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What to think about the Dolphins, what to do with Carpenter

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- You saw the good and you saw the bad during Sunday's 24-21 overtime loss here. As I wrote in my column that appears in Monday's Miami Herald, this game had plenty of both and you can choose to view it as a failure today or as a game with promise for tomorrow.

Frankly, I'm so sick of covering a loser, I really want to believe this game is the start of something good for the future.

And so I see Ryan Tannehill's 431 yards as a big deal. This was the second most yards any rookie QB in NFL history has thrown for in a game -- behind only Cam Newton's 432 last year versus Green Bay. It also the most passing yards by a rookie on the road.

The 431 yards tied for sixth most in Miami history. Of the top eight such performances in club history, Dan Marino has the other seven and Tannehill joins that list.

It was also a breakout day for Brian Hartline and Cameron Wake and Sean Smith and others. All good.

But ...

This was a loss, folks, and this season is officially in a tailspin. So tomorrow looks good. Today looks like a heaping pile.

The Dolphins have played well enough to be 3-1 this year. They seem every bit as good as the Jets and Cardinals to whom they have lost in overtime the last two weeks. But the fact is the Dolphins lost against two teams that aren't any better than them. And this game was lost while wasting many great, great performances.

So even when guys play great, these Dolphins find a way to lose.

And if you cannot win when half a dozen players are having great days, when can you win?

Then there is this:

Mike Sherman's play-calling puzzled me in crunch time again this week. Last week the Dolphins offensive coordinator went away from the running game in the fourth quarter and they blew a lead.

This week, the Dolphins had a 21-14 lead with 3:45 to play. The team just converted a first down on two running plays. Sherman runs on first down again. Then on second down and eight from the Arizona 43 yard line he runs again, right?. It only makes sense against a defense that was blitzing right up the middle all day, right? You want to run clock, right?

Nope. Sherman called a pass.

And the Cards blitzed. And Richie Incognito missed the blitzer who had a free run at Tannehill right up the gut. And the Dolphins quarterback got hit and sacked and stripped of the ball. Former Dolphins defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday recovered at his own 43.

The Cardinals then converted the turnover into a game-tying touchdown drive in regulation. And they won in overtime.

Frustrating play-calling.

There was also the mounting problems with kicker Dan Carpenter. Last week, he missed two field goals including a possible game-winner.

This week he missed a 51-yarder that was no gimme by any means, but nonetheless a makeable kick. Carpenter, so solid before the season that Miami didn't even bring a kicker to camp to compete against him, could have turned a 13-0 lead into a 16-0 lead.

The miss meant more than three points. It was a momentum killer. It heartened the Cardinals and gave their crowd hope. It wasn't long before the Cardinals took a 14-13 lead.

So what should the Dolphins do about Carpenter now? I asked Joe Philbin if he's concerned about Carpenter now and whether a move might be necessary.

“We’ll have to take a look and see how he did," Philbin said. "When you send your field goal kicker out there, hopefully you know they’re going to make kicks. I’m not sure that’s a concern right now at this moment.”

Not concerned? Really? If not now, then when?

Does Carpenter have to help blow a couple of more games?

The trouble is the Dolphins are financially committed to Carpenter. They aren't really going to cut him at this point. Do they bring in a kicker to send him a message that he has to get his stuff together?

That might end up being another thing that an already worried kicker has to think about. Of course, it might also light the proverbial fire under Carpenter.

No easy answers. None.

Comments

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What do you have to do to win a close Game around here? Anybody knows?

Good Post MAndo! Alot of great points!!

Odin ur Right!! The Secret Weapon(Hartline) is a Pleasant Surprise!

On sherman he's screwed if he does, He's screwed if he doesn't!

NOBODY!!! DASHI MEANS NOBODY!!! Knew what T-Hill was capable of!!!

Except Sherman!! And Dashi bets even after yesterday's game Sherman is working with T-Sizzle to correct the Mistakes!! From the Minute the game was over!

Dashi bets Sherman Would've cut Naanee on the plane ride home!! But Naanee is somehow protected by Ireland.

Question? So Chad Henne and his Amazing 1 game!!! Never cracked DAN MARINO'S TOP 10 Passing Performances!!

PITIFUL!!!

