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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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agree with mike on Hartline's skills... But Bowe would be the guy I'd goto near the endzone. Strong physical WR. I like Justin Hunter WR next year. He will be the next Randy Moss.

Woah Mike,

We obviously rate WR's in different ways...and that's fine.

Ask around the league, ask around the blog who they would rather have Dwayne Bowe or Hartline? The answer would be be pretty lopsided in favor of Bowe. Just sayin.

I get that Hartline is a likeable, hard working, People's Choice, Rocky Balboa, Rudy type of WR that HAS GOT talent...but things are about more than about ypc bud. Tedd Ginn had a nice YPC too...is he a great WR?

Cheers,

jpao And Carpenter last year he was 11-12 from 40-49, best in the NFL. You don't cut a kicker that does that.

How many active players have over 250 yrds receiving in a game? How many players in the history of nfl?

We are talking talent. Bowe is 4.55 40, Harline is 4.4 40. Bowe is 6'2" 225, Hartline 6'2" 200. Bowe is 28, Harline is 26.

I will proceed now and make my spaghetti Carbonara with a twist.(in honor of RT).

I am not sure what got into Carpenter. I hope, just like baseball players hit out of a slump he does too or he will have major job issues as time marches on.

I can definitely point to a point late in the Jets game that Tannehill took all those shots instead of running into the line for a few more yards. When they all fell incomplete they panned to the sideline for a quick shot of Carpenter and he actually kicked the sideline locker in disgust. Could that have taken him off his A Game? I sure as heck dunno but he is not the same guy of late for sure.

I don't think I would have tried any 50+ yarders except to end a game with him until he had a few more kicks made under 45-46 yards in an actual game myself.

Kickers have always been a quirky bunch. Many seem to skip around the league hence Feely used to play for us making the game winning 46 yarder. Go figure?

If Carpenter is the 2011 model we are 3-1 though.

Cheers,

Yes its a loss, but we will take any joy we can get. And there was enogh to be joyfull about.

And dont forget DEVONE BESS! The brilliance of the Hartline / Tannehill performance should not overshadow Bess's big numbers and huge clutch catches. He is the real deal.

Right now I'd rather have Hartline... He is leading the league in receiving yards with a rookie QB. No preseason or camp also. He is blowing minds right now across the NFL.

The Dolphins need to get Lamar Miller more touches. Daniel Thomas has had 26 touches in four game with 84 yards and 1 TD. Lamar Miller has had 23 touches with 126 yards and 1 TD. In short, Miller has been almost 5 times more effective than Thomas with less touches. I ain't no rocket scientist, but Lamar Miller needs to see the field more.

Mike,

How come on a WR talent starved team, Hartline is just now putting up some big games?

Bowe has done things over a period of time. Hartline has had a handful of games where he has shined. So few that most every blogger was begging Ireland for more help at WR through the draft and FA/Trades.

I like Hartline, got zero against the guy. Wait till he starts getting doubled and they roll more coverage his way. Wait until he slips one too many times for a pick 6 or hurts himself he tries so hard.

Let's have a friendly wager. Hartline is leading the NFL right now in yards. I bet he won't finish in the top 10! That's falling 10 spots and we are 1/4 into the league year! *Note, this is coming from a person that hopes I lose the bet I'm making as that would mean that Hartline excels ALL season long.

You in?

Cheers,

: Rob in OC | October 01, 2012 at 01:18 PM

The issue with his #'s is more about the type of O the Cheifs are using than about the talent level of the player. Say what you will about X-K.C. Coach T.Haley but a couple of Seasons ago in 2010 when they employed a more vertical game with Cassell throwing for well over 3,000 yards with 27 T.D.'s and only 7 picks (remember the #'s because of the low picks) I believe Bowe had his best Yr. with something like 1,200 rec. yards on 70 receptions that works to something like a 16 yard average.

I believe in being the Cinderella crew that yr. winning the AFC West. Hartline is an over achiever and a better athlete than our other hard worker Bess but that comparison somebody threw is crazy in terms of the more all around WR in comparison to Dwayne Bowe who in fairness has been saddled with mediocre QB play himself since coming out of LSU.

DeanD, how do you get 5 x more effective. What kind of math are you using. Two time more effective would be Thomas 84, Miller 168. What math are you using LMAO.

