Here is what the Dolphins said after Sunday's 27-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and my reaction:
Coach Joe Philbin envisioned making this game close and winning it in the fourth quarter:
"We wanted to play a game where we talked about winning 21-17. We thought it would be that type of game, a close physical football game. In a lot respects it was. But again, in the fourth quarter we had some opportunities to put some more points on the board but we didn’t. Obviously we were too generous. We gave them the ball on the nine-yard line on one possession. They took advantage of that. It was the type of game we envisioned. We told the team all week, ‘I anticipate that we’ll be in a position to win the game in the fourth quarter.’ I told them we had to play a clean game. This is a good football team, we had to execute well. We didn’t make the plays in the fourth quarter. They did. They deserve to win."
Salguero reaction: The Dolphins have scored 21 points only four times in 13 games this year. Sad, but truth is 21 points is wishful thinking by the coach.
The Dolphins tried to get an edge by putting running back Reggie Bush out wide so as to take advantage of a matchup against the linebackers. That advantage didn't last.
“I guess they saw some film and thought they could go 1-on-1 with our linebackers," 'Niners safety Dashon Goldson said. "They did a good job of adjusting, knew that was coming and put a DB on them. We got the best of that."
Salguero reaction: Bush averaged only 7.6 yards per reception. Not dynamic. The fact is Bush this year is averaging 7.8 yards per reception. Maybe it's time we accept the idea he's not quite the mismatch out there as we hoped.
Rookie Jonathan Martin got off to a bad start, giving up a sack to Aldon Smith early on when the NFL's sack leader basically blew Martin up. Smith finished with two sacks against Martin and the Dolphins lineman also had a false start.
“It was decent," Martin said. "He got me on that one bull rush pretty good. There is a reason why he is one of the best pass rushers in the league. He is a good player. It is a really talented defense, talented d-line. It is a tough defense, we didn’t make enough plays to win the game.
“It is a learning experience. I like challenges like that, going against guys that are the best in the league. It took me a little while to get into it, but after a while I felt really comfortable out there."
Salguero reaction: It's his first game and it came against arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL. Martin did ok. He didn't make us forget about Jake Long. It was, indeed, a step back from Long. It'll be interesting to see how much Martin improves over the next three games. So far, he hasn't made anyone forget Long.
Punt returner Marcus Thigpen fumbled a punt inside his own 10 yard line. The 49ers converted the turnover into a touchdown.
“I felt a couple of guys close to me, and I tried to take a peek at the last minute, then I looked back up and I lost the ball," Thigpen said.
Salguero reaction: Marcus Thigpen has been a net plus-plus for the Dolphins this year. He has a kickoff return TD and a punt return TD. Yes, he made a mistake. He also had a 56-yard kickoff return after the San Francisco score. I wish all Dolphins players answered adversity like that.
Cameron Wake had three sacks Sunday. He was more productive than NFL sack leader Aldon Smith.
“I didn’t even realize till just now," Wake said. "I would give away every sack I got for a winning record and opportunities that we are not capitalizing on. It is hard to contribute with that kind of stuff when we are stinking it up."
Salguero reaction: The Dolphins wasted Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas and Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison. They are wasting Cameron Wake's best years.