Way to go T-Sizzle!

If you People think that Cinci will be a pushover then you don't know Andy Dalton. He will find a way to beat Us. Guaranteed.

OK...I posted last night that I wouldn't do so again all week. But after a night's sleep and a cup of coffee I have calmed down.

I realize that this team, who nobody thought would be competitive, is competing every week. While they are 1-3 they are so because they lost 2 in overtime. This team is playing hard for a new coaching staff and they will win games this year. I much more positive about this team than any other the past 2 decades.

To be honest, it's the recieving corps, thst let us down 2 weeks in a row having huge hand in consecutive losses.

Last week, Armstrong droped a critical 3rd down pass, that would have given a crucial 1st down. Instead we punted fueling the Jet comeback plans.

This week, Naanee cant get out of the way of hid own two feet, and trips and falls for an unforced fumble. Virtually fumbling away the victory. That fueled the Cards taking a 14-13 lead.

Both these miscues came on promising deal closing drives. Both were very HUGE momentum shifters.

culda . shulda but u ain't...

After watching the game til the early hours of the morning in the UK, the problem over the last two weeks lies with the play calling. Very odd. But, the biggest problem we have is the secondary, with the excepction of Smith. The free agent additions have been poor, with a vast majority of them no longer on the team. This year will be another rebuilding year until we can spend some cash next summer on the areas of the team, that is unless Ireland decides to sign players who are a project and we can develop. Taxi for Ireland.

naane = bust.
carpenter = bust.
thomas = bust.
clay = bust.

Joe Philbin and Co. might belong in this of new breed of sleek, hyperspace all-knowing Coaches but they are not following the %(yes, those same old percentages that have always applied and will continue to apply), and until they do so they won't be consistent Winners in their craft.

I think all the Tannehill is a bust and Brian Hartline is a bust haters deserve a big:

..|.,

ireland = bust.

Yesterday I became a little more convinced we may not need to draft a wr 1st rd. We just need a wr who can catch and get out of his own way to add with Bess and Hartline.

Tannehill/Hartline are really developing nice chemistry together. Bess is being a very reliable weapon for him too.

I am on top of the World this morning! Couldn't be more happy even if we won. This team (just not all the players currently on the roster) is GOING PLACES!!! What everyone witnessed last night is what I'm witnessing in DC, the blossoming of a franchise QB. And it's freakin' beautiful. Ryan Tannehill is reading defenses, putting the team on his shoulders, calling audibles, looking like a veteran QB. Mistakes, yeah, there were a few. But smart fans EXPECT a few mistakes from a rookie QB. He'll learn (as he's shown in the past) and fix those issues.

On the play call, PLEASE. How many yards did Reggie have, 60? 70? Far cry from us controlling the run game. Truth is, their entire defensive game plan was to stop the run. So, 3 mins left, ball near midfield, they have all their timeouts, we're up 7, and you're moving the ball well. 2nd down, they're EXPECTING the run, INCHING UP TO the line of scrimmage to make a stop, THIS is the down to pass (not 3rd). And whomever says run both downs and kick is away either didn't see those late game fumbles in the past or how we sat on a tiny lead only to let it slip away. So give me a break. I have no problem with the aggressive play call. They make that first down, now Arizona needs to start calling timeouts, and we try to get in FG range to seal the deal. That's EFFECTIVE Coaching in today's high scoring NFL.

The problem with bad teams, is they find ways to lose. Even with great performances, great teams come up big WHEN IT COUNTS. Looks like the Cardinals are just a better team than we are. They came up big when they had to, and we didn't, simple as that.

But unlike the last 15+ years, I have something to look forward to. I see a bright horizon tomorrow. I see a team that FINALLY looks like it's being put together to go far into the Playoffs. I see a group with mediocre talent competing against all comers, and I imagine how they'd fare with elite talent. I'm not one to really appreciate moral victories, but this was a moral victory. It should give the team confidence. They are an elite mediocre team. Just need to learn how to win these games, and they'll be alright.

db, go get bowe 4 next season and watch the l's become instant w's. even with the mistakes.watch!

