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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.


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2watt= idiot

Thomas needs to go visit the wizard for a heart, he goes down easliy on first contact for what is suppose to be a physical runner. YG, what immature issues have you seen from Cam Newton? His TD celebrations?

The only answer you need for Carpenter is for the offense to get him 5-10 yards closer. Stop criticizing the guy for missing longer-range, lower-percentage kicks.

I agree with the play calling. Very frustrating to get away from the run. Too many blitzes.

...Hey real quick..You guys have any lucky numbers..Going To Vegas on Wednesday for the weekend..Love to hit the Roulette wheel. Would love to put some cash down on some numbers from you guys.

The wr Im looking to show up and began making a solid contribution is Anthony Armstrong. Just 2 short seasons ago the guy was a pro bowler. He's still fairly young and its difficult to believe he's completely lost it over a few short seasons.

Armstrong needs to hurry and get the offense down and begin making a strong contribution. When he does, there will be no reason to hang onto Naanee's. If Armstrong doesnt, we'll need to look to the offseason.

There's also one thing many of us are overlooking (but it's huge). God hates the Miami Dolphins. I think that's unquestionable. Look at the stats. Reminds me of the Indy/Saints games a few years back. We did almost everything right, overcame most of the odds to put ourselves in the right position to win, and fate and destiny deny us. That's all God's doing.

So, if God hates us, I say all Dolphins fans should hate God back.

I just thought it was comical to listen to all the guys on here yesterday during the game calling for the team to get rid of Carpenter. There's not a kicker in the NFL who consistently makes 50 yard field goals. Go back and look at the games yesterday and look at all the kicks made. Carpenter's just in a bit of a slump right now. It happens. The hope is he works his way out of it.

I disagree that Wilson and Carroll are 'ballers.' I like their 'hard hitting attitude' but the reality is their coverage skills are sub par. Go back and watch the Jets and Cardnials games. You will see both of them out of position many times and two-three steps late often.

They are basically out of position and watching WR's catch the ball. They need to be CONSISTENTLY using their 'hard hitting attitude' and start dislodging the ball from the receivers.

I agree Clemons is not a NFL level starting safety. He is lost out there.

Marshall is a joke. I can't believe Ireland and Philbin thought he was an 'upgrade' over Davis. This is the biggest player selection mistake so far this year.

Dave, are you kidding me, Ive seen kickers in the NFL constantly makes FG over 45 yards which Carpenter struggles with. Honestly speaking his was still pulling his 35 yrad FG's yesterday.

....@ 10:22 Best post ever!!!!!!!

How can so many people be focused on everything but what really matters? Marino, Clayton and Duper's breakout game was a loss to Buffalo. Tannehill, Hartline and Bess should be what we are talking about. I want to win as bad as everyone, but you don't go from bad to really good overnight with young players. Parcells did it with old players and smoke and mirrors, and it lasted one season. This could be the start of something really great. Oh, and two of the losses came from two of three undefeated teams. Hmmmm, sick of all the doom and gloom!!!!

There's a lot to be happy about in the grand scheme of things. Most importantly, we have a top 10 offense. I think the last time Miami had a top ten offense, I was in high school - way too long.

I don't know how anybody can doubt tannehill now - seriously. Through four games he's projected to do almost as well as Cam Newton did last year in terms of team yardage. And last year everyone was eating out of Newton's bunghole.

And I've always said that a good Qb will make receivers better and how good do bess and Hartline look? Like legit NFL 2s at the worst ...

Unfortunately this team needs a large infusion of talent in the secondary - as many as two 1st or 2nd round talents are needed there. Another pass rusher would also never hurt.

And you would think a big bodied receiver or a big fast tight end would do wonders for this team too. Need someone to open up the middle of the field.

And it would be nice to get some support from the kicker.

Frustrated by the losses but in the grand scheme of things they may work the opposite of those meaningless wins at the end of last year and pay off in the long run.

