praying Tannehill wouldn't get killed.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by mercury22nathan on Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:23 pm

yesterday's first half was amazing. the Texans are a mess and quit before the game even started (Mallett even missed the team flight). there is no way a team that is trying misses that many tackles on that many plays. nonetheless, it was nice to see the Phins take full advantage - something they aren't usually able to do.

but...

Trouble sign one: The Miami offense converted one of nine third down opportunities. That is bad even on a day the offense was rolling with both Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller setting NFL marks.

Trouble sign two: Coach Dan Campbell told his team not to let the Houston Texans off the matt in the second half. The Houston Texans got off the mat in the second half. They outscored Miami 26-3 in the second half. You can do that with a 41-0 halftime lead, but how often does any team build a 41-point cushion? You can do that against the Texans but New England, the New York Jets, even the Buffalo Bills at home in two weeks, are not the Texans.

Trouble sign three: The offensive line was excellent but giving up four sacks is still a lot and the right guard position is still unresolved. Billy Turner is improving and gaining confidence and experience. But he's still not good enough. According to ProFootballFocus, Turner's graded out a -6.1 on Sunday. That was 35 out of 37 guards playing this weekend.

Trouble sign four: The other cornerback spot is still a concern. Brice McCain is expected back this week, per The Herald's Adam Beasley. And that is good because Jamar Taylor was clearly targeted by the Texans. While Brent Grimes spent much of the afternoon on Houston No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Taylor was on Nate Washington. Washington caught nine passes for 127 yards. No, not all of those were on Taylor. But many were.

By the way -- and this is not a trouble sign -- Cameron Wake was outstanding again. He's healthy and so he's playing great right now. He was PFF's highest rated 4-3 defensive end this week after collecting two sacks to go with the four he had against Tennessee.

But on the other side, Olivier Vernon didn't have a tackle or a sack. He did have one QB hurry, per the stat book. But PFF rated him the 37th 4-3 defensive end of the weekend. They only rated 37 4-3 defensive ends.

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2015/10/no-celebration-for-miami-dolphins-yet-sorry.html


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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by DolFan 316 on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:56 am

See, here's the thing that makes me not worry. Or rather, the things.

Saints led Colts 27-0, won by 6. Raiders led Chargers 37-6, won by 8.

Kinda puts an 18-point win by the Fins in perspective, doesn't it? Smile

Seriously, even *I* would never complain about a win in which the Fins led 41-0 at one point. I'm also a bit sick of all this hand-wringing over the Pats. At least wait until the game's been played to give up, yeesh! Rolling Eyes

As for me, I'm getting a feeling, just a feeling mind you, that this might be '08 all over again. Which seems like the last time the Pats lost a regular season game in Foxboro (I refuse to add the pretentious ugh at the end).

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by HalCHorn on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:12 am

Texans seem to be a textbook case of what can happen when a team does things the Bumstedt Way at QB: keep going through other teams' garbage bins instead of investing a high pick or signing a true difference making veteran.  They could have taken Bortles or gotten aggressive in going after Bridgewater or Carr but didn't, when it was obvious that the position topped their need list in 2014.  They're still looking and the teams that made those moves all appear to have found their guy.

It is likely to be the single biggest factor in the eventual failure of the O'Brien Era there.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by JMP on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:39 am

O'Brien acts and talks a lot like Joe Philbin. Just a matter of time till he meets the same fate.

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Re: Thoughts on game 6 – Texans at Phins

Post by DolFan 316 on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:17 pm

HalCHorn wrote:Texans seem to be a textbook case of what can happen when a team does things the Bumstedt Way at QB: keep going through other teams' garbage bins instead of investing a high pick or signing a true difference making veteran.  They could have taken Bortles or gotten aggressive in going after Bridgewater or Carr but didn't, when it was obvious that the position topped their need list in 2014.  They're still looking and the teams that made those moves all appear to have found their guy.

It is likely to be the single biggest factor in the eventual failure of the O'Brien Era there.

If my boy Paxton Lynch enters the draft next year the Texans would be wise to take him. Just sayin' Cool

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