Ditto about the team rebuilding face it there not going to play any games after the regular season.When Ireland trades their top receiver in terms of catches, before the draft and dosent even draft a WR until the late rounds even after taking a QB as the first pick,and hopes to replace him with a problematic Chad Brown who turned out to be just that, it tells me they are not necessarily trying to win it all this season.To top it off he trades a former 1st round pick Davis a week and a half before the regular season starts,and then tells the media we want to win today and tommorrow,if you believe him you are naive.The writers that are truthful and have been following the team for more than a decade have to know that what they are telling the fans is wait until next year and by the looks of home game attendence the fans have acknowleged the intent.The NFL is a business for you on here that are too naive to undersytand this, they have king Goddell(in his own mind)to side with the owners on the referee fiasco and also being overturned in a court of law for the bounty gate attack he tryed to enforce on the players.Dont worry about the owner Ross the Dolphins will continue to appreciate in value even in this economy.Ireland will continue to collect his big salary as a GM,the same for any executives in the Dolphins front office.The players are sportsman that have turned their athletic ability into their business with the help of their agents and guaranteed money.

You solve nothing by being aggressive at a time that calls for following the %s. It complicates things.

This young team is playing well but young teams have to learn to win. Also, the past couple of years, I haven't seen a Dolphins team play a whole 60 minutes.

What, you don't know the %s? Learn them(hint: sometimes they are called common sense).

sherman was fired by texas a and m for precisely this type of collapse. they got out to big leads, but inexplicably kept passing and tannehill obliged with costly interceptions. the worst example was the texas game on thanksgiving. sherman was fired a few days later; it was done with an ignominious phone call while he was pulling into a recruit's driveway.

D20,

Though I wont lie and say I saw Hartline coming on as great as he's been thus far. I did make repeated post coming out of preseason that the wr corps wont be as terrible as many thought coming into the regular season.

Hartline's exceeded expectations so far. No one saw in 2 of the first 4 games Hartline would have games like he did Sunday and 2 wks ago against the Raiders. Its still early, but, looks like Hartline has arrived. With the help of what finally looks like a real qb in Miami(Tannehill).

Maybe there is some truth to the qb makes the reciever rule.

The Officials jobbed us big time, a pick play that was so obvious that was missed when fitzgerald scored, the nanee fumble was botched caused us field position. lousy call on bess that caused a long field goal that was missed. the real refs were as bad as the replacements.

The real plays that led to our defeat that we should be analyzing are the Naanee fumble (nothing really to analyze, he sucks, the fact I'm not reading he's been cut right now is the biggest letdown of the weekend). And the first Roberts TD (40yds I believe). On that play, Marshall didn't have help behind him, or in the middle of the field. WHY? WHY are we ALWAYS giving up big plays in the middle of the field? Because, on offense, we're not using the middle to get any big plays (we had that one Clay pass up the seam, but who was there to make a big hit on him and break the play up, the SAFETY, WHERE HE SHOULD BE). But, why was Marshall alone there? Only thing I can think (or that would be legitimate) is if one Safety was blitzing (then the question becomes why didn't he get to the QB), and the other Safety was double-teaming Fitzgerald. BUT, if that's not the case, then why's a Safety out of position. ALL that said, what about Marshall? Re-watch the play, he was positioned poorly. He gave the WR a chance to cut inside and gave up the middle of the field, when that play calls for him to steer the WR to the OUTSIDE, towards the sideline. You don't give up the middle of the field when you have no help. That was a mistake by him, regardless of where the Safety was supposed to be (unless he was supposed to have help in the middle, and the Safety was out of position). I'd really like to see that play analyzed frame by frame to see what went wrong there.

DC,

Correct, Bush wasnt exactly tearing it Sunday. IMO, he may have been cleared to play, but wasnt quite the explosive Reggie we've seen the first few games. His knee may have been about 85% at best.

Fire Coach Spo, the name says it all, another moron.

The play call that bugged me most was the second and 2 late in the game where they pitched it backwards to Bush. I was like what the hell is that call? I think they lost 5 on that one. The other call mentioned was a real head scratcher too. Burn the clock.

Jeffrow, you are absolutely right. Everyone is playing the result. Look what GB did within 2 minutes to play with a one point lead, they passed to Jones for a 1st down.