Excuse me on that last post from one paragraph to the next meant to say the Chiefs were the 2010 Cinderella team

DeanD,

Rocket science aside but 420 yards and 5 TDs would be 5 times more effective than Thomas this year...but I agree whole heartedly that Miller will end up being a better pro than Daniel Thomas.

Cheers,

jpao And Carpenter last year he was 11-12 from 40-49, best in the NFL. You don't cut a kicker that does that.
Posted by: mike | October 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM

Mike - So we aren't going to cut him (Despite my wish to do so). The salary issue will prevent it.

But please don't tell me his stats from LAST YEAR. This is a new coaching regime. A new QB. A new year. A new opportunity to make it to the playoffs. A chance to turn the tide for this franchise.

THIS YEAR we are 1-3 and not 3-1. The fact is that he is 62.5% total and 25% when we needed him to rise to the occassion and help us close out close games. He is NOT carrying his weight THIS YEAR. Plain and simple!

Armando,
I have been with you the last 2 weeks about this play calling and it is very upsetting about these losses. Then it hit me last night and now I am torn. Does Sherman call the plays of the old regime with the ground and pound approach because our current players fit that offensive style or does he call the plays of the offensive style that he and Philbin are trying to install so our current players learn how to run a west coast aggressive attacking offense?
Not one Dolphan questioned the play call to air it out to Hartline and be aggressive at that point. And last week wouldn't you rather have a coach calling multiple shots to the end zone to Hartline to try to win the game rather than playing for the FG??
Last year Sparano was crucified for playing for FG's and fist pumping after them. This year Sherman is crucified for NOT playing for a FG in the Jets game and instead airing it out.
I want our team to win more than ANYTHING. I have been furious over the plays called, but these coaches are training these players to attack and go for the throat. Sure we could MAYBE have won these games if things had gone different, but wouldn't it just be like 2008 all over again?? Great 1st year of new regime and then what? This coaching staff is playing for now AND the future. These are young players and they will learn how to win like this, but it will take growing pains and we are experiencing them.
Last thing to say about my point: When NE came back against Buffalo yesterday and took the lead, did they sit on the ball and try to ride a 7 or 14 point lead for the win?? I don't know the complete story of that game, but I seem to remember a final of 52-28. That was 45-7 2nd half points by NE with a worse offensive line and a worse defense than us. NE attacked until they broke the will of the Bills. And things didn't go right for NE in the 1st half, but they persevered and won.
As will we.

I don't understand how a few of you can watch yesterday's game and have negative comments about Tennehill. He has outplayed every QB this year we've played against except Schaub. His stats (QB rating) are starting to improve. His accuaracy was outstanding yesterday. The receivers are playing better even though we only have two good ones and could use a true number 1 and pass catching TE. The late fumble was a missed assignment from O Line. His only problem is trying to make too many plays and having too much confidence that he can throw into any hole. We rarely have receivers wide open compared to the teams we play against. Basically we need 1 or 2 more pass catchers and another corner. And we need Carpenter to pull his head out of his arse. He is a talented kicker ,but has lost confidence and better find it in a hurry. Losing sucks, but there are finally some things to be excited about. We sucked for a long time now. It's nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel FINALLY.

Rob in OC, I'll take that bet.

jpao, the fact of the matter is that a coaching staff has to look at prior years to see if this is a talent issue, or a slump. Your not going to cut a kicker that is capable of 40-55 in a career in FG 40-49. You can't look at a player in a vacuum. You have to see what he's done in the past as well as in the present. I mean no coach would ever just look at a 3 game series to make a personnel decision. That would be completely stupid.

fin4life, (sup bud)

Very true regarding Bowe. He has had a tough draw at QB/scheme just like Hartline with years of Henne/Henning.

I will cross my fingers and hope that Hartline continues to produce.

This whole bombs away thing definitely caught AZ off guard as I think they thought trough reputation and home field alone that Miami would try to run much more.

It will be interesting to see how teams defend us in the near future.

Cheers,

We need another corner who can cover and a receiver who can catch. Desperately!

And remember AZ probably has the best D backfield in the NFL with the loss of Revis in NY.

Mike @ 1:40

You are on Pal!!! (virtually) Put er there!

May the most visionary man win...I mean, may you win and me lose so Hartline can have a great year! lol

Cheers,

Just come back in and post either way...I will.

As I will lol.

Time will tell Mike @ 1:50.

Cheers,

The season is still young, we still need a WR and a TE and a couple of DB's and a GM that will go out a find what's needed. Oh I forgot, theres always next year in the Draft and in the meantime let this year go down in the cellar.

