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Fins lose another season opener, 19-7 to Birds

It's become customary for the Dolphins to lose their season opener. They've now done it six of the past seven years. But they looked particularly bad in Sunday's 19-7 loss in Atlanta.

The Dolphins avoided their first opening game shutout since 1983 when Chad Pennington found Ricky Williams along the right sideline for a nine-yard touchdown with 3:21 left in the game. By then, however, the Dolphins were in desperation mode and the Falcons defense looked to be coming home eased up.

That was the Dolphins' second trip inside the Falcons 20. Two red zone trips, four turnovers, seven points.

Pennington finished the day 21 of 29 for 176 yards and a touchdown. But he fumbled once and threw an interception. The Dolphins had four turnovers for the day.

"They didn't give us any deep shots," Pennington said. "You have to step up and make sure it doesn't get snowballed. We let it snowball on us."

Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes for the Falcons. The guy taken two spots ahead of him in the 2008 NFL Draft, No. 1 overall Jake Long, had one of his worst days, allowing two sacks, several pressures and being part of an offensive line that couldn't make running room against a young defense with six new starters.

Right tackle Vernon Carey also gave up two sacks.

The Miami offensive line, coming at a cost of $156 million, was terrible. Pennington was sacked four times, hurried 13 times and knocked down 6 times. And the disappointing thing is this unit is supposed to be built. Yes, the Dolphins have to improve at WR. Yes, they need more playmakers.

But the players this team is counting on for years on the OL -- Long, Smiley, Grove, Carey -- guys all making tons of money, were horrible today. They got dominated.

Tight end Anthony Fasano, Miami's top TE now that David Martin is on injured reserve, caught two passes. And he fumbled after both catches, losing both.

Miami's vaunted wildcat and spread offense was something of a dud. They ran three plays out of the package and gained four yards. Pat White overthrew a wide open Ted Ginn Jr. on his only throw of the day -- that out of the spread formation.

"When the Wildcat works, everybody loves it," Pennington said. "When it doesn't, everybody hates it."

The few bright notes for Miami? Phillip Merling played well, providing three quarterback hurries. Jason Taylor had one sack. The Miami run defense limited Atlanta's normally outstanding run offense to 2.5 yards per rush. Davone Bess quietly caught seven passes. The special teams didn't collapse.

The Dolphins are 0-1 and in the AFC East cellar as the Jets have already won today. New England and Buffalo play Monday night.

The Dolphins play Indianapolis at home Sept. 21. The Colts beat Jacksonville, 14-12 today.

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OLINE got smashed in the mouth and rolled over. High School team could have beat them today the way OLINE played. Next Monday Night against the Colts.

I wasnt able to watch the game, but didnt I read an article recently about Fasano looking to take the next step. His line today: 2 catches, 2 fumbles - did I see that right?

O-line sucks badly. And we did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to upgrade it this offseason. Epic fail by Sparano/Parcells/Ireland and crew.

Our offensive line was terrible....

Well Oline did not show up in AtL,

I would comment on the game but I'm in a hurry to meet Ted Ginn and his family for dinner.

First Round Pick Baby!!1!

Steaks & Lobster for everyone!

BARF. Go away OL. Go away Chad. Go away Dolphins. Hey have fun with Peyton and Freeney next week. Bwaahahahahaha.

Maybe Serena will stuff a tennis ball down Ross's throat.

Looks like another loooong season.

WTF WOW

Jake long got schooled! Poor open field tackling.only positive was run defense

We're better than that..we need to get it together..we have a rough season ahead stop giving away the ball..go fins..!!

DFense played well. Stopped the run, kept us in game to 4th quarter...Oline was the HUGE problem. No Time to throw, no running lanes nothing. Was Completely DOminated by Birds! They shoud all give this weeks paycheck to charity because they did not earn it!

Well said Cheeez.

Brees just passed for a 6th TD today.

We SUCK!!!

CP's mobility sucks worse than his arm

Oline and turnovers was the problem. I can't beleive fasano. HE sucked today

Offensive line needs those rookies breathing down there neck for there starting spot.I have been waiting since the 70's for a Super Bowl win,as Charlie Brown would say AAAAAAAAARRRRRRGH. What was with all the loose footballs for crying out loud I guess we need it to be raining to hang on to it,sorry will stop venting.Mark Lewis 1st string NOT practice squad what could it hurt?

It makes me cringe to hear about Brees' success because I always preferred Brees over Culpepper. Never understood it. Where would we be now with Brees over Pennington. WOW!!!!

Relax, guys! We have a non-playoff caliber QB (no easy schedule this year) and the lack of ANY deep passing game (unless of course it's a trick play and the receiver is WIDE open) means Henne will eventually get his chance (week 3 or 4, maybe). The future is now!!

