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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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Disappointing loss, yes. Disappointing season so far, not so fast. I think that what people tend to forget is all off season, during Hard Knocks and as the season opened that Miami was a punchline in every bad football joke you heard. I look at the fact we are climbing the power rankings, that teams are not looking past us and the fact we are STILL in games at the end as progress. We have lost to TWO of the 3 teams that are 4-0. We had a shot to be 3-1 yes... but we are 1-3. In a division that has three teams ahead of us, all tied at 2-2. Can we be happy with progress for now, not write the whole season off, and appreciate the fact that we are really becoming a team to watch again. I do not believe this season is over... in fact... I am already far more pleasantly surprised than I was planning on being this year. I like the new team, I like the new calls, and I think that it is high time we start supporting these guys. Because if we continue to harp on them and rip them to shreds... who is going to want to come play here? Just some food for thought. Since Reggie, Hartline, T-hill, Cam, Smith, the o-line, are all playing much better than anyone was thinking they would this year. I am glad to finally have a reason to cheer, even if we are falling just a little bit short. But at least I am not ready to leave the bar at half-time anymore. So I call it progress.

the cards had 28 yds. rushing.
lol

Play calling, play calling, play calling. Close games, close games, close games.
Smh... Kill the clock less chance the opponent has to win. Simple as 123.

Winners win. Losers lose. They are who we thought they were. They are what their record says they are.

JOE (quick to get rid of players) PHILBIN needs to be announcing nannee and carpenter being released from the team. carpenter was suspect last year.

jpao, again you are wrong. Know what you're talking about. 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.

Hartline slipped but then was thrown down to the ground. It was an obvious pass interference call that they completely missed.

Philbin should have challenged that BAD SPOT on lane's 3rd down plunge into the pile. He was clearly past the spot and would have given them the first down to essentially seal the game.
Or even go for it on 4th down...
Instead he punts it away and the game.

Everyone on this blog knows we are a 3-1 team who happens to be 1-3.

Parcel's famously said "you are what your record says you are" ...but we are NOT a 1-3 team...are we?

Again the %s. You solve nothing to let go of Naanee without replacing him with someone better. Again, Hartline is the same Hartline of last year only 1 year older. The %s lie that his improvement this year is due to better QBing. No?

B33, I've seen Carroll/Wilson both get abused. First off, the only Safety I'm standing up for on this team is Reshad Jones. I have see ZERO effective Safety play out of anyone else. They are ALWAYS out of position. First off (this may be on scheme, not them), but if our strength is front 7, and our weakness secondary, why do Safeties EVER play up on the line for run support? WHY? If they are up there to blitz, that's fine, nothing wrong with that. But we need to stop the run with our front 7. Our secondary is bad enough that they need to stay back and play outfielders. That's where we're getting beat on defense. We need 1 guy playing deep to prevent the big play EVERY SINGLE DOWN! I've seen TOO MANY big plays given up in the middle of the field, which usually is on the Safety.

Carroll, same thing I said in an earlier post. Like the rest of the CBs, almost always has his back turned when the ball is in the air. POOR technique. You get called for more PI's that way, and limit INT possibilities because you don't see the ball. I'm not saying they are both the worst ever, they are young. I'm saying, the guys in front of them aren't stars or playmakers, they are backups. So you've got backups backing up backups, and that's a sign of lack of depth in your personnel. If the starters, who are really backups, were really playing in their right role (as backups), and we had TRUE starters in there, then I believe we'd see better things coming from the secondary.

..So Armando. If you watch that play(Tannehill fumble). It looked like the design of the play called for Javorski Lane to pick up the blitzer, or there was mis- communication on the protection..Pouncey was helping double team on the right, and Incognito was blocking down on the left...Lane was either late as you can clearly see him try to cut the blitzer, or we just botched it.

Tim Couch, you're absolutely right, and you're a loser.

Also did anyone else notice how with the real refs Wake isn't being held every single down. Amazing.

DC when has that happened this year? Both Wilson and Carroll have been solid so far.