Sad to sit by helpless and watch as nothing will happen.

Thanks for pointing out Mike Sherman's bad play calling. He cost them the game.

I thought his worst play called was a 3rd and forever when the game was 13-0. It was a 50+ field goal where the ball stood. A good play caller with good situational awareness would have been playing for a field goal there. A field goal makes it 16-0 and a 3 score game. Your odds of getting the first down aren't good. Just call a draw and pick up 5-8 yards instead of going for the first down. Carpenter has been struggling from 48+ this year. So, call a play that makes it a 45 yarder rather than a 51 yarder.

If the score went to 16-0, the Dolphins would have one. Mike Sherman showed poor situational awareness. That's an obvious draw call if he's paying attention to the big picture.

Armando, do you permit impersonating here?

It's pretty obvious Philbin isn't happy with Clay or Naanee and his pass-blockers yesterday, judging from his comments today on Barry Jackson's blog.

Chat with you gents later...cheers all

Well, if it is to be so that I'm impersonated here, then, let it be so.

Tannehill sucks in the 4th quarter.

It will be interesting to see how teams defend us in the near future.

Cheers,

Rob in OC | October 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM

I believe you were prophetic in your 1:35 post regarding how teams will defend Miami in the upcoming games. I can see the F.S. rolling Hartline's way while keeping everything with Bess and Fasano in front of them. We need more creativity with both Bush and Miller playing in the slot were both can do damage. I saw Miller plenty at UM and he can catch which some have questioned on here but in honesty we haven't seen Bush in the pass game yet either and believe it more a matter of pass protection at this point. The lack of a true threat BIG WR or T.E. is hurting us as well in the redzone were we keep bogging down with everybody selling out on the run causing some forced throws and low % plays.

If Hartline gets double teamed that is exactly what we want out of #1. A guy that demands double coverage opens up other WR and the middle of the field... He essentially is B Marshall without the drops.

Armando has said he'd ban anyone spewing racism or impersonating names. Just ignore it.

I repeat myself...at the risk of being rude...there must be 50 ways to leave your kicker!! Hope you don't mind the Paul Simon reference.

THIS YEAR we are 1-3 and not 3-1. The fact is that Carptenter is 62.5% total and 25% when we needed him to rise to the occassion and help us close out close games. He is NOT carrying his weight THIS YEAR. Plain and simple!

If he misses another one against the Bengals > 40 is that problem? Or do we go to week 6 and lose that one because we can't rely upon him? Unfortunately, the team won't cut him due to salary.

So, Philbin will be forced to punt unless we can't get within 40 yards. That's a pretty big disadvantage for a rookie QB. Wouldn't you say Mike?

oscar has no life

101 excuses for Tannehill. Amazing.

Jpao, I absoutley agree with you regarding Carpenter, he's a Kicker for Christ sake. I asked Mike how many more games will he cost us before we cut him 2 more? 3 more? Yea lets wait till Carpenter costs us 2 more games before we cut him... Better yet let him cost us 3 games maybe then he'll be out of his slump.

I am just angry that we could be 3-1. I hate arguing wiht Mike or anyone else here. I hate calling for players', coaches' and GM's heads to roll. That is not my style or thing. I want to be optimistic and I want to be confident with the lead in the 4th QTR.

I see progress being made, I see a team that is playing competitively. I am behind this coaching staff and I am behind this rookie QB.

But I see players like Carpenter and Nanee who are negatively impacting the game in the few times they take the field and it makes me sick. There inability to be a consistent pro is killing this season.

Why does ESPN hate the Dolphins so?

The Longest passing play of the entire weekend and it doesnt even crack thier Top 10 Plays today.

There were at least 4-5 far less spectacular passing plays that made it and the best of all doesnt even get in. ESPN is spoiling thier legitimacy with me with the Fins hate.

If any team other than the Miami Dolphins completes a 80yd td pass, its automatically in ESPN's Top 5. Its amazing how ESPN hates the Dolphins.

I guess Chris Berman's still stewing how we owned his Bills in the 70's. LOL

I wouldnt cut Naanee (but I would definitely have him inactive tho)....Matthews should be activated-he was the best WR in preseason and should be given an opportunity. Real disappointed with Armstrong and Thomas-both are quickly playing themselves out of Miami....Miller should be #2 (use him on screens as well)....Clemmons is definitely weak link on d now (everyone else is steadily improving)

How many passes has Naanee caught so far this season?