Chad Henne's time is now. Even when Pennington had time he was terrible.

we'll figure it out...we need pat white to step and make plays when he has too and th o-line will get better...think of this like last season, slow start but we'll get on track

Bench Pennington already and let the Chad Henne era begin. Stafford and Sanchez is tearing it up and learning and here we are AGAIN, stuck with someone else's garbage. Our offense is feeble and pure vanilla. We need a strong arm and an ability to stretch the field. If Henne stinks(I doubt it!), at least we'll know he's not the answer. We already know Pennington is not. Lets not lose 3 room games before we bench Pennington. Stupid move that backfired today naming Henne the 3rd QB.

you guys make me sick. it's week one! yeah the oline played like crap but be a fan! sheesh.

+1 on the mark lewis idea,maybe a rookie te too

Those Pat White plays?...for what?? Is going to be a long week. Why we can´t keep on running? I can´t believe it from Fasano today.

If Pat White had starter the whole game WITH gloves - the result couldn't have been much worse. Pennington scares no one.

Falcons defense used Ravens model - we still have no answer. PERIOD!

Without the turnovers - closer - but Elam missed 2 easy FGS and an XP and Ryan missed a wide open White for a TD. So...ifs don't count.

Bench Pennington already and let the Chad Henne era begin. Stafford and Sanchez is tearing it up and learning and here we are AGAIN, stuck with someone else's garbage. Our offense is feeble and pure vanilla. We need a strong arm and an ability to stretch the field. If Henne stinks(I doubt it!), at least we'll know he's not the answer. We already know Pennington is not. Lets not lose 3 room games before we bench Pennington. Stupid move that backfired today naming Henne the 3rd QB.

Posted by: James | September 13, 2009 at 04:19 PM
LOL lets re structure jelling takes too long

Mark,

I'm a fan of the team first, not Chad P.
Warm up, Henne!!

At least we know Ted Ginn can get open. It's nice to finally see a Qb that has the ability to overthrow him.

Shut UP! the QB play was not an issue at all! you guys blind or just rambling bs. No matter WHO the quarter back is with the way the OLINE played it would have been a loss. At least comment intelligently instead of just hating.

I still think Cam Camoron is to blame for this mess!

The Fins are done! Last year after getting blown out at Arizona the Dolphins responded to turn the season around. The difference this year is that the "wildcat" offense is not going to bail them out again. Everyone is ready for all their gimmick plays. They are not talented enough to run a conventional offense for 3 reasons. The QB has no arm, they have no #1 reciever, and their O-line is not dominant. They can't stretch the field.All their pass plays are horizontal.These problems are not going away!

The only bright spot was the run defense. The offense looked like a high school team. This team should be ashamed of themselves!! They call themselves professionals?? If I performed like this at my job I would be fired!! Terrible game dolphins absolutely terrible!!!!!

Wonder what kind of BS Sparano has to say about this.

QB play was definitely an issue today....he held the ball way too long when he fumbled as the pocket collapsed and he should have seen Peterson cutting in front of Fasano!

The OLine was by far the most disappointing part of the game though! Long got jacked up. You'd have to take Ryan right now if we had a do over.

Cheeez, you do realize that Chad was not pressured on EVERY play don't you? You do realize that the only deep pass attempted was a trick play, with a wide open receiver, right? The coaching staff has no faith in Chad's overcooked noodle arm. Even when they scored their lone TD, it was ALL short (i.e., clock-eating) stuff. Not exactly the way to successfully mount a comeback.

Well said mark and cheeez, give em a chance to get the oline sorted before ye give up on them. lets hope they get back to practice and redouble their efforts for next week!

Hank Goldberg used too trash the fans here for being fair weather, boy is he right. After we beat the Colts next week you fair weather fairies will be back on the bandwagon. So they had a bad game. It happens. It was a fluke, last year we had 13 turnovers all year. Relax it's a long season

I am in no way conceding an 0-2 start just because we play the colts next week. Bring on Indy and get this game out of my head!!!

This will be Pennington's down season. He won comeback player last year and will be in the running again next year. His completions were to wide open guys or check downs. Hate to say it I like Pennington but our receivers can't make plays like other teams because he can't make the throws a Romo or Flacco can. It's the fact the ball gets to those receivers before a defender can react. Look today Ginn had to save Miami from another turn over and the other receivers are not getting the ball in stride. No yards after the catch just like last season because they are having to high jump or dive for every pass. Get off the Pennington train give Henne the ball. Pennington is a great teacher for Henne but look at the success of other rookies last year and this year included. Give the young guy a chance he was great at Michigan.

Gerardo, I largely agree.

This is offense is THE SAME (or worse in the case of Long and Carey) as it was against the Ravens in the last game they played. Falcons used that model - with much inferior players and got the job done.

