The Miami Dolphins play the Cincinnati Bengals this week but I am not here to talk too much about that. Too much bad and ugly went down Sunday for the Dolphins that I’ve thrown in “the Good” since that’s how the common saying goes. Not our saying; you may be surprised by this comment, but as Jason Taylor tweeted, “good performances mean nothing without the end results.” The big W.
Stop: the Long giveaways
I never thought I would say this: perennial pro bowler Jake long has been incredibly average this season. For a player of his status, caliber, and salary the three sacks he has allowed up to date should have simply not happened. There has been an obvious decline in Jake’s play and while he has not been 100% percent healthy he should be locking down Tannehill’s blindside. Does this mean we will trade him? The first round value is extremely tempting as the trade deadline approaches…
I’m not going to beat around the bush here, but Legedu Naanee is NOT an NFL receiver. Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are. Heck, I bet Rishard Matthews could be, get him in pads Sunday. 2 of Tannehill’s interceptions have been thrown his way and his mind boggling, physics-defying, game-altering GAFFE defines his nightmarish start to the season. Sure Sean Smith bailed him out, but a fully-horizontally extended 6”3 cornerback will not always be there to bail him out. Legedu Naanee is a very good special teams player; that is exactly where he should stay.
Start: Focus and Protect
After 5 hours of sleep, sitting in the middle of a stifling lecture hall, I could make less mental errors than the Miami Dolphins did this Sunday. Brief recap: Javorskie Lane missed blitz pickup on the game tying drive. Sean Smith misplay on the game-tying touchdown when Marshall had the inside coverage. Legedu Naanee’s failure to tuck the ball away. Jeron Mastrud blocking nobody on a Tannehill sack. Reggie Bush running sideways and backwards too often; dude this isn’t college anymore! The point I’m making is that despite the offensive explosion, the Dolphins have WAYS to go as a football team. The protection was poor. Tannehill had only been sacked 3 times in the first three weeks, until the Cardinals put him on the floor 3 more. Personally, I would like to see a little more physicality out of rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin. But on the bright side, John Jerry seems to finally have found his niche at right guard alongside the breakout play of center Mike Pouncey (PFF: 10.8).
Continue: Get out of Jail Free Card
I don’t know if Ryan Tannehill couldn’t roll doubles to get the handcuffs off, or an injury to 22 was needed, but the 6”4, orthopedic surgeon-bound stud from Texas A&M was unleashed Sunday afternoon in Arizona. Tannehill posted 431 yards, including an 80 yard, in stride, bomb to Hartline. I haven’t seen that kind of throw from a Miami uniform since Ronnie Brown shocked us with a left handed toss to Anthony Fasano. Common Sherm! Keep it coming. This aerial explosion reminded me of Nagasaki when the A-bomb hit. Teams can no longer play the Miami Dolphins so one-dimensionally—stack the box and Tannehill will shred you. He is smart, his command of the offense, ability to recognize coverages and make the right checks at the line of scrimmage is frightening…Frightening for other teams that this is only his fourth career game in a lackluster offensive lineup. In the words of dear friend Jake Rashkovan “to be a franchise quarterback, you gotta be good looking”—And damn is RT a looker!
I’m going to change it up this week since nothing was Incognito about the Dolphins’ performances Sunday. Therefore the Cognito Dolphin of the Week is Cameron Wake. Wake made D’Anthony Batiste and rookie Bobby Massie beg for mercy each and every down, accumulating 4.5 sacks, 5 stops, and 7 QB hurries for a PFF rating of 11.4. Wake is the #1 rated 4-3 DE on PFF by more than double the next guy (27.4 to 13.3)
Update: Legedu Naanee has been released, Jabar Gaffney is now a Miami Dolphin.
“Naanee nanee, nanee nanee, hey heeeeeyyy goodbye”.
Until next week,