I think Marshall played a little dinged up. Carroll and Wilson had pretty good games imo as well. Keep the faith. I'd like to add that I predicted Hartline being the #1 all along and said given the chance he can easily be a 1000 yrd WR. Glad B Marshall is gone. Bess is at his best in the slot. We need another WR on the outside. R Matthews should get that opportunity imo. They should have cut Naanee and Armstrong weeks ago.

ONE thing I can lay at the Coaches feet though, that I've now seen through all 4 games, is our CBs CONSTANTLY having their backs turned towards the player, not the ball, on pass plays, who HARDLY EVER turn their heads around to locate the ball. Is this not being seen? Is it a focus of teaching during the week? Isn't that Rule #1 of Cornerback play, turn your head when the ball's in the air? This is one of the main technique reasons I'm noticing why those DBs are failing. I want to hear Croyle talk about this and what he's doing to fix it. The front 7 can't be expected to get to the QB EVERY DOWN for us to protect our shabby secondary. I've seen improvements in EVERY part of the team but the secondary (other than Sean Smith and Reshad Jones, those are the only 2 keepers back there). Marshall/Carroll/Clemons/Wilson, these players should be backups, not starters. Smith should be in Marshall's role, we need to get a #1 CB, Marshall should be in Carroll's role, Clemons should be in Wilson's role, and we need a true starting-caliber free safety.

Ken, the reason Indy went 1-15 is because Polian draft so badly, and signed so many terrible FA's. Please no Polian.

B33, I disagree. Shows lack of depth on the team (in the secondary). Carroll and Wilson should NOT be on the team. Marshall and Clemons SHOULD be backups. We need another CB and another S to upgrade those 2 positions.

My reasoning in detail on that disastrous 2nd down pass that turned into an int. near the 2' mark: suppossing no misdirection or outside runs, just 2 more runs up the middle, which they were waiting for. You kill time on the clock as much as possible and, who knows, you might break a run and get a 1st down. Now, under the 2' mark, you punt and make them travel at least 80 yds for a score. And Kevin Kolb is no Archie Manning. You dig?(if you don't understand this reasoning you're hopeless about %s).

Again, A Bunch of u Sissy's DON'T HAVE THE TESTICULAR FORTITUDE TO RUN A NFL OFFENSE!!

Sherman was calling a Game! Still opening new pages in the Playbook!

To U Non-Observers!

This Offense is alot to prepare FOR. This was the 1st week out of 4 that T-Hill started throwing from under Center! We Usually run a Different Shotgun formation to Pass every play.

This offense is still figuring out what works good and what Doesn't!

Sherman needs to know what he has in his RB's. Notice how Lane was in at HB during ShortYardage after Thomas couldn't get a 1st Down!

We need to know what our WR's are! What we have!!

-------------------------------------------------------

Dashi's Conspiracy Theory

We are losing games on purpose. Just no as Blatantly as Indiana Last Year!

No REAL NEED TO GO 11-5 this Year. Except for some selfish People(Not U Kris) that think winning in the Regular Season for 1 Season IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN CONSISTENTLY WINNING FOR 1 DECADE!!

What about developing J wilson and N Carroll? They are both ballers. Don't get all the negativity around the CBs they've played better than they have in years past w/o Davis. I do agree however Clemons is the weak link in the secondary. Jones has filled in better than expected. I believe he is going to hold that position down.

Where are all these fan GM's that were saying Hartline is a BUST, should be CUT, doesn't belong on the ROSTER, would be the number 6 receiver on a 5 deep receiving corp. I just kept saying, 4.4. 40, college high hurdler, 6'2" 200, good hands and route runner. Where are you morons.

Armando,

Pretty tired of reading the second-guessing on a Monday monring after the team has played their guts out. So here's the deal....type away...put your heart and soul into it. I won't be reading it. I know what I saw yesterday and last week against the Jets, the team played extremely well and extremely hard. If for some reason I'm supposed to feel bad about that Monday morning and think about what could have been, what should have been then you've got the wrong guy.

What would help this team win these game is an extra player or two and a little more experience. We're not there yet and we knew that going into the season. What I'm more interested in is how the team responds to this and how Tannehill progresses. They are LIGHT years ahead of where I thought they would be this year and I'm loving it!

