The Dolphins hit the practice field this past week riding the confidence of winning three games in a row and being 3-0 to start the season. While the Dolphins will be off on Friday, the injury report was published today and circulated around the NFL and media.
It's important to note the following news and notes from the week:
There is a small debate on whether Cam Wake will play on Monday Night at New Orleans. Today Joe Philbin was non-committal about Wake playing so it could be a possibility. As of Monday, Wake was diagnosed with an MCL sprain and since Monday has improved in his involvement in practices. The biggest thing working for Wake is he has an extra day of rest before the Dolphins play. If the Dolphins played Sunday, Wake could be ruled out. For now, this is something to keep an eye on until about game time.
In addition, the Dolphins could be out with Dmitri Patterson. Patterson is suffering from a groin injury that he re-aggravated last week. According to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, Patterson has had a setback in practice. Look for the Dolphins to plug in rookie Will Davis in a nickel situation and there might be a Jamar Taylor. Both 2nd and 3rd round picks that have been ready to prove themselves since the start of their Dolphins careers.
On the defensive line front, there is still a chance that the Dolphins could have Paul Soliai. Soliai has a knee injury that he suffered in the game against the Colts. As of now, Soliai is not expected to play, but he certainly could. One other interesting injury was of line backer Koa Misi. While most viewers didn't see it, he did sustain an injury to his shoulder. That being said, Soliai and Misi did practice, but on a limited basis.
Good news for Dolfans that are busy purchasing Ryan Tannehill jerseys, he was not on the report this week since being limited last week with a shoulder injury. So, that means that Tannehill is good to go and ready for Monday.
While everything seems to be clicking for the Dolphins in practice, if key starters such as Wake and Soliai cannot go, look for the Dolphins new edition defensive tackle Marvin Austin to get significant playing time as well as LB/DE Dion Jordan to get his first start or at least a much more significant role on defense. Whether that solves the Dolphins issues on stopping the run on defense remains to be seen. However, the Dolphins clearly are going to have everyone ready in their quest for pulling off an upset.no comments
At this point in the season, being 3-0 is uncharacteristic for the Dolphins franchise since it last happened in 2002. However, on the business side of things, the Dolphins decided to release to media sources that Jeff Ireland's contract has been extended for 1 year through the 2014 season.
Remarkably, it was Jeff Ireland prior to hiring head coach Joe Philbin, that was on the outs with the fanbase, criticized by the media, and villified by certain free agents who didn't like what was going on in Miami during free-agency.
Since the hiring of Philbin, Ireland has been largely responsible for drafting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the signing of wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, and defensive players such as Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler. While Ireland has had failed signings such as Brandon Marshall, Jake Grove, and Justin Smiley, he has had more success with his drafts of Reshad Jones, Jimmy Wilson, and Jonathan Martin (whom has filled in admirably for Jake Long).no comments
While the Miami Dolphins managed to show their vulnerabilities early versus the Falcons during the first quarter, nothing could keep them from the win column. Even while covering future hall of famer tight end Tony Gonzalez, proved an adventure early on as he was able to show his presence with 4 catches on the openning drive. When Matt Ryan wasn't calling his number, the Falcons found their running game despite numerous injuries on their offensive line and at running back with carries by Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers.
However, the Dolphins merely trailed by 3 at the half and managed to wake up and excite the capacity crowd at Sun Life with a huge 50 yard Lamar Miller run.
Despite losing Cameron Wake after he was pulled down on a pass rush the Dolphins defense looked ill prepared to withstand their own home field advantage of heat and humidity.
In all, the Dolphins barely had the ball in the first half, but found a way to stay close down 13-10.
In the 4th quarter with the Dolphins down 3, the Dolphins managed to keep the game very close and with less than 5 minutes to play after an uncharacteristic Matt Ryan missed field goal.
On the ensuing drive, Ryan Tannehill, with his first chance to get a comeback win this season managed to drive the Dolphins down the field. Down only three points, the Miami Dolphins were looking for a little magic and earned it with a couple of conservative play calls.