After reading the posts on this blog I get the feeling Ireland will have to upgrade his home game attire.Along with those funny sunglasses he will have to ad a bulletproof vest,steel toed shoes and head protection gear.the fans are restless and clamoring for someone to blame,better yet if they lose next week it would be better not to attend the Rams game.

I guess Chris Berman's still stewing how we owned his Bills in the 70's. LOL

Yesterday's Gone | October 01, 2012 at 02:46 PM

Going all the way back to the days of NFL PRIMETIME it's amazing the bias Berman openly had for the Bills!

"Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!"

Yeah!! Until it came time to play the S.B. LOL!!

I was always a fan of Berman and his slap stick style of doing highlights which was truly pioneering and all have tried to copy since but your right about the bias.

I can wear Speedos or bikini briefs and people do not run screaming or begin vomiting uncontrollably. As a matter of fact, both men and women observe my toned body and attractive 'package' with lust, envy and RESPECT for how fit I am.

I am positive this is not the case for you dullard fatties.

Losers find a way to lose.

can wear Speedos or bikini briefs and people do not run screaming or begin vomiting uncontrollably. As a matter of fact, both men and women observe my toned body and attractive 'package' with lust, envy and RESPECT for how fit I am.
I am positive this is not the case for you dullard fatties.

Posted by: Dr. Kenneth Thistle | October 01, 2012 at 03:00 PM

Do you cam or are you located in Canada by chance?

YG,

Nobody though HATED the Dolphins more than Howard Cossell who Shula once kicked out of the locker room. I'll NEVER forget the one time Shula made him look STUPID on Monday Night.

It was the game were Shula had Griese on a 4th down from our own 8 or 10 yardline with a little under 20 seconds go for it Vs. Pitt. and Cossell was in the booth saying, "Shula has gone crazy what the hell do they think there doing"

Then Griese starts running around backwards eating all the clock and Cossell kept it up with "What the hell are they doing" then when time expired Griese takes the safety for the one point win.

The point was not punting out of the endzone giving the Steelers a shot at getting the tie or worse. He had to eat his words and say,"Well Shula outsmarted us all" great memory!!

LOL fin4life, if that story is true pretty funny..

Clue it's true, I thimk I was about 12 or 13 years old, I remember that.

Yes, it is absurd the lack of respect we get!

T-Hill had the most yards by a rookie this year! Hartline definitely got the most Wr yards!

The game went into overtime! That play was to go ahead in the 4th qtr answering right back to an Arizona score.

Chris Berman has lost all integrity with his bias. Just as bad as tom Jackson and his bronco bandwagon! Never liked that about the 2.

ohiofinsfan4life:

I agree with you.

I was in miami for the Raiders game and I live in MD..The fans are so wimpy there in general..sitting on their hands most of the game..there was about 10,000 no shows and I have pics to prove it..they dont support the fins..they're sick of losing and Miami has so many "other" things to offer...south beach, sailing, etc etc..many distractions..Hell, my wife's cousin sd he was a Heat fan more than a fins fan..

That is part of the problem..the fans or fan base needs a good whupping into shape..

Miami vs the bungles is a good bet, too..We have beaten them..if I recall,,probably 80% of the time all time..take fins and the points, at least..We have to find a way to win..I grew up in cleve...

Later

Tony T

Tony t

LOL fin4life, if that story is true pretty funny..

Clue | October 01, 2012 at 03:09 PM

Clue,

I'm sure it's out there in youtube land, try looking up Griese taking safety Vs. Steelers Monday night or something. It was afterward considered one of the smartest plays ever. Shula would have a few with the fake spike being another all time doozy!

You're close, fin4life.

The clock did not expire on that intentional safety--the Steelers got the ball back after the free kick with a shot to win--but it did prevent Miami from having to punt very deep in their own territory.

The problem is just play calling and that is all. I watch these games and canot buy the life of me figure out why he continues to pass rather than run the clock or let Tannehillroll out and run. Keep the clock running and if we do not make the first down punt them deep and let them have to drive at least 80 yards for a tying touchdown with not much time left.

Also, it was not a one-point win. Dolphins 30-Steelers 26 was the final.

wes | October 01, 2012 at 03:25 PM

Wes,

I must have been 7 or 8 years old and it was a Monday night game (a bit late for me back then) but remember it and Cossell eating his words. I watched it with my old man who was laughing his as s off!

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