Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

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Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:33 pm

The Dolphins shocked the world (and especially me!) with a dominating 30-15 victory over the Steelers today. The game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates, and it was the most complete effort we’ve seen from this Dolphins’ team all season.

Adam Gase FINALLY made some adjustments today, and they greatly helped the offense. Tannnehill lined up under center more often, Gase stuck with the running game and went with fewer 5-wide formations, and there was even a fullback sighting as Damien Williams scored on a 1-yard run while lined up at FB. All of those changes were difference-makers today. I’m not sure why Gase stubbornly refused to make those adjustments sooner, but better late than never I suppose. 24 first downs and 222 yards rushing…this was truly a stellar offensive game.

Jay Ajayi had an absolutely monster game, gaining 204 yards on the ground and scoring a couple of TDs today. He ran like a man possessed, and was unstoppable for most of the game. He capped off his effort with a beautiful 62-yard score at the end of the 4th.

This was the first game where the starting offensive line played together, and they did an excellent job protecting Tannehill and opening holes for Ajayi. Ja’Wuan James had a rough game, with 3 penalties, but fortunately that was the only negative mark against the OL.

Tannehill was solid, if unspectacular. He made a few bad passes, including a couple that could have been intercepted, but he didn’t turn the ball over and completed a couple of deep passes. He found a new target in TE MarQueis Gray, who caught 3 passes for 81 yards, including a great 53-yard reception that saw him slip behind the defense. Jarvis Landry also had a nice game, with several key catches and 91 receiving yards.

The one big negative with the offense today was their play in the red zone. They had to settle for FG attempts on far too many drives and generally played very sloppy inside the 30, with multiple dropped passes and penalties. Definitely an area to focus on this week.

The defense was excellent today, keeping Le’Veon Bell in check and turning Antonio Brown into a non-factor. Much-maligned corner Byron Maxwell had an excellent game, knocking down a few passes and showing excellent coverage skills throughout the game. Safeties Reshad Jones and Isa Abdul-Quddus both had huge interceptions. Ben Roethlisberger missed some time with a knee injury and looked awful when he returned, but no excuses – the Dolphin D kicked ass today.

Special teams was pretty bad today, with Andrew Franks missing two FGs (one was blocked) and the return game not doing much. Franks needs to be replaced, as far as I’m concerned – he’s just not reliable at all. The worst call of the game fortunately turned out not to hurt the Dolphins: they inexplicably kicked onsides after their opening-drive FG, and the lame attempt was easily recovered by Pittsburgh. The Dolphins were extremely lucky that the play didn’t count due to an official not being ready (!), because that stupid decision could very well have changed the course of the game. I don’t know if that call is on Gase or Rizzi, but either way it was a terrible decision.

All week long, I predicted this game would be a one-sided affair – and it was. I just picked the wrong team to win! I’m very happy to be proven wrong in this case. It was an inspired, dominating performance from the Dolphins, and a game that the Phins can hopefully build upon as they move forward.

One final note…I do have to say that despite the VERY impressive win, I mostly watched this game in silence, with little or no cheering. I’m just so beaten down by this team that even a win like this doesn’t really get me excited. The season is already all but over even with the W, and it just seems like too little too late. Maybe the Phins will turn it around and use this game as a springboard, but I am not holding my breath. Still, it is nice to get a win for a change.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:03 pm

JMP wrote:One final note…I do have to say that despite the VERY impressive win, I mostly watched this game in silence, with little or no cheering.  I’m just so beaten down by this team that even a win like this doesn’t really get me excited.  The season is already all but over even with the W, and it just seems like too little too late.  Maybe the Phins will turn it around and use this game as a springboard, but I am not holding my breath.  Still, it is nice to get a win for a change.

I think that's who everybody feels. Sure would've been nice for them to have played like this at any point in the first 5 games. Things have reached the point to where a win now actually seems like a bad thing, because it means the wrong people getting extensions and such.