Bottom line though is I'm haiving fun watching Miami Dolphins football. The most fun in a decade. Things are shaping up for the long run ...


Are you stoned this morning?

Carpenter is a great kicker?

I didn't say he is getting worse. I said he is unreliable and not someone the coaches can have confidence in at this point in time beyond 45 yards. He choked a few times last year on important kicks as well. I called him out then.

I understand his annual % rates look solid. But when you NEED a kicker to put it through the uprights when the game is on the line I just don't see Carpenter being pointed to as reliable.

There would be 10 other kickers I would chose in that spot.

YG, in what fantasy land did Anthony Armstrong make the pro bowl, He's been a practice player his whole career. Im still waiting on the response to what immature issues does Cam Newton have? His TD celebrations?

And I'm as mad about Carpenter as everyone, but has anyone noticed his kick offs have been out of the end zone? Maybe making his leg stronger is going to take a little time to get his control back. I think he needs a few more games before we start looking, because we were beat again by a kicker that we discarded.

Chewbacca is weeping in the laundromat across the street.

caveman...yes, he made a nice tackle to save what was a sure TD.


Are you starting to sour on Sean Smith? I always thought you were a fan of this guy.

I'll say it again, and I hope you read this, Armando, your comments criticzing the play-calling this morning are WAY off! Do you also feel that the play-calling by the Giants last night was way off? How about the play-calling in the Tampa/Wash game? Carolina/Atlanta. It's an imperfect world. Awfully easy to sit here Monday morning and say, 'They did this wrong, they did that wrong'. They lost....get over it!

DD, my lucky numbers are 9 (from my soccer-playing days), 22 (can't go wrong with Reggie Bush, right) and 54 (5+4=9, my favorite number). Hope that helps bud. And I won't ask for any of the winnings should any of the numbers hit. Just put it in the bar's coffers and enjoy!

Posted by: Frank Moore | October 01, 2012 at 09:59 AM

Did you watch the game or look at the stay column, I'll put one of those turnovers on his shoulders and it was only cause he was nailed as he threw it (should have taken the sack) the other two? Lol no not really his fault.

Carpenter saved a TD but if he was capable of making an FG that tackle would have never taken place

This team is 1-3. They stink.

Craig, Are you ready to take a soak with me.?




Sherm is making sure T-Hill becomes a QB. A True Master of the Pocket!


Their Coaches think that it's a Good thing to use their Running Skills Early to Win Games. Not Forcing them to learn from the Pocket.

Sherman is babying T-Hill Yes. But it's Because Sherm Knows what it takes to run a Top 5 Passing Game in the NFL! Ur QB has to win from the Pocket(Accuracy and Decision Making)!!! The other Stuff is Just Icing! Mobility and Elite Arm Strength!

Philbin knows thats how it's done! And he will let his Teacher do the Same! Rodgers was similar to T-Hill Pre-Draft. Well rodgers wasn't as Physically gifted, but Rodgers was Developed as was Brett Favre.

Plus, We have Devlin developing behind T-Hill! Yes, Moore is the Back Up. But we have our Starter and his Backup for the Future!!

Jay Feely was a Dolphin at one point and we let him go because he wanted a raise...now he just beat us with a perfect OT kick....karma baby, KARMA!

Yea guys lets make Carpenter costs us 2 more games before we bring in competition SMH

How about Naanee? He has got to go. Total waste of money and a roster spot. Another disappointing #19 WR.

Welcome to Fantasy Island where when you look in the mirror the last place 1-3 Dolphins become the first place 3-1 Dolphins.

People want to talk about the Dolphins collapses in sports the last two Sunday but nothing was a bigger collapse than the US in the Ryder Cup yesterday. There might be some on here who are a little sensitive about it but to me was one of the biggest collapses I've ever seen. Certainly bigger than Van de Velde at the British Open a few years ago or anything Greg Norman ever did. Quite amazing to watch actually!

DC Dolfan--

Those are nice numbers but I prefer the ones you whispered into my my ear in the steam room. Your PHONE number!


