« Dolphins trail Atlanta 16-0 going into the final quarter | Main | Some (OK, much) more on Atlanta flameout »

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.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20120a5c0cb88970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Fins lose another season opener, 19-7 to Birds:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

You know it"s kinda crazy u all come on here and say the same thing over and over, we no the line sucks and the qb is washed up but Damm it"s weel 1. So damm go get some crying towels and let it go. yopu same people said the same thing last yr when we lost the first game and we won the divison so shut the !@#@ up and get over it ! ! ! !

A cup of Top Ramin has more snap to it than Pennington's arm. Why again did we make Henne the 3rd QB today? Pat White is not an NFL QB. He's part of a gimmick that other teams have already made better! I call it a gimmick because Miami cannot run it with any consistancy! Jets fans are laughing at us! Our QB situation today: Penninton/White was a gimmick Maybe we can start Serena Williams at QB and Will.I.Am at WR next wk. Sorry Ginn. You and your family's still a bust! Cheer up, though, you have a job waiting for you in Baltimore!

Ronnie and Ricky looked strong. If they had a lead those numbers would be even better.

Hey idiots, we didn't get off to a wonderful start last year either and that guy everyone wants benched finished 2nd in MVP voting, this team will be just fine, give Sparano time to do what he does best, coach

Armando tweet's

Miami has the players it wants on the OL. That unit is built at a cost of $156 million. And they totally laid an egg today.

Boy you said it bring on the rookies for motivation!!!

I said 'tearing it up and learning" meathead. Those guys at least made throws that Pennington can't even attempt. Get off your Pennington mancrush. The guy plays QB like a Perez Hilton metrosexual wanna be. Start Henne already. Now is the time. Lets seize the moment.

Ouch! Lot of name calling.... Lets just keep Henne on the bench for another 6 years.

Horrendous performance by o-line. Didn't give Penny time, so there was no chance to test the inexperienced Falcons secondary.

Inserting White into the game also was a joke. Just as Penny seemed to get into rhythm, out trots the "experiment" and he is wildly overthrowing Ginn when just about anybody's grandmother could have tossed a TD in that situation.

Late in the game, why didn't Henne get the call when the game was out of reach?

D-line did a great job containing the running game, but the d couldn't stop Ryan's passing game when needed. Need I say how dominating Tony the Tiger was?

For the record, I don't blame Penny (for today) but lets see if We have something in Henne. Penny is probably gone next year anyway. Lets take our lumps and start the future.

Henne didn't get the call because if he finds a way to score 2 TDs there's a QB controversy. Penny started this year just like he ended last year. Again, Henne will be starting in 3-4 weeks!

Penne as in noodle sucks. what was his longest pass in the air...10 yards or something. Ginn was open deep and beat their corners a lot but penne doesnt even look there because he cant make the throw. And fasano ruined this game for us. Every time we got momentum he managed to ruin it. Guess everyone was right in predicting a step back year.

Finscanes66.

Correction ...Jake long didn't just get schooled, "HE GOT PANCACKED" by Abraham. Totally imbarrasing for a guy of his size and strength!!! Not to mention a number 1 overall!!


they deactivated him so white could play

U k ow what makes me sick? U fans saying it's just the season opener. Don't ever call me a fair weather fan. I watched every game we Lost two years ago. And this game was harder than any of them. We didn't have the talent or the coaching then. We do now, and we were awful. On every side of the ball, in every way. The play calling and o line were horrndous. Are pass defense was just like last year. We don't appear to have fixed anything, but got worse, and unlike last year, we have the toughest schedule in the league. Things better change, and quick. Last note: is anyone else disappointed with how little the wildcat was used?

oline needs to run and hide...kinda like the way they played...scared.

Overall the offensive line did not play well but not as badly as you make it Mando.It seemed to me that Chad was holding the ball a long time on a couple of those sacks.Don't push the panic button yet.They will be fine the season is still young and this was a non conference loss.We beat the Colts Monday night and we will be right in the thick of things.

Bull-rush, speed-rush, it was all too much for Jakey today. He's an elite RIGHT tackle.

everyone keeps sayin "put in henne". pennington didnt play great but it wasnt his fault, we need better o-line play...henne isnt going to be any better pennington gives us the best chance to win

Phinswim...4 sacks, 13 hurries, 6 knockdowns. What game were you watching?

It was the OLINE not the QB!

James, yea, let's take the guy out that won the AFC Championship for us last year and insert a rookie QB because we lost the FIRST game in a 16 game season..real intelligent thinking there

We have no deep threat with Pennington back there, defenses can just pin back their ears and do what they did today. Does any one think we can get to the Super Bowl this year with Penny? If we can't lets get Henne some reps so we can get there in my lifetime.

Armando quote,

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.