Then again the Chiefs were 1-5 just last season and made the playoffs so who knows? scratch

Obviously they won't be 1-15 now so I'm upgrading my season prediction to 4-12. As usual the NFL has so many flat-out awful teams that now I'm sure the Fins can beat the likes of the 49ers, Rams, Chargers or Jets, and the Cards are looking bad as well. The Bills? Let's not get carried away just yet Laughing

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by CarsonChris on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:48 am

On three of the field goal drives receivers dropped TD passes. This game could have been even more lopsided

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:20 am

CarsonChris wrote:On three of the field goal drives receivers dropped TD passes. This game could have been even more lopsided

The Fins weren't used to actually outplaying anybody, they just need some time to mentally come to terms with that Wink Cool

I don't know why but I actually feel...good about this win in spite of myself. Even knowing that next week will be business as usual.

Don't worry, I'm not going to suddenly predict the playoffs or start watching games again, nothing crazy like that Laughing I'll just keep sleeping on Sundays and hopefully not having any more dreams about Hillary affraid

BTW last week I watched not one, but two Youtube Madden '17 vids in which people lost to the Fins, who are about as bad in the game as they are (were?) in real life so I should've taken that as an omen.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:36 am

CarsonChris wrote:On three of the field goal drives receivers dropped TD passes. This game could have been even more lopsided

Parker had the one endzone drop, but who else?  Ajayi had a drop inside the 10, but that was well short of the end zone and wasn't going to gain any yaradge even if it was caught.  I may be missing one.

While we're on the subject, Parker needs to get tougher and start fighting for these balls.  He's supposed to be a strong guy, but he's plays soft way too often.  That endzone drop was unacceptable.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:25 am

Parker had the one endzone drop, but who else? Ajayi had a drop inside the 10, but that was well short of the end zone and wasn't going to gain any yaradge even if it was caught. I may be missing one.

He threw a dart over the middle that hit - I believe it was Sims - literally right in the chest.

He threw another TD that was called back by penalty, I think that one was to Gray, on a nice rollout to the right.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:39 am

I was, and remain, in total shock following yesterday's game. Here are a few of my thoughts following the Fins first meaningful victory of the season:

  • I have been extremely critical of Tannehill this season. If he plays a lot more games like he did yesterday, I will flip and advocate keeping him. 75% completion percentage. Moving the chains. No interceptions, no sacks, no fumbles. Several deep balls with perfect accuracy, the throw to Landry deep was a thing of beauty. Parker dropped a perfectly thrown TD pass. He could easily have 3 TDs yesterday between the drops and the one called back by penalty.
  • The way our defense contained a high-powered Steelers offense was nothing short of exceptional. Bell had little room to run, Brown was a non factor, Ben got rattled then punished. Maxwell played like the high priced free agent he is. Jones had his typical excellent game. It looked to me like Wake played a lot more snaps, and it paid off. This is the defense I was hoping for.
  • Ajayi, where to begin? He ran with vision, power and speed as demonstrated on his breakaway score. I saw him take a couple big hits, and he was unfazed. The first time I could tell he has the size to be a power back (6 feet 230lbs).
  • The theory I believe on why the offense looked so good? Definitely the offensive line. First game we had our starting five together this season and IMO it showed in both the run game and the pass protection. No coincidence Tannehill looked great, and Ajayi had room to run. This needs to continue, and I'm hoping it will given Tunsil is still growing at LG.


For this team to really turn its fortunes around, we will need similar performances the next two weeks against Buffalo and the Jets. Miami over the past several years has followed ringing victories like this with a lackluster effort and a loss. To win me over I'll need to see some damned consistency. They absolutely cannot come out next week and go back to the same old playing, with the same old mistakes, resulting in a "ho-hum" more-of-the-same loss.

We won't be in suspense for long. Buffalo is the stronger team and looks to be a real force given the whipping they have put on the last couple of opponents, following their shutout(!) of New England in Gillette Stadium. The Ryan brothers have that defense in great shape, and McCoy is running like a man possessed. This will be a challenge, and this team needs to rise to that challenge. It's a physical team that will stick with the run and focus on stopping our running game as well.

If we lose the game, everything evaporates because this team can't survive a 2-5 start. But for now, it looks like there is hope we could actually end up with a solid season.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:41 am

Funny, I don't remember the Sims drop!  Embarassed

And yeah, the Gray TD was called back because of a James penalty. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by rightchea on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:41 am

They need to go through ball and tackling drills this week and see if that help their hand issue. To many drop passes that could have gone for six. They also need to stop the dumb penalties, that going to cost them when it really needs to count.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:45 am

Funny, I don't remember the Sims drop!


