Are you unhappy with the Dolphins 15-10 victory on Sunday?
You might be because everything didn't go well. The offense was sluggish. The defense gave up a TD drive in the fourth quarter when the game's outcome still hung in the balance. The special teams missed a field goal, booted a kickoff out of bounds and had no returns to speak of.
And yet the Dolphins won.
As I write in this column there are specific issues the Dolphins must address starting today. One issue, in my humble opinion, involves how coaches handle the running back rotation. I get specific in the column so please check it out.
Another issue involves the play-calling with regard to flow. The Dolphins were working the Bills in their base set in the first half and then they went to the wildcat. It changed the flow and the drive stalled.
At another point, Miami was again bullying the Bills on an apparent drive. Then they called for an end around with Davone Bess. Bess who is a fine slot wide receiver with good quickness, but does not have a lot of speed to get wide. The reverse went for no gain.
So the Dolphins, who self-scout, would be well-served to check that out.
"We did the best we could this week to get ready for [the Bills] and they threw some stuff out there that we kind of weren't really prepared for," Bess said after the game. "But our coach put us in positions to be prepared at all times. When we saw the certain coverages, we had answers for them."
Said quarterback Chad Henne: "I think we just need to go back to work and we've got to concentrate. I've got to put the ball in better places and become a little more accurate and we have to and we have to come up with more catches out there and get the ball in the playmakers' hands. Overall it wasn't pretty, but we got some things done."
The defense got most of the things done. It is interesting to me that the unit that was totally revamped in the offseason -- from the coordinator to the captains to starting rookies and others that hadn't started before -- was the unit that carried the day.
Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan showed he can scheme pressure on the quarterback almost immediately when Karlos Dansby collected his first sack as a Dolphin on the game's third play. On that play, the Dolphins brought the blitz with Dansby and Wake on the same side and Dansby came unblocked.
"I was hiding behind [Cameron] Wake, he's a threat," Dansby said. "Somebody's got to make a decision on who to block. Coach Nolan did a great job of dialing up that play, we just put it in this week as a matter of fact and we executed well."
I told you when the Dolphins signed Dansby they loved his ability to rush the passer as well as cover as well as play inside. Then coach Tony Sparano said Dansby was signed to play inside linebacker and talk of moving the player around died.
... Until yesterday.
"I'm all over the place," Dansby said. "You can't really pinpoint me. I've got a lot of guys around me. All I'm trying to do is to help them become better as ball players."
The defense tackled quite well for the first game out, I thought. There were no costly or obvious missed tackles like the ones that plagued much of last season. That will continue to be key as the Dolphins prepare to stem the Adrian Peterson tide next Sunday.
It was interesting perhaps only to me that Nolan employed in the first game what former defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni always hesitated doing: Matching up corners on receivers.
Under Pasqualoni, the Dolphins played a straight right-left scheme. Vontae Davis was always the left cornerback while Sean Smith was always the right cornerback. When I would ask why he wouldn't match up, Pasqualoni would say it created other problems he didn't wish to deal with.
Nolan apparently has no issues dealing with those. And he obviously has no issues dealing with the advantages of the strategy, either.
So Sunday, Jason Allen followed Lee Evans all over the field. Wherever Evans lined up, Allen lined up, be it left or right of the formation. Davis followed Steve Johnson all over the field.
That strategy will get interesting when the Dolphins play passing teams like New England and Green Bay. It will speak to which cornerback the Dolphins feel has a better opportunity to contain the likes of Greg Jennings or Donald Driver or Randy Moss.
One would also hope, by the way, the Dolphins will throw a changeup to this strategy at times, also. That means I would guess there will be times the Dolphins don't match up so as to not be predictable. Nolan will do that, too. He's pretty impressive so far.