Miami’s second and third-team was able to salvage the night, going on a 28-6 run in the game’s final three quarters. But unfortunately for the Dolphins, the starters had an embarrassing showing in the first quarter, falling behind 17-0 early on.
In the Dolphins’ defense, though, the Falcons’ second scoring drive took place after Sparano had already pulled the first-team D. But that doesn’t ease the fact that Atlanta marched right down the field on what is supposed to be a top five defense. Doing so mostly on the ground against what we thought was one of the most dominant defensive lines in football.
Add that to Chad Henne still staring down receivers and the running game getting no push from the interior offensive line, and the Dolphins left the Georgia Dome with more questions than when they entered. Having said that, I decided to go back and look at the film this morning.
I have no way of posting the video, but here is my analysis of what went wrong on Henne’s two interceptions, the first-team defense’s second series, and Daniel Thomas’ four carries.
Chad Henne’s two picks
-First interception: Henne’s first pick, on his very first pass of the preseason, was more Fasano’s fault than his. Fasano should have made the catch. But if I’m Brian Daboll watching the film with Henne, I’m pointing out a few things to my starting quarterback.
First off, he had a wide open Charles Clay in the flat, but it appeared Henne was fixated on Fasano from the snap. Henne also probably put a little too much zip on the pass considering it only traveled about five yards past the line of scrimmage and if the ball wasn’t slightly behind Fasano, maybe he would have been able to reel it in.
-Second interception: Bess is open initially when the corner bites on the play-action. For whatever reason, Henne hesitates. Could of been as a result of Bess running the wrong route, as Sparano indicated last night. But if that was the case, Henne needs to look elsewhere, or at least tuck it away, take a sack, and live to see the next down.
Instead, Bess puts his hands up signaling for the ball, prompting Henne to try and force the pass in between the corner, who had dropped back into the throwing lane, and the safety over the top. Just a terrible read and decision by Henne.
First-team defense’s second series
-Michael Turner 14-yard run: The Dolphins’ defensive line appears to over pursue to the right. Turner cuts up the middle, where Cameron Wake is stood up by the fullback and Karlos Dansby takes poor angle attempting to fill lane, allowing Turner to spring into the second level.
-Michael Turner 7-yard run: Randy Starks, Koa Misi, and Yeremiah Bell all handled easily by individual blockers. Kevin Burnett looks lost, fills wrong lane.
-Matt Ryan incomplete pass intended for Tony Gonzalez: Great coverage by Sean Smith and Kevin Burnett on the play, leaving no room for Ryan to fit it in.
- Matt Ryan hits Julio Jones for a 21-yard gain on a shallow cross: Cameron Wake appears to be on the verge of exploding past the right tackle to provide some pressure, but Ryan calmly steps up in the pocket to find an open Jones. Vontae Davis on the coverage. Davis doesn’t chase Jones hard initially on the shallow cross, almost looking like he’s passing him up to the middle in zone coverage. Could have been a miscommunication.
-Jason Snelling 12-yard run: Koa Misi pancaked by Tony Gonzalez. Randy Starks blown off the line of scrimmage by left tackle. Karlos Dansby fills wrong lane.
-Michael Turner two-yard touchdown run: Randy Starks blows through line, forces Turner right. Paul Soliai sheds blocker, stands up Turner at the one. Turner wants it more, though, overpowering Soliai and it looks like Burnett, and with some push from some of his lineman, gets into the end zone.
Daniel Thomas’ four carries
-D. Thomas up the middle for no gain: Just no hole or push for Thomas to work with. Looked like Vernon Carey let his man get inside and into the running lane. Mike Pouncey also wasn’t able to create any room for Thomas trying to block the second level, letting the linebacker slip by and make the tackle.
-D. Thomas up the middle for no gain: Richie Incognito creates no push and allows man to slip into lane. Vernon Carey, once again, lets his man get inside on him, shrinking the lane even more. Anthony Fasano whiffs on the opposite side defense end, who chases down Thomas at the line of scrimmage.
-D. Thomas up the middle for a yard: Falcons just completely collapse on Dolphins’ offensive line. Hard to tell much, as my broadcast is late cutting to the play, but it appears that Incognito, Pouncey, and Carey just fail to create any push for Thomas to work with.
-D.Thomas run out of shogun for about three yards: Mike Pouncey does a nice job of sealing off defensive tackle. If Lydon Murtha controls defensive end, Thomas probably gains four or five.