Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

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Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:56 pm

The Dolphins pulled out a 26-23 victory over the Cards today, in a sloppy, rain-soaked game marred by numerous injuries, penalties and turnovers by both teams. The victory pushed the Dolphins back into the #6 seed in the AFC playoff picture – but it came with a high price.

QB Ryan Tannehill left the game with a knee injury late in the 3rd quarter, and early reports indicate that he is lost for the season with a torn ACL. It’s a devastating loss for Miami, and could derail the Dolphins’ playoff hopes. Tannehill was excellent before leaving the game, throwing 3 TDs and completing 15 of 20 passes. Backup Matt Moore came in and contributed a big pass play to Kenny Stills that set the Dolphins up for the winning FG.

Offensively, Stills was the star, with a TD, a couple of clutch catches and almost 100 yards receiving. Jarvis Landry had a huge 71-yard reception that saw him gain about 60 yards after the catch. He finished with over 100 yards. DaVante Parker was a non-factor, with just 2 catches.

The Dolphins running game was almost non-existent, as Jay Ajayi struggled all day and finished with well under 3 yards a carry. He was once again tackled in the backfield numerous times. Center Anthony Steen has become a liability in the run game. Moving forward, the Dolphins have to find a way to run the ball again, because it has disappeared since Mike Pouncey got hurt and it’s unrealistic to expect Matt Moore to win games without a running game.

The defense was dominant at times, forcing 4 turnovers and harassing QB Carson Palmer all day. Palmer had an awful game and was hit on almost every dropback. Suh and Wake had huge games, and Branch and Phillips made some plays as well. The patchwork LB corps played well for the most part, although the Cards’ offense inexplicably didn’t challenge them much. The DBs played very well, especially Maxwell. Unfortunately, the defense played poorly in the 4th quarter, giving up 14 points and allowing the Cards to tie the game.

The Dolphins were lucky to win this game. They were helped out by terrible special teams play by the Cards, including a missed FG and two missed extra points – the second of which was returned by the Phins for 2 points. I also question the Cardinals’ offensive gameplan, as they failed to attack the Dolphins’ weakest area (LB coverage in the middle of the field) and grossly underutilized David Johnson in the passing game. Penalties continue to be a big issue for this Dolphins team, as they racked up an unacceptable 14 penalties for 118 yards.

I thought the Dolphins would get destroyed in this game, and I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. This was a huge December victory, and it was important to right the ship after getting completely embarrassed by the Ravens last week. But despite the win and the 8-5 record, the future of this season is now very cloudy. Without Ryan Tannehill and with a struggling running game, the defense is going to have to carry this team. Fortunately, it appears that the next two Miami opponents, the Jets and Bills, have given up on the season – although both games are on the road and both teams would no doubt love to hurt Miami’s playoff chances. But no matter who is starting at QB, these are games the Dolphins MUST win – no excuses. It should be a wild ride, and no matter what happens it is great to see the Dolphins in the hunt this late in the season.





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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:49 pm

Great write up JMP and I agree with most of what you've said here. I will give Parker credit for a nice catch to convert a 3rd down, the same play Tanny got hurt on the low hit.

Gase has done this before. Tebow coming in as Denver approached the playoffs is not exactly what you call "Plan A". Moore has tools to work with, and I believe Gase will feature the running game and augment that attack with the plays that Moore likes and executes the best. I expect these plays will be different than the ones Tanny favored, but I believe the offense can be effective.

Rizzi needs to tune up our special teams too. WTF was that Drake hit on Landry to knock the ball loose? I don't know if we are spending less time in practice or what, but the gaffes on STs have to stop.

Pleasantly surprised by our LB play, especially the INT by Hull. I thought Johnson would have a career defining day today, and instead he was limited and failed to score a TD. I'm not sure it was the Cards game plan, or the fact Arians couldn't risk too many dropbacks because Palmer was getting hit so often.

In any case, that's 8. Eight!! No losing season for the first time in a long time, and we need 1 out of the next 3 to actually have a winning season. Great stuff. My optimism for the future is at an all time high. The Tannehill injury hurts, but it won't be fatal. Gase has all offseason to figure out who his backup is, and tailor the offense until Tanny is back. Key for us is to build up the defense, build up the offensive line and plan for a heavy dose of the J Train next year.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:16 pm

I honestly cannot see how anyone besides Gase can be Coach Of The Year getting this bunch to at least 8 wins with no depth whatsoever (thanks, Tannenbaum).

