Texans @ Fins Rewind

So week 2, new hope for the defense and time to see if the offense could continue to click. The Texans were coming into Miami after beating the Manning-less Colts. I was hopeful for this game, I think with Manning out the Texans will come out of the AFC South. And I thought the dolphins had a shot at winning. And they had several chances but once again fell short in miserable fashion.

 

 

 

Offense
QB– Henne played a decent game. Not sure if Henne wasn’t throwing in the passing lanes or the line didn’t do a good enough job but there were alot of deflected balls at the line. Even Henne’s only INT came from pressure on the backside. The ball was tipped in the air and picked off inside their own 10yd line. I did like how Henne bounced back on the next drive and wasn’t afraid to throw. The accuracy wasnt as good as on MNF. The below 50% partly to blame to pass deflections at the line. Again in the redzone Marshall and Henne couldn’t get on the same page. If they were it would have been another TD for Marshall. Game management had its high points with Henne getting to the line quickly and making proper adjustments. only problem was the last 4 min. of game were it seemed to take an eternity for them to snap the ball. Not a great or horrible game for Henne but must figure out how to lead his team to a W.

Grade C-

RB-Reggie Bush had a good first game as a dolphins on MNF while Daniel Thomas sat out inactive. this week however the rookie had his first NFL game. Thomas looked good. He hit the holes with an explosive burst and was decisive about making chooses. 107 yds on the ground for Thomas was the first 100 yd rusher the dolphins have had in a while. Unfortunately he made a big rookie mistake. He thought the football was a loaf of bread. Offense was driving into Texans territory when Thomas had a great 10+ yd run. His last spin moved proved to be a little too much as he fumbled the ball. That turnover killed the momentum shift in the game. Did like that he got the next shot at carrying the rock and continued to run hard just like before. Bush touched the ball 7 times (6 carries 1 reception). With Thomas looking like an upcoming rookie, its time Bush starts playing the same role he did in NOLA.  We like Bush to get about 12 touches a game with half being receptions in space. Hopefully the coaching staff can figure out the situation going forward. PS Can we please get rid of Larry Johnson?!?!

Grade C+

WR-Once again Marshall had a good game (6 rec 79 yds 1 TD). Although he easy could have another on a dropped pass in the back of the endzone. Also the miscommunication with Henne cost a TD. Two weeks in a row Marshall and Henne seemed on the same page besides inside the 20. After last year’s antics with Marshall its positive to seem him blocking downfield and congratulating teammates and helping them up off the ground. Sounds like simple things but they weren’t being done last year. Hartline had a nice reception on the sideline to put the Dolphins in scoring position. Bess had only 2 receptions on 5 targets. Still want to see Bess get involved. As teams start to key on Marshall should open things up for more of Bess in the slot. Proof being in his 41 yd reception in the slot. I liked seeing the rookie Gates get in there on offense. He is a burner that could open things up over the middle of the field. He drew a key passing interference call to put fins in scoring position.

Grade B-

TE-Not much to say here. Only 3 targets total for the Tes. Hopefully we can open things up over the middle for some mismatches with Fasano.

Grade Incomplete

O-line-I can live with 2 sacks but 7 QB hits? Henne was under pressure most of the day. Henne’s INT can directly attributed to lack of pass block. At the start of the game I wasnt impressed with the run blocking. It seemed tho as Thomas got going the blocking improved? Maybe. I’m not sure if the blocking got better or if Thomas was making the best of all his carries. I still love the quickness Pouncey brings to the O-line. And I still hate almost everything about Colombo. The right side of the line needs to step in up. Pretty soon the only way we will run is to the left side.

Grade D+

Offense Conclusion

The opportunities were there. We had chances to score and punch it in for 6. Miscommunication and dropped passes cost them in the redzone. I have seen some great things both in the passing game and rushing game. It just seems as if they need to find a good flow. Thats on the O coordinator Brian Daboll to make things come together. Still trying to be positive as the offense continues to try to find an identity. I just hope it’s not a come from behind team.

Defense

D-line-The rushing defense looked rough. Again a RB gets 100 yds on the ground. Randy Starks led the D line in tackles with 6. Solai was next with 3. The line has to fill gaps and plug holes. Too many times the Texans line was getting into the second layer of the defense. Most likely why the a secondary player led the team in tackles again. I was pleased with the pass rush. Even tho the D line had only one QB hit the team had 8 hits on Schaub. By occupying the Texans linemen the blitzing LBs and the pass rushing beasts of Taylor and Wake were able to put Schaub on his back. Again tho no pass deflections for the line. I would like to see their hands up knocking passes down next week. Going into Cleveland next week they must plug holes and not allow Hillis to hit the holes.