Smith is a star. The first TD was a pick play that should have been Pass Int and the second play td was a zone coverage that should never have been called. I have never seen anyone play Fitz better man to man with no extra help. The coaching in the 4th quarter and overtime is the only reason Miami is not 3-1 in first place in the division. Terible playcalling on O and D in crucial situations have lost games that Miami should have won. They have outplayed the Jets and Cards

hartline always been a solid reciever. if we let go chad johnson, d.garrard,and v.davis why could we not let go nannee. does he have some special talent that i missed OSCAR ??? you still have other recievers on the squad or even bring in another AVEREAGE reciever

I guess we just completely disagree. I see progress and potential. Both are pleasant surprises to me. Smith is a great CB. Gets respect. Marshall I see as being one of the best nickel backs in the league and he has done ok so far on the outside. I do believe he will get better at that position.

OMG, I can state unequivocally right now that I AM BETTER THAN LEGADU NAANEE. Matthews, Moore, even 7-11 on the PRACTICE SQUAD is better. Take an overweight midget with a liver disorder and HE'D be better than Naanee. So that's not a valid point. Naanee shouldn't be wearing an NFL uniform, he should outside the stadium wearing a parking attendant's uniform.

2watt,,shut up,,, you are a trolltards
oscar,,shut up,,, you are a trolltards

305. Sorry

But Vontae should have been traded and Y.Bell was Done! Dashi understands the Love for Bell, not for VD. Yes, VD had talent. But talent can only take u so Far. Y.Bell was a Fan Favorite for Many Years!

Anyone Remember JASON ALLEN?

Dashi liked J.Allen because he always seemed to be around the Ball. But If U tell me we could've got a 2nd for Allen by his 4th season! Dashi will take it!

U need as much Mental Talent as Physical Talent in the NFL! VD has nothing UpStairs!!

And Yes, VD compares to JA. Allen might actually have more Picks!!

Again, 21 Points on a Team THAT HASN'T GIVEN UP 20 POINTS ALL GAME!!

DASHI WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT HAD US WINNING 17-14!!!

Don't give me this they should've Won! NONE OF U SISSY'S HAD THE FINS WINNING!

Dashi pointed it out During the Week Leading Up!!!!!

NO ONE HAS DROPPED 20 on the Cardinals!! NOT THE PATRIOTS!! NOT THE EAGLES!!!

NO ONE!!

EXCEPT THE FINS!

WE RUN A COVER 2!! BELL WOULDN'T FIT THE SCHEME!!

WE NEED 2 FS's! NOT 1! R.Jones is OK! But CLEMONS HAS TO GO!

honestly I'd be happy with Chad Johnson getting resigned over Naanee

that fumble was pathetic

I only hope that loosing two OT games in a row...both of which we were clearly the BETTER TEAM...does not eat away at the players confidence.

Losing breeds losing attitudes...just look at the last decade of Dolphins Football.

We are at a crossroad...we either dust off and kick butt next weekend, or lick our wounds and put our tail between our legs because we don't think we deserve to win.

You use the %s every moment of your Life(ok, no cars coming, I can cross the street now)yet still don't know them. Amazing.

..So I mentioned this yesterday. Kudos to Tannehill for what he has managed to do since the first game.

Here is what I see as the biggest issue offensivley going forward. How long will we get away with throwing the ball to 3 guys? It is great right now, and maybe we can. But the league is going to figure this out sooner then later...How to cover our 2 reciever corps. Thats it fellas. We have 2 guys, and tight end. It is working right now. This will not last for ever.

What happened to Tannehill? Maybe we over reacted and we were prisoners of the moment..Another Ireland bust...I can see it now. It is all BS. What Tannehill is doing right now is like I said yesterday Remarkable. So eventually this will be taken away, it is just the way the NFL works. Don't blame Tannehill if he comes down to Earth a bit..Look and see if anyone else steps up to contribute before holding Tannehill to the fire should he slip a bit..

Fasano, Bess , Hartline...If these were the names of the guys you thought would be the targets in 400 yard performance v a top d in August..Pat yourself on the shoulder...Think about this for second.

Another day begins with little Jeffy still having a job. How sad.

More than good receivers, protection for the QB is THE essential.