Craig, another reason I'm hesitant to criticize play-calling is there's a lot of other factors. Did the QB audible out of the intended play? Usually, a call gives the QB multiple options, did the QB make the right decision? Was the play called because the OC saw something in particular he wanted to exploit in the defense? Was the right protection called? Did someone miss a block? Did a receiver (on a pass play) or the RB (on a run) make the right read/run the right route? There's an almost infinite number of reasons certain plays work or don't work, and it's usually not as easy as some think (where you ALWAYS do this at this time, etc.).

I prefer to criticize game plans. And I did that a lot the preceding couple of decades. But I haven't really been upset with the game plans for the 4 games this year.

Clay + Thomas = 460 pounds of useless garbage

Tannehill = Henne NOT!!!!!!!!

Getting crazy in here. Posting God hates the Dolphins, dolfans should hate God back. Then a poster call it post of the day. Then a poster cant imagine Cam Newton has immaturity issues.

Just time for me to leave. May God forgive for the sake of us who do believe and know God is far too busy be a fan of one particular team. 17-0 wasnt good enough for you guys?

If anything 17-0 shows God may have been a dolfan and possibly got sick of the sick dolfan behavior.

NH, we beat Feely twice when he was Jet since then, so it's kind of not exactly Karma. He made a very make-able FG. His offense put him in a position to succeed. Ours didn't do the same with Carpenter. It happens.

Why should I root for guys in the Ryder Cup just because they're Americans? Doesn't mean they're better people than the other guys. Who cares where someone is from?

So tired of that kind of kneejerk jingoism.

I see the point about why not run on 2nd and 8 blahblahblah.... but the running game was getting stoned all day and they elected to not play scared. I don't have much problem with it, although I wonder with so many up the middle blitzes, why not a screen or a hot read to bush, see if he can win a 1:1 battle that way? Something where you anticipate and counter the blitz? The play call I actually have a bigger problem with is the 4th and 10 call when the Cardinals tied it up for OT. Kolb had not made one good throw under pressure the whole day. I would have sent at least five probably six rushers, force a quick throw, and live with the result if he was able to connect under duress.

As for other issues...

Carpenter has become less than reliable, and his kickoffs certainly are nothing special. I would have no problem with Miami working out somebody else, or even outright cutting Carpenter, though I know that's not happenin

Who knew YG was in the seminary? YG, my God has a sense of humor. If your God doesn't, then my God is better than your God, point blank, end of story.

I seem to have a whitish stain in my panties. :(

God hasnt cursed the Dolphins. He got sick of the sick dolfans behavior and walked away.

What cost us the game is the soft zone we were playing after the fumble. you man up and bring pressure. at that point kolb was fukin scared and we let him sit back there and beat us. nice zone coyle.


Shouldn't the focus this morning be on what a great job Sherman and Philbin have done with Tannehill to get him ready to play in the NFL. Shouldn't the focus be on what a great job the team did putting a plan in place to be able to throw for over 400 yards against a very tough Cards' D. No, of course not. I think Armando is the kind of guy if his kid came home with a 98 on his report card, he'd say 'What happened to the other 2 per cent'. Just ridiculous!

pbj, Craig is Canadian. So he's not being jingoistic. He's doing what Canadians do, wishing they were Americans. (kidding Craig and Mark, just having some fun, don't go crying to your mommies like YG).

Tannehill isnt getting the W's....thats the biggest indicator.

Sorry, I'll pass on the Big Spaghetti Monster in the Sky.

You live and then you die. No hocus pocus, no afterlife, none of that mystical, man-made crap that exists because of our debilitating fear of death.

All Western religions are Death Cults.


Did you notice you attracted a troll admirer after posting hating God? No it wasnt me, I think you attracted a "demon" after the hate God post. For your sake, I hope not.

Sugar coat it as much as you like, but a loss is a loss. To have faith that some of these performances will be the norm in the future is not realistic. I do not see this coaching staff being around long enough for anyone to gain some sort of familiarity or stability to build on.

