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Reflecting Upon the Dolphins’ Season Opener

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/09/08/dolphins-browns-week-1-ryan-tannehill-cameron-wake/2783167/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/09/08/dolphins-browns-week-1-ryan-tannehill-cameron-wake/2783167/

Coming into the Dolphins at Browns game yesterday there was plenty of optimism surrounding the 2013 season for the Phins.  A game that was substantially changed by Dolphin’s takeaways, turned into a defensive battle early in the first half.  With a close first half, the Dolphins eventually pulled away from the Browns in the 4th quarter.  In conclusion the Dolphins left Cleveland with their first win of the season, and learned a few things from their first outing of the year.

 

One very noticeable downturn for the Miami Dolphins was easily their running game.  With a total of 20 rushing yards throughout the game, and only 1 rushing first down, the Dolphin’s offense heavily relied on Ryan Tannehill’s arm.  This poor rushing performance by the Dolphins brings skepticism for Miami fans.  Heading into the 2013 season, 2 year running back Lamar Miller was named the starter after a heated position battle with Daniel Thomas.  Lamar took 10 carries for 3 yards in Miami’s season opener on Sunday, in comparison to Thomas’ 8 carries for 14 yards and a touchdown.  A very concerning start for the Dolphin’s backs creates a dubious opinion of the running backs and offensive line.

Staying on the offensive side of the ball, the condition of wide out Mike Wallace is concerning.

Accumulating only 1 reception for 15 yards in his regular season debut as a Dolphin brought a seemingly distressed receiver.  After the game upon being asked about his performance, Wallace responded “I don’t want to talk. I don’t feel like talking about it” and “ask coach. It’s not my gameplan.”  With Wallace being rather unproductive in the statistical column, he did take away two defenders a majority of the game.  The coverage of Mike Wallace may have been substantial, however this brought Ryan Tannehill opportunities to feed Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson who combined for 16 receptions and 191 yards.  Mike Wallace may have been unhappy with his production in week one, however week 2 may be a completely different story against the Indianapolis Colts.

On the defensive side of the ball, unexpected players like Dimitri Patterson came up big for the Dolphins in the win.  Patterson who forced the Brown’s quarterback Brandon Weeden to throw 2 interceptions, came up big against his former team.  Nolan Carroll also came up with an interception early in the game.  Perhaps the constant pressure from all star defensive end Cameron Wake helped force some of these turnovers.  Wake accumulated 4 tackles, along with 2.5 sacks on Sunday, and left the Brown’s right tackle Mitchell Schwartz struggling.

 

A couple other players who made an impact are listed below:

  • New additions to the Dolphins, Phillip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe finished with 6 tackles respectively.
  • Rookie Dolphin’s kicker Caleb Sturgis struck for 3/3 field goals, with a long of 49 yards.
  • Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess finished with 5 reception for 47 yards for the Cleveland Browns.
  • Second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill was effective in his sophomore season opener, as he went 24/38 for 272 yards and for a touchdown (Hartline) as well as an interception.

 

The Dolphins continue their road game trip next Sunday as they play at Indianapolis.