Its a tough loss but the team competes except in the secondary, which is a glaring need. As for Carpenter, he should go. to missed field goals in regulation which cost the team games. But this also brings out an issue why kick the ball to the returner during the end of the game. squib it to the opposite corner. seems elementary. I was heartbroken by yesterday about the loss but you have to accept that this will be a process and it wont be easy. this team has been bad for a long time and bad habits dont just go away without turning over some personal. lets all keep our eye on the big picture. a 4-12 or 6-10 season should get us the #3 overall pick in the first and second plus 1 more from the colts. which should be a top 7 pick in the second round. i have been a fan for over 40 years. i know there will be no quick fix. build a nucleus of talent around Tannehill and we will be there contending for superbowls in back to back to back years. Patience..except for where Carpenter is concerned. just dont know who you will get that will be any better!

Again to repeat for the 1001 time.

Even after the T-Hill fumble. If we stop them on 3rd down any of those 4 times in that series the game would've been over!

Then we finally stop them on 3rd and can't stop them on 4th!

KEY TO EVERY DOLPHIN GAME THIS SEASON!!!!

STOP PEOPLE ON 3RD DOWN!! Any game!

If we stop the jets on 3rd Down. We blowout the jets!

Heck if we stop az on 3rd down we blow them out!

They only had 1 drive that was spectacular. The other drives the fins d got tired from going out on 3rd down and not stopping anybody! Plain and simple!

The offense only really lost the 1st game! Those infamous 6 minutes!

The defense lost the other 2! Can't stop nobody on 3rd down!

I'll say it again, we are the most elite, mediocre team in the NFL. Progress. The Saints are 0-4, with Drew Brees. We all need perspective to see that we're in a pretty good position in a rebuild year.

...DC. I agree with you about Wilson. My Montana guys have not played very well for us this year. Wilson is constantly takes poor angles, he looks overmatched right now...Yes he is a solid tackler, but in coverage?????????? nope. A little secret about Carpenter...he has a history of missing some important kicks going back to college..Ask Wofford.

That was not a fumble folks, it was a drop and the refs blew it. the no call for p-i on bess, the lousy spot of the ball, the no call on the illegal pick play. The real refs cost us this game.

DD,

Its not about how long the league catches up with the 3 recievers Tannehill uses. Its now about pick your poison. Here's why:

The Cards geared up to stop our run and force the rookie qb to beat them. He damn near did. Now dc's have to think after yesterday's game, we gang up on thier(us) run game Tannehill is potent enough to beat us.

So there you have it. Its very difficult for a defense to shut both a potent run and pass game. The next evolution in Tannehill's development will be to get the ball into the endzone more often.

When this begins to happen, with the potency of our run game, we'll be an offense no one really wants to deal with. Also remember, Bush was 85% at best yesterday. What if Marino had a run game like we've shown with a fully healthy Bush this year?

Also was it obvious ex bill steve tasker was anti-Miami? little creep.

There are some sensible bloggers in here. Phin78, Dashi, DC Dolfan. These guys all realize that this a rebuilding year with a rookie QB at the healms. None of us thought the Dolphins would make the playoffs so when we lose why is there so much beatching and complaining going on.

Positives: Tannehill looks to be a stud, the pass rush came alive, Hartline with 253 yards? He cant get that in Madden 13.

Negative: Dan "I should of been a" Carpenter cost us another game. The seconday is utter trash, Keep Smith and Rashard Jones, Clemmons and Marshall need to go ASAP. Leggadu Nannee, I hate to say it but he needs to be cut. My theory is he was so surprise he caught the ball he didnt know what to do with it while falling to the ground and just threw it away.

Some improvements needed, but we also improve somewhat losing this game.