You could certainly criticize the play-calling at the end of the Giants/Eagles game last night and the play-calling of the Giants and their two-timing winning coach. And I guess the Giants should cut their kicker who missed that field goal at the end of the game.

Hang onto the fact that Marshall and Davis aren't here guys. I'm enjoying what I'm watching....SO FAR.

Kevin Kolb, not equal to, Peyton Manning.

my biggest criticism is them not having the guts to give it to Lane on a 4&1 or inches... I don't think it's possible to move Lane back. His nickname should be the Juggernaut.

listen people if you cant trust your qb with the game on the line then he doesnt need to be back there.it was 3:40 still on the clock and ariz had 2 timeouts and a 2 min warning.running the ball wasnt going to get it.you needed 1st downs but tannehill shoulda been in SHOTGUN not a 2 step drop with them blitzing the whole game.we dont have the type of db's who u can put the game on their shoulders.

tucci, not true that Carpenter has gone progressively bad since his rookie year. He's gone 84%, 89%, 73%, 85% since his rookie year.He was 2-4 from 50 yards last year, and 8-16 for his career. Two years ago he hit from 58, and last year from 60. He went through a slump like this 2 years ago and came out of it. He's a great kicker, he'll come out of this slump.

good kickers dont go through slumps mike.

Hartline and Bess are studs.

Tanne will get there.

The future looks bright, if we can keep Hartline.

There were NOT 3'40" left in the clock.

Things I am happy about:

1) THill is our future! The yards he threw for was insane. When receivers were behind the defense he made the plays (Henne never did). He set up pass protection at the line brilliantly most of the game. He has been playing without a #1 WR but has made Hartline and Bess look great. I am a real believer in this kid.

2) Anything I have ever said negatively about Hartline I regret...he has proven to be a real NFL level WR....probably a #2 or #3 receiver but he is doing a great job for us. Same thing with Bess...probably a #2 or #3 WR but he is a stud. I think it's time to see Moore step up or even Fueller.

3) The DLine has been dominant. Nobody rushes against the Fins. This is huge. Now we see the pass rush kicking in. Wake is a stud. I think they are set for the future with this unit.

4) The Running Game looks really solid. Bush has been a star. The OLine has created holes consistently. I'd like to see more passes to the RB's

Joe, shut your stupid mouth.

Nobody questioning the Player's effort just the Coaches decisions.

Right. The bad play call was that it was a 2 step drop.

it was 3 min on the clock oscar dont know the exact time

Things that need to be addressed:

1) Carpenter is not reliable and that is a bad thing for an NFL kicker. He needs to go! But based on salary that may not happen this year. So, coaches need to adjust. You can't kick 51 yard field goals when you have the lead. Punt the ball if the field goal is >45 yeards. Pin the opposing team and play for another series. Don't give up field position because we can't relie on Carpenter.

2) Coaching with the lead. Nobody expected us to be in the lead much this year. But Philbin and Sherman have to run more than pass to prevent turnovers and to run the clock. If we have to punt then punt and play the field position game. Don't go into prevent defnese but don't put a rookie in a position to cost you the game after he built a lead in the 4th QTR.

3) The secondary is pathetic. Smith played well yesterday, his picks were huge. But he and Marshall let a 4th and 10 play kill them on the last drive of the 4th QTR. Wilson allows too many plays to happen...the first down conversion in OT was pathetic. Marshall is horrible. Clemons is not involved and takes bad angles...worthless.

4) Nanee is a cancer that needs to be cut out. THill doesn't trust him so he is never involved. THill hits him in the hands for a huge play in the 4th QTR and he turns it over without anyone touching him. Cut this BUM! Forget Amrstrong too....just get Moore in the POS!

We ALL need to come together, to pressure Mando to ask Philbin: WHY IS LEGADU NAANEE ON THIS TEAM?

That should be supported UNIVERSALLY on this blog. I'm making this my #1 OBSESSION. I will not be quiet until the guy is gone. He's a liability. Anytime he's on the field, the probability of something bad happening goes up to over 75%. I don't know if he steps on every crack in the sidewalk, or if he was born on the 6/6/86 or what. All I know is as long as he's got a Dolphins uniform on, he's doing damage to the team.

