Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

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Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:42 pm

After struggling in victories against two bad teams in the Rams and 49ers, the Dolphins traveled to Baltimore to face the 6-5 AFC North-leading Ravens.  The Dolphins responded with an embarrassingly ugly effort in a 38-6 loss.

I was not present in the Ravens’ offensive meetings this week.  However, after watching the game I can confidently say that the Ravens were working under the assumption that the Dolphins’ pass defense blows, particularly in the middle of the field.  Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco shredded the piss-poor Miami D to the tune of 381 yards and 4 TDs, with an unreal 36 completions and 28 first downs.  The vast majority of Flacco’s completions occurred in the middle of the field, exploiting Miami LBs Kiko Alonso and Spencer Paysinger all day long.  Both LBs were absolutely awful against the pass.  To make matters worse, the heralded Dolphins’ DL played like a bunch of pussies, with highly-paid D-linemen Suh, Wake and Williams contributing nothing, and contract-seeking Branch getting blocked out of nearly every play.  It was a disgusting effort by the defense, highlighted by missed tackles and terrible angles.

Unfortunately, the offense was just as bad as the defense.  QB Ryan Tannehill had one of his worst games ever, with three awful INTs and a plethora of poorly-thrown passes.  He looked clueless throughout the game.  Left guard Laremy Tunsil had one of his worst games, with 3 penalties and no blocks of note.  The only positive on offense was Jay Ajayi, who ran like a beast all day – but it wasn’t enough.  Adam Gase pulled off his best impression of Bill Lazor, calling almost nothing but pass plays that started +/- 5 yards from the line of scrimmage.  Dink and dunk would have been an improvement.  Gase called this game like a scared pussy-ass mother fucker, showing zero confidence in his players.  

So, here we are.  The Dolphins sit at an impressive 7-5, right in the thick of things.  But, this game may have provided a blueprint for teams that can throw the ball well, including the Cards and Pats.  The Dolphins really have no answers for passes thrown in the middle of the field, and those teams will exploit the hell out of Alonso and the other crappy LBs.  It’s just one game, but the cracks are starting to get bigger and this once-promising season is now looking more like a dream than a reality.

Bottom line: this rookie coaching staff needs to make some MAJOR adjustments, but given the lack of talent on this roster I’m not sure scheming is enough.


Last edited by JMP on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:48 pm

Serious question.

How can anyone on offense or defense, including all players and coaches, actually look at this film and think they can get ready for next week? At this rate, it's clear we are well on our way to a season-closing five game losing streak. No answers, no hope on either side of the ball, and the team in total disarray.

It will be a spectacle to behold, for sure. Here we are in December, and we put the worse game of the season in front of fans in a game we needed to make a serious playoff run.

We've changed players, coaches, GMs, presidents, and yet we always seem capable of fielding an embarrassing effort at the absolutely worse time. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:12 pm

Well that one went up rather quickly Shocked Laughing

white1 wrote:Serious question.

How can anyone on offense or defense, including all players and coaches, actually look at this film and think they can get ready for next week?   At this rate, it's clear we are well on our way to a season-closing five game losing streak.  No answers, no hope on either side of the ball, and the team in total disarray.

I get the pessimism, I really do, but "total disarray"??? How are they in any more disarray than the Philbin-era teams? It's not disarray, it's injuries coupled with lack of talent, coupled with playing the one team that always pimp-slaps them all over the field even in defeat (last season was one of only 9 wins in Fins history in which they were outgained by 150 or more).

There are lots of reasons to feel bad without making up more Razz Laughing

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:16 pm

white1 wrote:It will be a spectacle to behold, for sure.  Here we are in December, and we put the worse game of the season in front of fans in a game we needed to make a serious playoff run.