Time to look at the 2,3rd and practice squad,or at least threaten the starters with the bench,and yes Chad held the ball for quite a while.
Dolphins Power!!!!

Dear Mr. Salguero

I live in Charlotte NC and today they broadcasted the Dolphins on CBS and the Panthers on Fox.

Boy oh Boy this was gonna be a great day.
I stocked up on hard liquor and Dr. Yo Gee's herbal smokes.

To my supprise suspended Nascar driver Jeremy Mayfield and his step momma stopped by to watch the game. I told Jeremy it was cool for him to stay but his step momma couldn't because I think she's a narc and a bogart.

But as the afternoon progressed and the hard liquor was drank and herbal smokes smoked I realized that all was not good today.

No matter what channel I tuned into bad things where happening.

From there things got even uglier when I tripped over my dog and accidentally fired 5 shotgun shells and 6 rounds from a glock into my TV.

I've come to the conclusion that one should not mix suspended nascar drivers and football in the same afternoon.

Anyhoo looking for a better showing from the Phins next week.

Soiled :)

What is the best outcome we can have this year? Champs of the east is great but d-a-m-n, is that what it is all about?

Po White, drink a Michelob for me... it all be ok. Either Oline improves or it will get trashed. This isn;t the legacy Tuna wants to leave behind. Colts were not great against Jags today either. Time will tell.

Yeah, as bobbyd12 and Zach said, no way you put Henne in there after one game. Chad just had a bad game, and he can't be blamed for the two Fasano fumbles. No way Henne gives us a better chance at this point.

its the first game. relax. Actually I think we would have won the game if instead of fumble retur we would have scored when Fasano fumbuled. He should be benched, He is in a contract year and 2 fumbles in one game. Parcells better let him have it

SoiledBottom

Weird. I had the same glock experience!

Mando the St looked terrible. What's up with that? They pulled ginn because he could't get past the 15. And he started 5 yards in the endzone!

The maturation of Phillip Merling!

Thanks for being civil cheeez, I prefer vodka, I’m just thinking out loud. Just want to get back to the big show before I die. Phins forever!

Well the good news is Ted(sideline)Ginns clipboard holding daddy didnt drop the clipboard, and Tednisha(All the way )Ginn(Teddys lil sister) will nuture some of the players..If you know what i mean!!!!...

Though i feel bad for Rufus(the blocking dummie) Ginn(teddys cousin)this coming week, hes going to be punished....

I am thankful for WQAM's optimism.


Go Dolphins

A couple of things that I noticed was that everytime the offense started to do soemthing positive, the coaches brought in the Wildcat, which in my opinion took the rythem away from the base offense, therefore, killing the offensive momentum.

The other thing is that when we down by only 16, with about a minute left in the third quarter, all of the offensive players were seen on the bench with their heads down or seemed to be thinking about something else. There was no fire and no intensity from these guys. They all had quit written all over their face.

Oh yeah Ted(Opps) Ginns states 2 rec for 26 yds and only 2 yards after rec. yds. Thats typical Teddy......

The offensive line should pay me for getiing tix , spending gas money, hot dogs, beer, etc. It was a atotal waste of time for me and expensive. I'm asking for the money...........

one thing i see is the d-played a great game.
yes gonzoles made some catches ,he isn't great because he doesn't get his catches every game but other than that the d- stopped the run,got off the field on 3rd downs and got no help from the o-.
henning now has film to work with to dissect and work from that.
saprano will drill the heck out of them this week and I hope this will be a learning week at full speed.
they can only get better so next week should result in better play and a win,go dolphins.

I like Ginn, but it still looks like he is afraid to take a hit, or lay a hit on someone.

No one has to care but, unfortunately, I called it...
The offense was a failure today, don't care if the team makes it a habit to lose every first game or not. This offense needs an upgrade desperately! DEs can take off because no one on offense really threatens this team. I was asking for a trade and will continue to do so, win or lose. I don't think Penny can do it. Even if the Fins win the next five, I really stand by my opinion.
Thank God it's only an opinion...

Scurrilous, you are a joke. Ginn was open the entire game. It's not his fault Peenington is scared to throw the ball down field.

Wasn't Sparano the offensive line coach in Dallas? He needs to whip these guys into shape! Atlanta's front four abused the Fins O-line, especially on the corners where Jake Long and Vernon Carey played like they had their feet stuck in quicksand. I know John Abraham is a beast, but I expected a much better effort out of Jake Long. Considering how much money the Fins invested in him, he needs to do a MUCH better job of earning his paycheck!

In this league it is about momentum and that turnover by Fasano just before the half (besides being a 10 point swing) knocked the wind out of the fins. That was obvious when they started the 2nd half completely flat and did nothing with the rock on their first few posessions...