Campbell hit was dirty as hell and he better get fined six figures for it.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:50 pm

Good point on the roster Gase has performed with this season. Vance Joseph gets credit too. When Alonso was ruled out, I honestly started wondering if the Cards would punt once today with threats like David Johnson and Fitzgerald on the field. I am still stunned that Joseph came up with a scheme that totally stifled that offense until the 4th quarter, and fatigue had to be a factor that late in the game. Even still, they rose to the challenge and forced a three and out on Arizona's final possession.

On a side note, damn is that team struggling. Their special teams is cover-your-eyes awful, and Palmer is getting hit seemingly every time he drops back. I know we have talent on our defensive line, but they looked like world beaters today. I loved what Arians did with this team over the past couple seasons, but today you could clearly see why they have the record they do. It looked to me like the whole is much less than the sum of the parts. Not a good look for their coaches.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by Degarmo on Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:06 pm

You know, for all the shit I gave Joseph early on in the year, with the total lack of talent, and even just warm bodies, he has performed some real magic this season. I think we may have an actual good coaching staff for the first time in, well, a long time.

I have no faith in Matty Backup. I hope he plays lights out. I'm not expecting anything but three consecutive losses.
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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by Birdmond on Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:35 am

I'm just happy to watch a game that matters in December.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by Degarmo on Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:34 am

Birdmond wrote:I'm just happy to watch a game that matters in December.  

To quote the vernacular, which is now old vernacular, WORD.
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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:37 am

Yes! December and we're still in the hunt. No way did I expect this coming into the year. No way.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:04 am

In my game thoughts I forgot to give props to Walt Aikens for a stellar game on STs...a big-time tackle and the missed extra point returned for 2.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:13 am

JMP wrote: The victory pushed the Dolphins back into the #6 seed in the AFC playoff picture

Correction: the Dolphins are actually the #7 seed right now...Denver is #6.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by mercury22nathan on Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:55 am

white1 wrote:WTF was that Drake hit on Landry to knock the ball loose?

that was just stupid. i hope the rookie got an ass reaming after that one.

the Phins' pass rush against backup offensive linemen and the pouring rain protected the Phins' LBers. i'd make Stills and the Cardinal's kicker the co-MVPs for the Dolphins.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by mercury22nathan on Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:59 am

JMP wrote:Correction: the Dolphins are actually the #7 seed right now...Denver is #6.

and if the Ravens win tonight, despite the victory, the Phins will find themselves in the 8th place outside the playoffs.

i hate having to root for NE tonight and next week against Denver. imagine the Pats lose to the Ravens and Broncos and then turn-around and defeat the Phins in the last week. that would be such a Belichck F-U move.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by rightchea on Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:26 am

DolFan 316 wrote:I honestly cannot see how anyone besides Gase can be Coach Of The Year getting this bunch to at least 8 wins with no depth whatsoever (thanks, Tannenbaum).

Campbell hit was dirty as hell and he better get fined six figures for it.

Everyone saying that it wasn't dirty but I saw it in slow motion and he didn't have to hit his knee. They should look into it.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:34 am

At this point, does it matter if the hit was dirty or not?  Tannehill is done, and that won't change if Campbell gets fined.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:15 pm

JMP wrote:At this point, does it matter if the hit was dirty or not?  Tannehill is done, and that won't change if Campbell gets fined.

By that logic, if someone murdered your wife or children then they should get off scot free since jailing or killing them won't bring your loved ones back.

See where you went wrong?

Obvious cheap shot is obvious.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:46 pm

DolFan 316 wrote:
JMP wrote:At this point, does it matter if the hit was dirty or not?  Tannehill is done, and that won't change if Campbell gets fined.

By that logic, if someone murdered your wife or children then they should get off scot free since jailing or killing them won't bring your loved ones back.

See where you went wrong?

Obvious cheap shot is obvious.

It wasn't obvious, because many people don't think it was a cheap shot. And this isn't murder - it's football.