We've changed players, coaches, GMs, presidents, and yet we always seem capable of fielding an embarrassing effort at the absolutely worse time.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This December thing's actually been going on for over 25 years now. '89 team started 7-4 and finished 8-8. '88 team started 5-4, finished 6-10. This team's great at winning games in December, as long as they don't actually mean anything.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:17 pm

And just so Jmp doesn't feel left out  Smile

JMP wrote:I was not present in the Ravens’ offensive meetings this week.  However, after watching the game I can confidently say that the Ravens were working under the assumption that the Dolphins’ pass defense blows, particularly in the middle of the field.  Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco shredded the piss-poor Miami D to the tune of 381 yards and 4 TDs, with an unreal 36 completions and 28 first downs.  The vast majority of Flacco’s completions occurred in the middle of the field, exploiting Miami LBs Kiko Alonso and Spencer Paysinger all day long.  Both LBs were absolutely awful against the pass.  To make matters worse, the heralded Dolphins’ DL played like a bunch of pussies, with highly-paid D-linemen Suh, Wake and Williams contributing nothing, and contract-seeking Branch getting blocked out of nearly every play.  It was a disgusting effort by the defense, highlighted by missed tackles and terrible angles.

I read that Flacco set a Ravens franchise record for completions today Shocked

Also, the loss today was by just 8 fewer points than the 6 straight wins combined. Yeah.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:32 pm

Not that it really mattered today, but can we PLEASE cut Andrew Frank and replace him with a kicker that can reliably kick FGs of over 40 yards? Franks is a waste...shouldn't be in the NFL. Not signing Robbie Gould earlier in the year was a mistake.

As for Alonso, he is easily the most overrated Dolphin. I heard Channing Crowder call him a Pro Bowler this week, and that just makes me laugh. Alonso defines "boom or bust"...every now and then, he'll make a highlight-reel big play, but more often than not, he's a liability on the field against both the run and pass.

On another note, anyone else think the Phins D completely quit midway through the 4th? On that West TD, I swear the Phins just let him waltz right in to the endzone. Very disturbing.

I'll throw the homers one bone: Maxwell played a solid game, keeping Mike Wallace in check and getting an INT and forced fumble.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:55 pm

Learning opportunity for Vance Joseph: when you have garbage LBs, you cannot continue to call a zone defense.

That should be blatantly obvious, but I guess rookie coordinators need to learn on their own.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by Degarmo on Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:57 pm

First Tannehill INT was a good pass, Parker just got out fought for the ball. All the others sucked.

I have nothing positive to say about this game. They, as usual, were dominated by the Ravens.
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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:41 pm

Hey, give the Fins a break! How were they supposed to account for a TE who hadn't caught a TD pass in three years? Laughing


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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:27 am

I get the pessimism, I really do, but "total disarray"??? How are they in any more disarray than the Philbin-era teams? It's not disarray, it's injuries coupled with lack of talent, coupled with playing the one team that always pimp-slaps them all over the field even in defeat

I've sobered up and slept on it. I'm over it now.

It's clear that our shortcomings on defense, especially in the LB corps, came home to roost in a big way. Flacco worked the middle of the field constantly, using quick passes to neutralize our pass rush. If I'm Vance Joseph after this game, I'm throwing the zone out and going to press man to disrupt those quick timing routes. Hell, we gave up 36 points are you really worried about giving up a deep pass after that debacle? At least give yourself a chance to create pressure, get to the QB, bat away a pass SOMETHING.

Alonso had a bad game, I think he's hurt. Someone mentioned ankle, obviously a bad injury for our coverage specialist. One of the mouth-breathers calling this game mentioned Alonso a couple of times, "oh coverage is not his specialty". Right, thanks for studying the team asshole! Not only is he our best coverage linebacker, he won a game a few weeks ago with a pick 6 that he set up beautifully.

It's tempting to hang the offense and Tannehill, but they were down 14-0 in an eyeblink, facing one of the best defenses in the NFL. A few of the runs Ajayi pulled off were very impressive, especially against this unit. In short, when playing a defense of that caliber, your own defense MUST rise up and meet the challenge, keep the game close. Instead we got blown out early and the Ravens never looked back.