Don't feel bad for that! Hell the analysts missed that call (surprise surprise, since we had the "D" squad calling the game). They said someone came over the top and batted it away, but not what my eyes saw. On the replay it was clear to me it went right between his hands and hit Sims in the chest.

And yeah, the Gray TD was called back because of a James penalty.

I was pissed also and angry at James, but apparently that was a blown call. Shortly after, Gase was seen shoving a printout of the formation in the refs face and he was angry. Apparently he had a reason (which I don't understand, maybe we'll get clarity in the recap coverage from the beat reporters) to be upset and felt the formation was legal.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by rightchea on Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:02 am

white1 wrote:I was, and remain, in total shock following yesterday's game. Here are a few of my thoughts following the Fins first meaningful victory of the season:


  • I have been extremely critical of Tannehill this season.  If he plays a lot more games like he did yesterday, I will flip and advocate keeping him.  75% completion percentage.  Moving the chains.  No interceptions, no sacks, no fumbles.  Several deep balls with perfect accuracy, the throw to Landry deep was a thing of beauty.  Parker dropped a perfectly thrown TD pass.  He could easily have 3 TDs yesterday between the drops and the one called back by penalty.
  • The way our defense contained a high-powered Steelers offense was nothing short of exceptional.  Bell had little room to run, Brown was a non factor, Ben got rattled then punished.  Maxwell played like the high priced free agent he is.  Jones had his typical excellent game.  It looked to me like Wake played a lot more snaps, and it paid off.  This is the defense I was hoping for.
  • Ajayi, where to begin? He ran with vision, power and speed as demonstrated on his breakaway score. I saw him take a couple big hits, and he was unfazed.  The first time I could tell he has the size to be a power back (6 feet 230lbs).
  • The theory I believe on why the offense looked so good? Definitely the offensive line.  First game we had our starting five together this season and IMO it showed in both the run game and the pass protection.  No coincidence Tannehill looked great, and Ajayi had room to run.  This needs to continue, and I'm hoping it will given Tunsil is still growing at LG.


For this team to really turn its fortunes around, we will need similar performances the next two weeks against Buffalo and the Jets.  Miami over the past several years has followed ringing victories like this with a lackluster effort and a loss.  To win me over I'll need to see some damned consistency. They absolutely cannot come out next week and go back to the same old playing, with the same old mistakes, resulting in a "ho-hum" more-of-the-same loss.

We won't be in suspense for long. Buffalo is the stronger team and looks to be a real force given the whipping they have put on the last couple of opponents, following their shutout(!) of New England in Gillette Stadium.  The Ryan brothers have that defense in great shape, and McCoy is running like a man possessed. This will be a challenge, and this team needs to rise to that challenge. It's a physical team that will stick with the run and focus on stopping our running game as well.

If we lose the game, everything evaporates because this team can't survive a 2-5 start.  But for now, it looks like there is hope we could actually end up with a solid season.

with what you have just said Miami needs to find some 2nd string players that can come in and give some of the big men some rest. If Miami can only rely on the starting OL then that will be a problem if one of them get hurt again. There are still 10 games left not to mention that they have a bye week after the Bills game. Miami needs to find the money to get at least two more good OL players that can sub out

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:13 am

Armando was on top of it, this is from his blog today: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2016/10/it-was-a-great-win-sunday-truly-impressive-truly-inspiring-i-thank-the-miami-dolphins-for-giving-me-the-opportunity-to-wri.html

"Then in the second quarter, the Dolphins got a TD pass from Tannehill to tight end Dominique Jones. TEs catch TD passes in the red zone. Never forget that. But this TD was wiped out when Ja'Wuan James was flagged for lining up illegally.

Now, I am told the Dolphins examined the still photos of the formation and James was not lined up illegally. The receivers were lined up correctly. Their point to the officials was good. And this penalty should not have been called."

rightchea, I agree. Urbik subbed in at LG for a bit when Tunsil tweaked something, I did not notice any dropoff. Rest assured, we'll have work to do on the offensive line this offseason. I don't know how much longer Albert can play, which means Tunsil will switch over and we'll have a hole at LG again, on top of the fact Bushrod is also old at RG.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:23 am

Urbik has been a solid lineman for many years, and should have been the primary backup from day one.  HUGE mistake placing him behind the likes of Turner and Thomas on the depth chart.  I might even argue that Urbik should be starting over Bushrod, but at least Bushrod has been serviceable.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:50 am

Good article by Armando.  But on the official calling an incorrect penalty on the Jones TD: keep in mind that the Dolphins are saying it was an incorrect call - I haven't seen/heard anyone else saying that.  I'm not sure if the call was correct or not.