Sure, the TOs hurt but this grind it out, dink and dunk, gimmicky offense doesn't score enough points to beat/outscore Colts and Chargers. Without the threat of the pass - they put 8-9 in the box and sometimes blitz the run. OL can't do much about that. Apparently, Coaches have no answer because they've had 9 months to figure it out. What was the answer draft Pat White and then Patrick Turner?

Turnovers cost us this game - the fumble by Fasano was the worst. That took us from a tie ballgame to a 10-0 halftime deficit. Our offense was starting to click and, as much as everyone seems against the wildcat or the gimmick plays, they were starting to work. Atlanta was on their heels and got a great hit to turn the tide back to their favor.

Give White a chance - he was jacked up on that throw but it could have been for a TD! Having him come in for the wildcat package really adds another dimension. We only ran 3 plays out of the formation because we had to work our butts off just to execute our base offense. If O-line gave Pennington more time and we could get the first Fasano fumble back, I think everyone would see things differently.

It's only week one and I'm sure Sparano will have something to say to the team to get them turned back around. Lets keep Henne on the bench for now and give Chad some time to throw! Defense played well to only give up 19 when Atlanta started possessions 5 times in Miami territory. Pass coverage was suspect, but Bell and Wilson had to go against Gonzalez who seems can't be stopped on 3rd downs. We'll get it going!

Go Fins!

If the fins couldnt do anything over the falcons imagine the few games?, were in a touch stretch of games and looking to be a very long season.

It all begins with the O-line and ours did not step up today. That simple. The defense did play very well. Took two outstanding catches by Atlanta players to help scoring drives. Defense got no help from the offense. Lay this one on the O-line --plain and simple.

bull-rush anyone?

I agree Bill......White will settle down and hopefully hit them throws in the future.....I'm just not sure if putting white in the game takes pennington out of his rhythm.

"If O-line gave Pennington more time and we could get the first Fasano fumble back, I think everyone would see things differently."

Pennington had enough time. This is a mediocre defense with scrubs @ DB/safety. If you think this dink and dunk, gimmicky play-calling offense is going to score more points than last year you are setting your self up for disappointment. AGAIN, teams will simply use the Rex Ryan model until we beat it.

And, that simply won't get it done against Colts and Chargers. Sorry, 0-3 likely unless radical changes are made to offense's game planning/strategy.

Pennington is what he is, why not start Henne now? Does any one think Pennington is ever going to get us to the big show? Sink or swim with Henne, the future is now.

Offensive Line will get better,relax we have been relaxin' since 1974,whats a few more games.

GO DOLPHINS

Correction...we pay the line over $150,000,000!

Its Time For Henne ! What the Hell are they waitin for? Find out now. If he cant get it done,then try again, Penne is what he is and that is waht we call servicable...

I hope I'm wrong guys but 1) I don't think the 'Cat is going to be nearly as successful for us as it was last year and 2) I'm not so sure Jake is an elite LT (which he dam$ well better be, based on going no.1 overall). He struggled in the pre-season too against quick DEs.

IM GLAD THIS HAPPENED, a nice steaming pile of #@*&, a slice of humble pie, we were flat-out embarrassed, i nice pop right in the mouth, now it's time for the coaches to make things miserable in practice for these guys, everyone is now off the bandwagon, the pundits r pumping their chests saying i told u this is a bottom 15 team. Now we can go into the colts game grumpy and pi$$ed off and wanting to prove something, it's one game, and we were on the ropes taking a beating for the whole 1st rd. but there is still 15 more rounds to go. we will rebound. this was like the bucs game in preseason, now let's see how they respond. Jake Long is young he will take his lumps this yr, remember, everyone was all over Joe Thomas' nut s@ck as the greatest o-lineman ever and he dissappeared and was mauled over last yr. Long works really hard and will get better.

Really?! You fairweathet fans make me sick. It's one game. Give them a chance to adjust. The hardest part of being a miami fan are the douschebag fans! Go get another team like philly or Pittsburg with the other douschebags!

Ryan, Flacco, Maybe Sanchez, Why not Henne. Lets find out what we have now!

James, Stafford had three picks and lost 45-28...Sanchez was 18 for 31 against the stinkin Texans with one pick..explain how that is "tearing it up"???

I sinscerely doubt it but I hope you're right, chuck

They looked awful. The Dolphins seemed to be criticizing the media after the media raised all kind of red flags after the 3rd pre-season game against Tampa. Looks like the media was right.

The biggest mystery of the game to me was the offensive play calling. They were calling 70% running plays while being down 3 scores with under 8 minutes to play. Wtf?!?! I kept thinking to myself, what good is it if you score a TD with 3:20 left, you lose then anways. Then, they scored with 3:21 left and the game was over. You can't have 7 minute drives in the 4th quarter when you're down 3 scores. Just take a chance at throwing a pick and least give yourself a chance to win.

This was a puzzling and disappointing game.

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