At least be consistent and show outrage about Landry getting away with his "cheap shot". tongue

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:32 pm

JMP wrote:At least be consistent and show outrage about Landry getting away with his "cheap shot".  tongue

Still haven't seen it. I did see the Bills incident and thought it was borderline.

What I have seen is enough general outrage over the officiating in that game to conclude that the league likely did not want the Fins to win. Seems to be a lot of that (slanted officiating in general) going around lately, and it's not even being hidden anymore.

The bottom line is, if something happens right in front of an official's eyes that is the textbook definition of a penalty, and yet it's not called and treated like it didn't even happen, then something is sadly and badly wrong. At some point it can no longer be chalked up to incompetence.

BTW Campbell also dove at Cam's knees as well this season I found out.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:21 pm

DolFan 316 wrote:
JMP wrote:At least be consistent and show outrage about Landry getting away with his "cheap shot".  tongue

Still haven't seen it. I did see the Bills incident and thought it was borderline.

What I have seen is enough general outrage over the officiating in that game to conclude that the league likely did not want the Fins to win. Seems to be a lot of that (slanted officiating in general) going around lately, and it's not even being hidden anymore.

The bottom line is, if something happens right in front of an official's eyes that is the textbook definition of a penalty, and yet it's not called and treated like it didn't even happen, then something is sadly and badly wrong. At some point it can no longer be chalked up to incompetence.

BTW Campbell also dove at Cam's knees as well this season I found out.

The Cardinal-Dolphin game had poor officiating on both sides, so I can't complain. There were plenty of calls that could've gone against the Dolphins, but didn't - and they still had 14 penalties! As long as it evens out and one team isn't blatantly getting screwed, I just take as "it is what it is".

As for the Landry play, it did happen in front of the officials and it was a blatant late hit on a defenseless player. Easy penalty to call, and they didn't. So again, if they didn't call that, then I'm OK with not flagging Campbell either. As long as both teams get the same treatment, I'm fine with it.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by HalCHorn on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:25 pm

Very very sloppy, but boy, are we lucky.

Campbell apologized today.

Still, this is not the type of game we were winning the past few years. Just glad that Tanny's OK and we still have a chance to play in January.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by JMP on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:58 pm

HalCHorn wrote:this is not the type of game we were winning the past few years.  

That seems to be the theme of the season! Regardless of how the rest of the season goes, it looks like this coaching staff has gotten buy-in from the players and they are establishing a winning attitude. That's huge for a team that's been directionless for so long.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by Birdmond on Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:19 am

I believe Campbell is a FA next season. Let's accept that apology and welcome the big man home.

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by white1 on Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:04 am

I believe Campbell is a FA next season. Let's accept that apology and welcome the big man home.

He would look good next to Suh. DT is definitely a need, no complaints from me. To patch up this roster, we'll need to use both draft picks AND free agents. Drafting well is paramount, but I'm okay with getting good, solid free agents too.



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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by Degarmo on Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:50 pm

Can he play center?

I joke, I kid. I'd love to have Campbell.
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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by mercury22nathan on Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:03 am

oh, one last thing i forgot to mention about this game.

with the Phins at 2nd and goal on the 3 yard line with 10 seconds left (and after having just lost 2 yards from the 1 yard line), did anyone else almost crap their pants when Williams was initially stopped only to have him then try and loop around back into the oncoming defense and almost expire the clock before Miami got a chance to call a timeout? i was screaming at the TV. i get that the conditions were not great for a FG, even that close, but don't ya think maybe if his initial surge was stopped, Williams should've just gone down considering the dwindling clock?

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Re: Game 13 thoughts: Cards at Dolphins

Post by Degarmo on Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:15 am

mercury22nathan wrote:oh, one last thing i forgot to mention about this game.

with the Phins at 2nd and goal on the 3 yard line with 10 seconds left (and after having just lost 2 yards from the 1 yard line), did anyone else almost crap their pants when Williams was initially stopped only to have him then try and loop around back into the oncoming defense and almost expire the clock before Miami got a chance to call a timeout?  i was screaming at the TV.  i get that the conditions were not great for a FG, even that close, but don't ya think maybe if his initial surge was stopped, Williams should've just gone down considering the dwindling clock?

My quote watching this was, "The stupid in this league is at an all-time high."

Yes, he should have had the simple football knowledge to get down. The game was won. Just get down if the lane isn't there.
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