A wake up call for the team, coaches, front office and players. We have a seriously flawed roster, in several ways. If we're going to win another game this season, it's going to take a perfect game plan, schemes, and play calls. There is very little margin for error.



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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:38 am

Alonso definitely has a reputation for being good in coverage.  But I agree with Gannon (I think it was Gannon) that this season Alonso is a liability in coverage.  Sure, he's made a few plays, but most of the time he's out of position and trailing the play - as we saw all day yesterday.  Teams will continue to exploit him now that Flacco set the blueprint.

Alonso is quickly becoming the most overrated player on this team.  Because we've had such crappy LB play for so long, we're all mistaking "decent" (which is all Alonso has been) with "great".  Alonso has a great motor and he plays with emotion, so I can see why he's a fan favorite, but he misses way too many plays for my liking.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:40 am

Okay fair enough.

I'd still like to see what would happen if we bring in a beast at MLB, and move him over to weakside.

One thing that you have to like, is he does make plays - turnovers are a big part of the game and I like what he brings there.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:42 am

white1 wrote:Okay fair enough.

I'd still like to see what would happen if we bring in a beast at MLB, and move him over to weakside.  

One thing that you have to like, is he does make plays - turnovers are a big part of the game and I like what he brings there.

Yep, a stud MLB would do wonders for this defense.

Alonso does make some big plays at times, but he's total boom or bust - you either get a big play or, most of the time, nothing.  I'm OK with moving him to weakside full-time (at the right price), but he's just not a MLB at this stage.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:44 am

Totally agree - MLB is not for him.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:46 am

Good writeup from Hyde:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/fl-hyde-dolphins-column-1205-20161204-column.html

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:24 am

As Hyde said, "The surprise is how the Dolphins have masked radioactive issues for so much of this season."  So true. 

This defense just doesn't have enough talent, even though the coaches did a good job of hiding that during the win streak.  When Wake can't get to the QB, there's no pass rush.  When teams stop Suh, there's no one else to step up.  The LBs are trash, except for the mediocre Alonso.  The safeties are one step up from trash.  The CBs are wildly inconsistent.

And on offense, lack of playmakers continues to be a problem.  Parker and Stills have playmaking ability, but most of the time they're invisible.  Landry is a workhorse, but let's be honest - the guy just never scores a TD, and it's difficult for him to do much when most of the passes thrown to him are short.  The QB is up and down and always disappears in December.  The TEs are playing as good as can be expected, but none of them is a playmaker - at all.  Ajayi and the running game are strong, but it's not enough to carry the team, and the OL remains inconsistent.

Give the coaches credit - they were able to make chicken salad out of chicken shit for 6 games.  Unfortunately, the chicken salad is starting to go bad.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:47 am

One other note: the amount of runs for loss that Ajayi has been racking up the last few weeks is mind-boggling.  He gets hit behind the line constantly.  The run blocking has become awful.  The Pouncey loss was devastating, but it seems like Bushrod is getting worse by the week too.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by mercury22nathan on Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:59 am

Hyde uses the exact word that was in my mind throughout this game: EXPOSED. this team was exposed for what they really are. the truth is, when you can only beat the Browns at home because they miss a field goal, you're not very good. when you need Rivers to throw 4 interception to beat them by one score, you are not very good. when you eek by a rookie making his very first start by 14-10, you are not very good. when you narrowly escape a Kaepernick (who was benched yesterday) led team by 2 yards at home, you are not very good. yesterday, the Phins played a big boy team and got the snot kicked out of them.

ever since Ajayi went off against Pittsburgh, teams have loaded the box in trying to stop him and dared Tannehill to beat them in the air. and he did it, mostly, against simple coverages with teams poised to stop Ajayi. the Ravens took a step back and realized that Tannehill is still who he is. they conceded the run and dared Tannehill to beat a pass defense designed to force him to make multiple reads. and you know what, Tannehill still has trouble when he has to progress beyond his first read.