On second and third down, Rishard Matthews caught consecutive passes with great passes on the money from Ryan Tannehill. Then after a sideline pass over throw to Brandon Gibson, Michael Egnew made his first career catch for a 3rd and 2 on a nice catch and run in the flat. Then Tannehill hit Brandon Gibson and set up a first down into Falcon territory.
As the clock wound down to the 2 minute warning, Dolphins fans held their collective breath and sensed something incredible could happen to Miami soon. It seemed like the tide was turning as Lamar Miller dropped a nice pass in front of him, but Tannehill fired a strike to Brandon Gibson on the next play to get the all important first down.no comments
The Miami Dolphins host the Atlanta Falcons in the team's home opener at Sun Life Stadium in Week 3 of the 2013 NFL season.
2-0 Miami will face their toughest test of the young campaign when they take on 1-1 Atlanta, a team many believe are Super Bowl contenders. The Dolphins surprising start makes this one of the more anticpated matchups of the week.
The key injuries for both teams adds to the intrigue of this tilt. For the Falcons, defensive end Kroy Biermann, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, running back Steven Jackson and left tackle Sam Baker have all been ruled out. Although receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones are questionable and expected to play, Miami could catch a break by not having to face them at full strength.
For the Dolphins, defensive tackle Paul Soliai and cornerback Dimitri Patterson have been ruled out while receiver Mike Wallace, center Mike Pouncey and safety Chris Clemons are all questionable.
Let's take a look at who has the edge in this matchup, taking into account the numerous injuries for both teams:
Dolphins pass offense vs. Falcons pass defense:
In two games, the Dolphins have proved that they can move the ball downfield with their revamped receiving core. Tannehill has looked like a much improved quarterback and is finding success throwing to Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson. While Miami can win without Wallace, his presence on the field Sunday will stretch the field against a Falcons pass defense that has been torched in consecutive games. Atlanta ranks 30th in the league in pass yards allowed per game with 346.5, therefore this is a matchup that Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins can take advantage of. Add in Charles Clay, who showed he is a vluable weapon last week, to the equation for Miami on offense and it could be a long day for Atlanta's defenders.
EDGE: Dolphinsno comments
Prior to the the month of April, Jeff Ireland and his staff looked out and beyond for a difference maker on defense. After already signing Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler early during free-agency, Ireland searched high and low for his replacement of losing Sean Smith and finding a crafty, but talented veteran. Enter Brent Grimes, open, willing, and available to sign anytime. Once the Dolphins had established exactly what they would do in the 2013 draft, they realized they needed to find the best play making cornerback that was available to make the Dolphins better versus the pass after finishing 27th on defense a year ago.
However, there was just one problem, not only would Grimes cost the Dolphins 5 million dollars, he was hobbled by a torn achilles injury from the 2012 season as an Atlanta Falcon and carried some red flags because of his injury.
Despite the injury, the Dolphins paid up and found themselves an aggressive lock down corner type of player with quickness in his back pedal, great hands, and ability to read the quarterbacks eyes. Grimes, for the Dolphins would be quite an acquisition provided he was healthy.
Entering training camp, much of the interest was seeing Dolphins corner back Richard Marshall back on the field after a back injury kept him off of it. Fans wanted to see Marshall be the player he was brought in to be. However, Grimes continued to impress as he looked not only healthy from his injury, but even had a bounce and an incredible vertical jump in his step.no comments
Watching the Dolphins play defense in the past few years has been frustrating to say the least. Yards after yards given up bring out a collective sigh among the fanbase, that's until the opposing team reaches the redzone. The "Bend but don't break" mentality in football may not look good on film, or on the statsheet when it comes to the stats people pay the most attention to, but when it comes to the number that is the most important, points given up, the bend don't break mentality shines through.
Last Sunday against the Colts, there were four examples of this style of defense. Four drives in which a touchdown would have proven costly at the end of the game. The first two Colts drives produced 3 points despite amassing 115 yards. After giving up a touchdown on the next drive the Dolphins defense toughened up. Other than a touchdown late in the second quarter, the Dolphins didn't give up more than 35 yards on another drive until the final Colts possession of the game.no comments