Miami Dolphins Preseason Game 3 Recap vs. Atlanta Falcons

By Craig Ballard

Preseason game 3 of 4 is in the books for the 2012 Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately much like games 1 and 2 there was a small sample of good (too small) a large sample of bad (too large) and also some ugly to talk about. Let’s take a look…

The Good

For most ‘Phins phans the lack of a pass-rush has become very concerning. Cameron Wake returned from injury and he was good. He had multiple plays where he disrupted the QB, even dropped the QB a few times. That was great to see.

We will see more from Ryan Tannehill when we get to the Bad category, but he did have good (Ryan Tannehill Player Profile HERE). He used the long snap-count well to disrupt the Atlanta Falcons pass-rush. Despite poor play all around (including his own poor play) he did maintain his poise which is actually very encouraging. His best pass was on a designed roll-out to his left and he made a fantastic (very accurate…right on the numbers) pass to Jorvorskie Lane across his body. Also there was a nice play where the pocket collapsed immediately, but Tannehill scrambled nicely and even did a feet-first slide (he had been diving head-first…A #8 overall pick, QB of the future diving head first on a regular basis is…scary!)

As for Jorvorskie Lane, he continued his push to make the 53-man roster (Jorvorskie Lane article HERE). He showed that in any sort of space, even with defenders closing at full speed, he is t-o-u-g-h to tackle.

Davone Bess was very good. He had 4 catches for 59 yards, and to be honest none of the passes were right on target. He had to make plays, and he did.

I liked what I saw from right guard John Jerry. His first start was an impressive one. He was strong in the run-game, and pass-protection. Shoring up the rebuilt right-side of the o-line will be a tough task in 2012, but Jerry looked good Friday night.

The defense bent, but did not break. This was a certain improvement as the previous weeks the starting defense was bent, and broken too often. The high powered Falcons offense was held in check (points-wise).

Daniel Thomas looked good for the first time in 2012. He was running the way a trade-up-into-2nd-round-to-grab-a-talented-RB should run.

Dan Carpenter 2 for 2 on field goals, including a 52 yard bomb.

The Bad

Tannehill did not get much help from his receivers (more about that in Ugly) but still I thought the majority of his passes were uncharacteristically inaccurate. He threw an INT, and yes it was a tipped pass, but it was a linebacker in coverage making the tip. The pass was a tad too low as Tannehill was trying to fit the pass over the LBs head. The LB was in position to make the play because he read Tannehill. RT’s eyes never left his would-be WR and that is a sure issue. The most impressive play I have seen in preseason to date was when fellow rookie QB Andrew Luck looked off a safety and then connected with his desired WR for a TD. These “tricks of the trait” are a must for Tannehill to pick up (it is only his 3rd year as a QB…he will improve)

Tannehill-to-Legedu Naanee was bad. If you look at the passes to Naanee they were all off the mark. Could Naanee have still made a play on those passes? Yes. But still the accuracy left a lot to be desired.

The offense is extremely predictable in that all passes have been short/medium. You can see defensive backs focusing their eyes in the backfield to read Tannehill and just sitting about 5-8 yards downfield waiting for the inevitable quick pass from him. It also allows DBs to creep/cheat closer to the line of scrimmage which helps them assist vs the ‘Phins running game.

For the first time in 2012 I thought cornerback Richard Marshall struggled. He was beat numerous times, got flagged too. He was even missing tackles in this game. Bad game.

Miami was just 3 for 15 on 3rd down conversions. Yikes.

The Ugly

As you read I do think Tannehill was off, but his WR group (and even the TEs) did nothing to assist (aside from Bess). A few weeks ago it looked like Chad Johnson wold be the #1 WR. Then it looked like the young guys were going to have a marvelous opportunity to raise their game and get a lot of playing time. This has gotten ugly as none of the WRs have separated themselves and shown they can be relied on to be productive It is so ugly that I am sure GM Jeff Ireland will leave no stone unturned when it comes to watching the waiver-wire for WRs other teams cut.

Check these (brutal) numbers. Outside of Bess, the ‘Phins caught 7 passes for 53 yards. Yikes.

Anthony Fasano dropped a total of 5 passes in 2011. He dropped 3 Friday night (??? what the???). For a team desperate to score points he even dropped one in the end-zone. Couple that with his drops from the Carolina Panthers game and we are left to worry about this guy.

Miami managed a miniscule 246 total yards on offense. They had been getting more than that through the air alone in past games.

Miami is still at zero points for the 1st quarter for 2012. It is preseason, but 1st quarter is starters vs starters and Miami has been outclassed every game. Actually, as the game goes on it does not get much better. How about just 30 points total in the 3 preseason games. Averaging 10 points per game is…uhmmm…ugly.

Panic time for Phins phans? The interactions I am having with them suggests absolute panic-mode. 3 games in without much evidence of improvement will do that to a fan (rightfully so). Joe Philbin and his staff have w-o-r-k to do.

Thank you for your read! Much appreciated. Please help me spread my articles around. The rest of my articles on YOUR MIAMI DOLPHINS are right here

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