the Phins defense didn't all of sudden become awful over night, it was already awful, but had the luxury of facing Cody Kessler, Jared Goff and Colin Kaepernick. and once they faced a QB that can complete easy tosses right in the middle of the field, they got exposed for what they really are.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:02 am

Good point. Omar posted a video clip of Steen getting blown up. His comment was "Anyone telling you Steen is playing well is a liar"

My hopes and dreams that he could be a suitable replacement for Pouncey are fully dashed. I know he's not elite, but I was hoping Steen would at least be an adequate replacement. Apparently not the case. Bad RG and bad C, that's not a good recipe for running the ball.


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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by finskev on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:35 am

Just Curious What Gase can do to Stop a Freefall from Happening. Ya'll have broken it down really well, So I make it simple.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:45 am

Just Curious What Gase can do to Stop a Freefall from Happening. Ya'll have broken it down really well, So I make it simple.

It's a great question, and honestly I don't know the answer. That's why head coaches make $5 million per year, or whatever Gase makes.

Obviously, he has been creative and will need to continue to do so. Being an offensive mind, I'm not sure how he can help out Joseph. The risk on that side of the ball is real. Teams have a blue print on how to hang 30+ points on this team. Has to be a way to counteract it. Also, it's possible he can do something on offense to take pressure off the defense. He may have to actually pass more, with deep strikes, early in the game to try and build a lead. Then sit on that lead with the running game, and get our defense into pass rush mode. It could work.

I don't know though. With Steen and Bushrod playing worse, our offensive line becomes another problem. That would force most teams to go to a quick-passing offense, instead of a big play deep ball attack.

Should be interesting. If he can salvage this season, it's gonna be one hell of a coaching job, that's for sure.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:52 am

Here is Perkins take, he's probably right. Offense is going to have to try and carry the defense the rest of the way, like we saw against the 49ers last week:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/dolphins-blog/sfl-dolphins-offense-must-shoulder-much-of-remaining-burden-20161205-story.html

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:58 am

Not sure anything can be done on defense.

On offense, get back to the intermediate and deep passes that Tannehill was so good at in previous games.  Get rid of the damn 2 yard passes thrown into heavy traffic (especially on 3rd and 12!!!)  If teams stack the box, make them pay by throwing intermediate and deep.  Tannehill had time to throw most of the day yesterday, but all he did was throw short.  We need to get into better 3rd down situations, and you can't do that with 2 yard passes.  Attack the defense - don't play into their hands by keeping everything in the box.  Not sure what the hell Gase was thinking yesterday with his bullshit playcalling...he coached to lose, not to win.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by finfanatic on Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:00 pm

Ravens are a big tough team.

The Phins are a soft, weak team.

I was REALLY worried the Defense was going to stink mightily, and I have seen nothing that does not make me think the stench has gotten any better?

On offense....couple a QB who is at best a step above game manager...(a half step maybe)...with a putrid O-line....and you have the recipe for a soggy shyte sammich IMO.

Add in the fact, the team is BARELY able to keep it's head above water with the STARTERS.....and when you get a few key injuries, it is like throwing the team a cement life preserver!!

Sure the winning streak was surprising, and I began to wonder if MAYBE I had been wrong, but after the last few NEAR MISS wins, I thought the streak was about to fade into the history of another bad season.

We have to hope MAYBE Gase can build a team that he can coach into winning. (assuming Tannenbaum doesn't hamstring him with his "clever" dumbarsed draft and personnel moves. )The winning streak with this soggy shyte sammich of a team was impressive IMO. If he manages to win a few more and keep alive the faint, flickering, feeble playoff hopes a few more weeks, I will be even more impressed.


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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Post by Birdmond on Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:33 pm

What killed me was passing on 3rd and two and then ATTEMPTING A FIELD GOAL. Run on 3rd and two and if you don't get it, go for it.

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Re: Game 12 thoughts: Dolphins vs. Ravens

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