The #1 priority this week is GET MARLON MOORE HEALTHY! What the H*LL is wrong with his hamstring anyway. Unless he's on crutches, PUT HIM IN THE GAME, and make Naanee inactive. The ONLY way I'm happy with Naanee on this team, is if he's inactive each and every week. And if that's the case, then might as well terminate his contract, and bring up 7-11.

Craig the tool, Mando is not trying to get you as his guy.

Have fun guys! I'm going to let all you experts figure out what ails this team. I'm going to walk around with a glow today, feeling good about me team because they've played their asses off and really should have had more success the last two weeks.

If you've got someone who can compete for the kicking job, then great....bring him in. But Dan Carpenter's been money for this team for a few years now. Not too many kickers who CONSISTENTLY make it from 48 and 51 yards. By the way, I guess the Saints should cut their kicker today because he missed a 50 yarder to win the game yesterday too. If Carpenter was missing from 25-35 it would be concern. Less so from 50.

DC, why is it that you dislike Carroll and Wilson? They aren't getting burned. They both seem to be improving. The one guy in secondary that has been used is Clemons. He is usually pretty consistent too but then gives up the big play almost once a game...

Reggie was injured and 3.5 exactly as I predicted.

Nice to know that Thomas can come through when we need him. (sarcasm).

Thomas is completely useless garbage.

shotgun gives the qb time to see the blitz and get rid of the ball

There was a lot of single coverage on very tough receivers with no safety help at all. And that was baaad.

Dashi said before the game and Will REPEAT IT AGAIN!!

WE HAVE BEEN LOSING FOR 1 REASON AND 1 REASON ONLY!!!

OUR DEFENSE CAN'T STOP NOBODY ON 3RD DOWN!!! WE LET TO MANY PASSES COMPLETED ON 3RD DOWN!

It is Simple. OUR LB's Can't Cover. Our MLB Doesn't Protect The Middle of the Field. Our CB's are Average and we Need a FS! The fins fix this next offseason and we will be stacked next year.

Stop trying to blame an Offense that had Close to 500yds!

Definitely not the #1 D-line. We only gave up 28 rushing Yards!!

OUR PROBLEM IS OUR LB'S CAN'T COVER!! OR OUR FS!!

The following are garbage:

1. Clay
2. Thomas
3. Nanee

These guys lost the game for us. If they could just contribue something on one play as Hartline, Bess, Bush, and Fasano do, that's the difference.

Nope. Clay's one chance? A drop when he was hit *mildly* hard over the middle.

Thomas. Nothing. Missed blocks in pass protection by the way.

Nanee. Fumble on his one chance.

The "missing pieces" we are talking about really are Thomas and Clay. They are not doing what they are supposed to do.

I agree on Naanee... I talked with a panthers fan the other day and asked him why they let him go. His answer was All he does is drop or f up easy catches. He'll play hard and be there for practice but can't show up during the game. Then he said good luck cuz he's horrible...

Ok, I'll broach the Hartline issue (just to stoke debate). Also, Craig was the first one I saw bring this up (yesterday) and I wanted to respond but there were too many idiots on the blog hating so I got frustrated, but will pick-up where Craig left off.

Hartline played amazing. He's really stepping into the role (of a Jordy-type player). Only quibble I still have with him, is the slips. We saw him do the same thing in the Steelers game a few years ago (where we lost at the very end). Same slip, same timing route (so can't be put on the QB), same effect, INT. I've seen him do that before as well. I didn't see ANYONE else on either side of the ball slip yesterday. Field wasn't wet, no reason to blame anything but the player there. What's up with that? Is it his leg muscles? Does he need more squats offseason? Cleats? After watching him for a few years I'm not willing to believe it's mental toughness (he's a pretty tough guy). So, why does this keep happening to him? ESPECIALLY on those routes? Technique? I dunno, but that needs to be addressed.

That's really the only minor issue I can pick at Hartline about. Other than that, I think he played a flawless game. I think he's solidifying himself on this team in the future. Bess too. We don't need to totally remake our WR core, just a few players, ONE ESPECIALLY.

dashi it goes both ways offense had 500 but only 21 points to show for it.db's created like 2 int's i think. but i see your point tho. vontae should have never been traded and yeremiah bell should be back there not sorry ass clemons

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