In three years or less, it will be a new coach, a new system, a new philosophy, and "their guys."That is the only consistent thread within the Dolphins organization within the last decade.

Crying about running a pass play over a run.
If the rb fumbled then you would cry that they should have passed.
We prob would have benn better off punting then letting carpenter miss another field goal. Get rid of this guy , he has let his team down and his confidence has to be shot by now.
This defense has played very well all season , but having Vontae would have helped......thanks jeff.
Colts will manage to win 6 or 7 games this season and your precious 2nd rounder will be higher than you thought

Does Naanee really wear #19? LMFAO
I had no idea since yesterday was the first we've seen of him and which I'd sooner forget

awesome day for the QB and excited about Tanny's progress, but he still isn't getting it done yet in the red zone and he's also looking like a INT machine after 4 games.

good point greg


Are you the same guy as greg z? How come we haven't you on here much lately? Do you only come here when the Dolphins lose badly? Do your speil about 'Ireland's only a ball boy, a scout', not playing as well when the team plays well and loses a couple of tough ones in OT. Will we see you back here again when the team loses a bad game? Funny we haven't seen you or any of your comments since the Raiders win. VERY interesting! Have you shortened it to just 'greg' now, so that you can come back and comment?

Analyze every play, every coach after the fact. Bottom line is the team is not 3-1 because of Carpenter. He makes 2 very makeable kicks over the past 2 weeks and we would be reading totally different articles. Pick on Sherman all you want, he is doing a good job, and two made kicks we wouldn't even be talking about play calling!

Absolutely Craig. I'm very happy today. Happy with the Coaching. Proud of the players stepping up. I imagined much, much worse than what we've seen last few weeks. Actually, seeing this game (and the Jets game), I'm probably more angry about that Jets loss. We really shouldn't have made Sanchez look so good last week. He's horrible, doesn't deserve it.

I'm thrilled with the direction. Heck, I even have good feelings for Ireland (Tannehill, CHECK, Martin, CHECK, Miller, CHECK, others maybe need more time).

Mando has this need to criticize (or maybe he got pushed by the trolls after his pretty good-spirited column end of game yesterday). Or maybe he bumped his head in the cabin on the flight back. Either way, he's wrong to be critical. The team is going in the right direction, that's all that matters.

atleast we aren't the Jets should be a fan mantra...

Craig M,

If everything on the team was as rosy as your delusional agenda claims....whats your explanation for the perrenial losing? (I'd love to hear this).

YG, if that's you (or still the troll), either way, doesn't matter. Not trying to turn this into a religious discussion, but if you have faith, nothing anyone says should convince you otherwise. And if you don't, nothing anyone says should make you reconsider. Faith is personal, depends on who you are and what you choose to believe.

Either way, I don't care. I just care about the Miami Dolphins having their first franchise QB since Dan Marino, on the road to the 2013 Playoffs!


Your comments this morning AFTER the game yesterday is the same micro-analyze they tried to do on the Golf Channel yesterday AFTER the US lost the Ryder Cup. Analyze it anyway we want, the Cards beat us in OT. Same as the week before, a couple of breaks here or there and we win both games. Encouraging.

I will say this, I knew Sean Smith played well yesterday.....I have no f*cking clue what he was doing on the play that gave up the tying touchdown. How he could be that out of position and have give the guy that much room, I just don't get. We could all see from a mile away that was where Kolb was going. How he couldn't read that better I have NO clue!

As far as coaching yesterday, only thing I really disagreed was, not even trying to win the game with 22 seconds left. Those who dont agree, I heard you yesterday when I posted.

My deal's just, you never know if you could have gotten a busted coverage or deep down the field pass interference, leading to a game winning chipshot fg. On the road you go for the juggler, not the tie with 22 seconds left to play.

I mean, if you read Craig you'd think we won the SB. He's thrilled with losing. TOO FUNNY!!

what about scientologist?

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