Fins @ Chargers Rewind

After a rough 0-3 the Dolphins head to the west coast to take on a yearly playoff contender in the Chargers. Alot of “experts” actually picked the Fins for their upset special pick. Why? I have no clue. But once again it gave me a reason to have some HOPE. Alot on the line for the Fins. Headed into a bye week you don’t want to be thinking about being 0-4.

Offense

QBSo lets get to the Chad Henne review this week… Thanks to Lex Hilliard we don’t have to worry about Henne (More to come in the RB section). So Matt Moore was thrown into the game in the first quarter. So for probably taking minimal snaps during preparation for the chargers Moore didn’t do awful. How do you even grade a backup QB throw in the middle of the game. Well that’s his job right? So he is supposed to give his team a chance to win. And I can say he gave them a shot offensively. Without Marshall’s drops he gave them a chance. Was it a great chance? High Percentage? No way but he gave them a chance. He definitely held on to the ball to long and didn’t seem to read blitz well enough to get hot routes out to the WRs. That just shows he was the #2 QB all week and all year. Its to be expected. His pick didn’t come till the end of the game when they were trying to comeback save face. Hopefully Henne will be heathy after the 2 weeks they have to off with the bye.

Grade D+

RBSo after another impresive start from Daniel Thomas last week we got to see him get into action again. Nope nevermind. Thomas was INACTIVE and didn’t even make the trip out west. Actually signed Steve Slaton off waivers during the week. And since he is a completely different running back than Bush its a good move. Wait. What? Actually it’s not at all. Same back with less upside. Anyways to Bush and the other RBs that were on the field Sunday. So thank you Lex Hilliard. On what was a busted play Hilliard didn’t take the hand off from Henne. Henne scrambled and ended up ending his day early. Hilliard actually bounced back well. And ended up scoring on the same drive. Something else you have to do tho when a backup QB enters the game is block. Twice Hilliard completely missed a blitz and allowed the Chargers to put Moore on his back. During the first half Bush was decisive and quick thru the holes. He picked up chunks of yards and allowed the Dolphins to move the ball well. As the game went on Bush ended up dancing in the whole and reversing his field several times just to loss a yard or two. Again when Thomas is healthy Bush needs to be split out wide and have a select section of the playbook just to get him involved.

Grade D

WR-So last week I said Marshall needs to step up if he wants to be an elite receiver. And he still a wallflower. Once again Marshall dropped a long TD pass and a crucial 3rd down attempt(Leads the league with 6 dropped passes). Hartline played solid again. He is becoming a great possession receiver with a chance to break one every week. He also is an excellent route runner. Bess has been less than clutch this year on 3rd downs. Partly just due to lack of targets. All the receivers suffered from lack of time with Matt Moore during this weeks preparation. Overall can’t complain about them besides the obvious Marshall. Funny how the “best” receiver brings the grade of the entire unit down.

Grade D+

TE-Fasano and Mastrud combine for 2 rec for 17yds. Fasano did have 4 targets so you would like to see more production. But most of those targets were way off line and one ended up being an INT.

Grade D

O-line- So the RBs avg less than 4 yds per carry this week. While the run block def needs to improve and get seals on either end when going outside. I think that average goes up to 4.2 or so when Thomas is back and healthy. The line again had the QBs under pressure for most of the game. Allowing 3 sacks and 7 QB hits thru out the game. And with 30 pass attempts that’s 33% of the time the QB is getting knocked on his rear end. Making it hard to step into throws and to make his progressions. Was happy to see that the center to QB exchange was pretty smoothed when backup Moore came into the game. I expected the disastrous season to continue.

Grade D

Offense Conclusion

The Dolphins had just about the same amount of plays as the Chargers but yet had over 150 yds less than the Bolts. With the backup Moore coming into the same can’t really expect to see much improvement. Third down conversion was again awful at 30%. If Henne is out vs Jets hopefully Moore will have 2 weeks of prep to gel with the unit and also get Thomas healthy again.

Grade D

Defense

D-line– The D line let Matthews tear them up outside the tackles. Have to stay home and stick to their assignments on the outside. Need that push to come from the the D line. It starts here. If they can fill gaps and occupy line the better the pass rush and that gives the secondary much-needed help.

Grade D+

LBs-Dansby looked better than last week but his pass coverage still less than desired. Wake had a decent game. With all the attention he gets, its amazing he is able to get a hit on the QB. Burnett again disappoints with just 3 tackles.

Grade D-

Secondary-Again with Davis out the secondary looked scary. Vincent Jackson torched the secondary even if it was only for one quarter. Rookie Wilson was the only one with a pass deflection. Carrol looked clueless and Bell was all over the place. Bell lead the team with 14 tackles. Sick of seeing the top two or three tacklers being in the secondary. Also Sean Smith needs to learn to tackle below the waist or else he will continue to be used and abused after the catch(that he can’t stop).

Grade F

Defense Conclusion

The defense only gave up 2 tds to the high powered chargers offense. but they didn’t need to score too much to get the Dolphins winless. I believe if the needed to score more they would have. Probably with ease. Lets hope Vontae is back next week and not only got right physically but also mentally. Really would like him or someone to step up as a leader and unite this unit.

Grade D

Special Teams

Kicking-Carpenter finally looked like the solid kicker we hoped he continue to be. 3 for 3 with a long of 51 yards. Fields averaged dropped below 50 for first time this but still no horrible punts or blocks YET.

Returners-Still waiting for Gates to bust a return. He def has less chances due to the rules changes this year. Bess had one return on the punt and several others that where fair caught. Some of which looked to be returnable. Hopefully when Thomas is healthy Bush will step back on a regular basis to return punts.

Coverage-Coveraged team looked great this week. Didnt give up any big returns and give the Bolts good field position(not that they needed it).

Grade C+

Final Thoughts

Once again the Dolphins hung around long enough in a game to give themselves a chance before shooting each other in the foot. They were one or two plays(BIG PLAYS) from getting right in the game. Still I keep saying they were close they were in it they had a chance but the fact remains an 0-4 team. And you are what your record says you are. An 0-4 team looking at their starting QB out for the year and a coach on the hot seat.

Looking Forward

So we get to look forward to facing the Jets on Monday night. The Jets have lost 3 straight games. they will be ready to come out and blitz the crap out of whatever QB we throw out there. Hopefully with 2 weeks to prepare the team will have rested up gotten healthy and have a good game plan for more than a quarter of football. It also seems like it maybe time to “SUCK FOR LUCK.” And maybe even wish for Luck/Gruden in 2012!

Suck for Luck?…FINS UP!

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