One other game note: Damien Williams looked good in the 3rd down back role.  I'm assuming Drake didn't play much because he is not a good blocker - at all.  There were also comments from Christensen this week indicating that Drake may not be in great shape...not a good start to his career.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by scotgif on Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:27 pm

Let's all remember last year the one game where we actually looked like an inspired team, when Campbell first took over. People were drinking lots of Dolphins are back kool aid. That lasted all of one or two weeks and then back to same old same old.

Yes, a win is nice. And a win against a quality opponent, even nicer. But, let's just relax and see what happens the next couple weeks. We've all seen this mirage too many times . We always put together one win each year that leaves us saying, "If we could just play like this all the time......".

It will take more than the one "yearly obligatory beat a quality opponent" game to change the true fortunes and direction of this team.

CONSISTENCY is the key.
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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by Birdmond on Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:35 pm

I'm really starting to like our "new" TE's.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:39 pm

Birdmond wrote:I'm really starting to like our "new" TE's.  

Yeah, I thought they both looked pretty good in preseason and now both are performing when their number is called.  Not sure either one can block, but it looks like they can certainly help in the passing game.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:44 pm

white1 wrote:

  • The theory I believe on why the offense looked so good? Definitely the offensive line.  First game we had our starting five together this season and IMO it showed in both the run game and the pass protection.  No coincidence Tannehill looked great, and Ajayi had room to run.  This needs to continue, and I'm hoping it will given Tunsil is still growing at LG.


I think the adjustments Gase made were just as important as the OL.  I mentioned them in the first post in this thread, but I think having Tannehill under center more and running fewer 5-wide sets really helped with the running game and pass pro and the general flow of the offense.  You can't just run 5-wide sets out of the shotgun every damn down, which is essentially what we did for 5 weeks.

And like scot said - consistency is the key moving forward.  Was yesterday's game just an aberration, or is it a sign of things to come.  Way too early to tell, but the season essentially starts next week against the Bills.  That game will go a long way toward determing the Phins' fate this season.  As white said elsewhere, if things really are different, we should see it Sunday.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by rightchea on Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:48 pm

Birdmond wrote:I'm really starting to like our "new" TE's.  

wasn't Jones apart of our Practice Squad????? For the fact that he did so well this game means either that he was good all along or that Cameron was getting paid to much to get rid of.


JMP wrote:Good article by Armando. But on the official calling an incorrect penalty on the Jones TD: keep in mind that the Dolphins are saying it was an incorrect call - I haven't seen/heard anyone else saying that. I'm not sure if the call was correct or not.


I really don't think they care at this point or they haven't investigated it yet. From what I saw it could have been illegal formation but not on James but the WR not being lined up properly.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by finskev on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:14 pm

Neither WR on the side of James was on the Line, Solomon Wilcott acqually knew what he was talking about for once when he pointed it out during the Game.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by finskev on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:17 pm

Also Vegas Liked the Fins Yesterday after the Game, It was the Biggest winner of the Whole season for Vegas with 7 out of 8 picks being for the Steelers, Which included someone betting $16,000 to try and win $5000.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by Umix10 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:19 pm

It appeared to me that Jones had his hand up to check with the ref but wasn't looking in his direction for the ok.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:58 pm

Armando retracted following press conference, it was a legitimate penalty.

Details, we need to get better at coaching those up. Hard to complain given how we handled Pittsburgh, but you know what I mean.

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by finfanatic on Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:59 am

I was very surprised by this win.

Good post on the game JMP.

Thanks

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Re: Game 6 thoughts: Steelers at Dolphins

Post by Birdmond on Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:32 am

I just loved the physicality of the Dolphins. That's what I'm looking for. Even if they lose every game, if they keep fighting, I'll wear my Dolphins gear with pride. Just don't be somebody's bitch is all I ask.

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