DD, I don't see Tannehill coming back down to earth, per say, only because I don't think he has really left the ground. I think these losses keep everything into perspective for him and show him nothing is for granted. Sure he had a great performance aided by that 80yard TD pass to Hartline, but I don't think he'll pull a cam newton and get bigger than his britches. He made some great throws and showed us touch that he didn't display in the first 3 weeks. He was still late on some throws and that's him still adjusting to the speed of the game. I love what I saw out of him and the way he takes command in the huddle and once the play breaks. He called out some blitzes pretty nicely and adjusted to it. He's a smart QB. 1 INT is Hartline falling, 1 INT was him getting hit as he threw which was his only poor decision cause he shoulda just fell and taken the sack instead of trying to make something happen but now he knows that for the future. He's smart, he'll adjust and he'll learn

It is true what NHFINSFAN said, these losses are killers for establishing a winning culture. You get no sort of esteem if you beat inferior Teams. You gain your confidence by beating supposedly superior Teams in difficult situations. We'll see.

Also YG/DD, there are a few other options. There's Bush out of the backfield (we haven't gone to that well much). Or even Miller (not sure if he's sure-handed or not). I'm not sure about Charles Clay. Even though that was a great hit, he needs to hold on to that ball. And we need more plays made in the middle of the field, and it seems he's not consistent enough to get it done. This is his 2nd year, so maybe we give him 'til end of year, but it's obvious we need TE help next year. And there's Moore, who's been hurt, so we don't yet know if he can backup Bess/Hartline yet. I'm guessing yes, at least better than Naanee.

I WILL NEVER FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH DAN CARPENTER KICKING ANYTHING OVER 45 YARDS AGAIN!

If you think the Dolphions have problems take a look at the Jets. Thier now crying for Tebow. Sanchez has never looked anywhere close to as good as Tannehill looked yesterday. Even when playing in 2 afc championship games.

When you're crying for Tebow it means you have no qb.

My goat's:

Carpenter - not being able to make professional FGs
Smith - biting on an inside move with inside help for game-typing TD
Incognito - allowing rusher to go untouched TWICE to force fumble then INT

DD, agreed we only have 3 receiving options.

Doesn't that make Sherman's play calling that much better?

Just saying.

U guys were crying during the preseason we don't run the ball. We run the ball with the best of them. Heck, even as the only Sherman supporter Dashi never thought we will get 400 yds passing in a game! Not this season!

Heck, has matt Ryan ever thrown for 400 yds with all the skill players he has? Doubt it!

It floors me to think that people are vilifying Dan Carpenter for missing a 51-yard FG but praising Ryan Tannehill despite the fact that he committed 3 turnovers, including two that lead to the Cardinals final 10 points.

It's stupefying, really.

stats r 4 losers...

Guys, listen to what Hartline said (which was also said by Sherman last game). He said it's unbelievable how much progress Tannehill has shown since PreSeason. And Hartline's a smart guy. Tannehill was Pre-Med, Biology major. He's not a shrinking violet. The guy will grow like Mary Jane in Humbolt Co., CA. Every issue he has in a game gets resolved by the next game. That's amazing. I don't see him having big eyes back there either. Remember John Beck. What would he have done if he saw an untouched blitzer coming at him? Deer in headlights. Tannehill sidestepped him, and made a play like it was nothing. He's a gamer, he's a legit talent, he's soon to be our franchise QB (officially), and then we need to start thinking about retiring his jersey, because this kid will be special.

DC,

If Marlon Moore cant crack the lineup ahead of Naanee. That isnt bolding so well for him right now. He's yet to be activated for a single game this year.

Inconsistency plague Moore during the preseason. I imagine nothing's changed so far in practices or he would be activated for the games.

..Yg. Think about Cam Newton last year..He got off to perhaps the best 8 games(statisticaly speaking) ever. He did it the same way...The Panthers had the number one run game in the league, he threw to 3 guys..Smith, Lafell, Olsen..

Once the league figured out how to take away Smith..It was curtains. Look at Cams first 8 weeks and compaire them to his last 8...You cannot survive as a young quarterback in this league throwing to 3 guys..Even with a great run game..It is a matter of time before IMO it happens to Tannehill here.

Look at the passing stats from yesterday, and how many 300 plus passers only had contribution from 3 guys? I know you can say Nannee had 2 catches. You can count those as "contributions" if you want.

I'm not being negative Nelly here..Just calling it as I see it..Our reciever corps is foul(minus Bess, Hartline) at some point if we can't get someone elses to step up?? I think we will really begin to struggle. I could be wrong, and we may indeed ride these guys into the sunset..This would be coaching genius.