Grade D+

LB– The pass rushing LBs Taylor and Wake in the 3-4 defense combined for 5 QB hits and 2 sacks. Jason Taylor did an amazing job on a timing up the snap. He flew across the line untouched to sack Schaub. Thats the playmaker we need on the defense side of the ball. Koa Misi did have 4 tackles but as my friend said as we watched the game “He is just there.” Thats it nothing special just looks like a guy running around filling a roster spot. hope to see him step up and make plays. For the second straight week I’m unimpressed with Dansby and Burnet. They looked like a Civic trying to chase down a Jag in pass coverage. Always one or two steps behind the pass catcher. They 2 ILBs had a total of 9 tackles. Texans star LB had 10 by himself. Thats someone leading by example on the football field. Now maybe the D line isnt filling their gaps and they have to shed some blockers but they still have to make plays in the run defense.

Grade D+

Secondary-After last weeks torching of the backside of the Dolphins did I expected some improvement. It was minimal. Schaub was able to complete 72% of his passes. As I mentioned before he was under some pressure (8 QB hits). So many plays were there wasnt a defender within 5 feet of the receiver. Also when the secondary plays zone it’s a disaster. Alot of miscommunication on whether there is help over the top and when to let a receiver go or when to stay with him. Andre Johnson’s TD was an example of the miscommunication. Carrol thought Jones should have had some over the top coverage. I’m not sure if it was(it sure looked like it) but if so you got to give Carrol(who got killed by Brady last week) some help covering probably one of if not the best WR in the game! I know Carrol needs time to develop and he was only thrown in there because Davis was sidelined with a hamstring injury. But why not Will Allen? Can it really be worse than what we have seen out of Nolan Carrol? Not making excuses for the secondary but there were many slips. The field was in horrible shape between the Marlins and the Hurricanes playing on it the night before. But hey the Texans played on the same field. Did like how Bell played. Had good coverage just usually with todays WRs and TEs he is always undersized. Did also led the team with 9 tackles. I mean don’t like your safety being the leading tackler but at least someone is tackling. In fact 4 out of the top 5 tacklers were in the secondary. That shows you what kind of game it was. I will say Davis’ 6 tackles were inflated because he made a few plays in the flat displaying great open field tackling, one of which was for a loss. The secondary needs to tighten up coverage and get nasty at the line. Disrupt the timing routes and make some plays on the ball.

Grade D

Defense Conclusion

Besides the Andre Johnson TD the defense did do a good job of bending but not breaking. They held the Texans to 2 fgs under 30 yds in the first quarter. They gave the offense a “small” chance of winning, more so than last week anyways. Still struggle to come up with big turnovers and game changing plays. Next week against Cleveland, I want to see some turnovers created and high motors from everyone on defense.

Grade D+

Special Teams

Kicking-Dan Carpenter what are you doing? You can’t say it was the only reason but if he makes 2 chip shot FGs the score is 19-16 Dolphins at one point. That would totally change the game and how it would have been played in the final few minutes. The blocked FG is all on Carpenter for kicking a 20 some yarder barely over the line. Brandon Fields had a good game averaging 60 yards on his three punts for the day, two of them being inside the 20. Hate when a bright spot is your punter.

Returners-Love the speed Gates brings to the return game. He averaged 25 yds on kickoffs and 10 on punts. It doesn’t light the world on fire but Id be very surprised if Gates, given the chance, doesn’t return at least 2 kicks this year for TDs. Also liked in situations where the only option was a fair catch and the Dolphins tried to block punts, Bess was in as the sure handed option. And Jason Trusnik? Once shame on me twice shame on you and three times in two games? I have no clue he may get cut.

Coverage-Texans returns averaged 38 yards on kickoffs and just shy of 20 on punts. Punt average is inflated due to a 40 yd run back. Mainly because Fields leg is so strong he out kicked the coverage and Jones was able to get going before anyone was near. We need to start pinning people on kicks and punts inside the 20 and win the field position battle.

Grade D

Final Thoughts

The final score was 23-13. With Carpenter making two easy FGs and without Hennes INT inside the 10(which Houston got a TD) the score looks like 19-16 Dolphins. As bad as they seemed to play they were still in the game and had chances to win. But like Reham Morris said “Stats don’t mean anything it’s about getting the WIN.” And the Dolphins now start the season 0-2 and playoffs already look like a stretch. Its encouraging on that end considering Houston maybe the team to come out of the AFC South. Just need everything on offense and defense to come together at the same time. On Sunday it was just another Ho Hum performance by the Miami Dolphins. I hope we can get a flowing offense in the weeks ahead.

Looking Forward

The Dolphins head to my home town of Cleveland next week where I desperately need them to win. Many of my fiends and family are Browns fans and I don’t want to hear it for the rest of the year(like last year). It’s also maybe a must win for the Dolphins. After this game the go @ the Chargers and @ the Jets, so they could easily be 0-5 and in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. That would be make to square one once again. Hopefully Brain Daboll will want to show some explosive offense agains his former employer and maybe just maybe Trusnik wont get called for holding in his home town. Like I told many Browns fans “Maybe on year we can face off against one another in a meaningful playoff game.”

But until then FINS UP!

http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d8225d1dc/Texans-vs-Dolphins-highlights

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  1. Larry Johnson has officially been cut! Lets hope that Vontae and Dansby are good to go week 3 because we can’t lose to the Browns.

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