I also wonder whether the gadgetry/wild cat kills the continuity/rythm. Don't get me wrong -- I think it is exciting from a fan's perspective but wonder whether or not the players (namely O-line) find it a bit disruptive. Going into the season the one unit I was banking on was the O-line and they just flat out were schooled...

The Cuban is another joke. Let's pick on the gut who was open the entire game. Cuban, who must find a new topic. You are very elementary!

This game felt eerily like the Ravens game...Teams will continue to apply that model until the Fins can prove they can beat it. It is very difficult to dink and dunk 80+ yards for a score. Sooner or later, you will commit a penalty or a turnover that will lead to a break down -- Tough to sustain. Getting those "chunk" yardage plays which was Tony Sparano's emphasis all pre-season was just non-existent on the field. I love Pennington, just not sure he has the innate ability to leverage Ginn's core ability to stretch the field and get the "chunk" yardage Sparano's been preaching about...

Btw, Phil Merling is a gamer...He was solid. Good to see JT back out there and active picking up a sack and playing the run well. The defense will be solid this year, particularly with the two rookie corners learning on the job. The safety play has to improve as that missed tackle by Y. Bell hurt -- Although T. Gonzalez is tough to defense. Culver did a heck of a job and I would like to see him get some more looks...

It's like this folks; the ravens showed every defense how to shutdown the dolphins offense and the wildcat; simply load the line and overwhelm the offensive line. Why? because they cannot go deep with pennington. Why should defenses try anything else when this is working? Did you notice that the falcon's defense backed off when pat white took the helm. Why? because he can throw deep! The same thing happened in preseason, when henne took the helm. Sparano needs to let henne take the now and take his bumps and bruises now, so that we can see what we have NOW in henne. Soft and short passes will not cut it in today's nfl defenses. The nfl defenses are too fast. I hope sparano does not wait too late to try henne because the schedule is not going to get any easier. Monday night against indy would be a good test.

oline sucked. jake long the great really sucked. if he can't handle speed rushers than the dolphins are in big trouble. Pennington the great doesn't scare anybody with his weak arm. everybody will on copy what the ravens did to the phins. stack the line for the run and if it is a pass drop into a 5 to 15 yard zone. mr. weak arm can't throw it no farther. last year ginn was opened down feild but mr weak arm could not get him the ball. only way to get past first round of playoffs is a stronger arm quarterback to make defenses pay for stacking the line. let the henne era began!

I don't know if anyone noticed, but Henne embraced Ryan at the end of the game and gave him a pat on the helmet -- It has to be killing him to not be getting his opportunity when his peers are out there going through the on-the-job learning curve...He did not earn the job based on his preseason performance though so I don't see him getting in, barring an injury to C-Penn (which is not out of the realm given the O-line play)

Ryan's stats were not all that impressive in this game but he was pretty damn good on 3rd down. We simply could not get off the field. Although, it does help when you have Gonzalez and start in great field position as often as they did.

Pennington Is delaying the inevitable.... Now or next year, that is the question.

Embarrasing just totally embarassing. I hope you guys in the media don't let Parcells, Ireland, and Sparano off the hook for this one. Dimitroff and Smith 1 Trifecta 0. What's up with that!

Falcons owner Arthur Blank thoroughly enjoyed this one...It had to be a bit personal after Pacells stiffed him.

Jake Long had the worst game of his career. He looked as if he's regressed.

Dolphins were so bad on offense, my NUTS hurt.

The more talented team won, pure and simple. And that is not an indictment on the Miami players.

It is an indictment on Bill Parcells and his mini-me, Jeff Ireland.

That was disgusting! Dolphins played well on defense, but the o-line was absolutely dominated... I also thought bringing in Pat White on a couple of second downs early in the game really disrupted the offenses momentum and killed the drives... all in all this offense was a mess!

They better shape up for next week or its gonna get ugly again!

The problem with us is that we don't put the ball in the hands of
Ricky and Ronnie enough. The average yard per rush for all of our backs was over 4 yards per carry. Ricky had over 5 yards per carry. Ginn NEEDS to be more aggressive. If we at least tried to establish SOMETHING to hang our hats on...like the running game. It WOULD loosen the passing game up. ALSO-- Long, Carry, Grove, Smiley and Thomas are all more gifted in run blocking than they are pass blocking. I would have like to have seen them establish some smash-mouth football to try and set a tone. Instead we did everything(including turning the ball over) to disrupt our own tempo. MERLING was a beast today. We shut their run offense down in a VERY impressive fashion. Our DB's need to having tighter coverage. Receivers are wide open

LOL @Scurrilous :D

I'm not throwing in the towel or anything, this is only the first game of the season and I'm sure the Dolphins will come out fired up for the home opener next week. They cannot perform like this on primetime! It looks like they picked up right where they left off against the ravens

The comments to this entry are closed.