I rather go after a top 10 WR then draft one. WR's in the NFL takes time to develop unless there a flat out stud in next year draft alas a Megatron, Andre Johnson type guy. I say we shovel over one of our 2nd round picks for Dwayne Bowe the guy is fast, strong and sure handed. Bowe, Hartline and Bess, would be the best WR core in the NFL.

The rest of the draft picks should be for. CB, pass rushing DE, FS, TE (again)

YG, I'm starting to question that (like Sparano's use of Jerry last year). Also, I think he's been hurt at least 2 of the 4 games, so there's that. But just from what you've seen of Naanee in games, and Moore in Pre-Season, would YOU not even try it? It's hard for me to believe they aren't seeing enough WRONG from Naanee in games not to try ANYTHING to upgrade from him (even trying an inconsistent practice player).

bowe = winz...

The only thing I would like Tannhill to do is design some plays where he gets to roll out. I mean he's done an excllent job in the pocket he stands tall and waits till a WR breaks open before flushing out of the pocket. I want to see him use his legs to pick up a first down, he use to be a WR.

Dan Carpenter had a nice tackle that saved a TD atleast... He needs to make those kicks. I don't think there is a better kicker available though. He had some streaks of misses then going and hitting 26 straight. Let's not go overboard yet.

Clay and Thomas are really useless for 230 pound physical specimens, no?

NH/MD20, I said years ago Carpenter didn't have a strong leg. He could barely (back then) kick the ball out of the endzone on kickoffs. He's a little better now (with the extra yards) but still kicks in play more than I see other kickers do. And he's never really been consistent past 45 yards. He's pretty automatic inside 45, but not sure it's not worth trying to upgrade. If we had Sebastian or Gostkowski or a big leg kicker, we'd be 3-1.

But I don't put the whole blame on Carpenter. Maybe the first one. But after that, Philbin should have known his personnel, and taken that into account. We could have pinned AZ deep in their territory instead of attempted a 51yd FG, that would have been the wiser decision for the HC.

DD,

Though I can appreciate what youre saying. I wouldnt go near a Cam/Tannehill comparison. Cam's having severe immaturity issue that are contributing to a lot of his woes too. Its not just defenses taking away Steve Smith.

I honestlty think ROberto Wallace is better than Moore and Nanee, its been 4 games and Nannee the STARTING WR has 1 catch which he fumbles the ball because he was surprised he caught it.

DD,

It's for the reasons that you talk about that I had this team at 4-12 this year. Just not enough ways to beat others teams. However, what I'm seeing is new and exciting ways for this team to do things. I, unlike Armando, think the coaching has been outstanding to date. The Dolphins knew they wouldn't be able to run against the Cards, so they put a game plan in place to throw the ball. They made the Cards defence look weak. Where this team falls short, and I think this is your point, we are just missing that pass-catching TE or a star WR to take the load off of Bess and Hartline. They are both playing REALLY well but they are complimentary players and not stars. They are in the rong roles right now. But we knew that going into the season. Philbin, Sherman and Tannehill will figure out what we need to do each week that will give us a chance to win. I feel good about it.

...Fellas. Don't get me wrong...I'm giving tons of props to Tanny. I was super criticl of his choice as our first round pick..I have been eating crow since that day. When I talk about him falling down to Earth. I say that with the opinion he is doing this without the benifit of many weapons in the pass game..He has made Hartline a big time player(perhaps Hartline has always had this ability, just nobody to get him the ball consistantly)...Anyway, when I say fall down to Earth. I just think he will experience some difficulty down the road because we are so limited..

Again..I am giving this kid some props here. I think he has been outstanding.(since game 1)

Didn't Carpenter save a touchdown?

DC,

I think this coaching staff believes in the best practicers play Sunday. Naanee's an all world practicer but all bust gameday performer.

Naanee's severely testing this offensive staff's "best practicer" plays on Sunday. They love what they see from him in practice, but its just a matter of time before what he does on gamedays, overules that philosophy.

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