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The post-mortem from preseason opening loss

After Sunday night's 24-20 loss to the Cowboys, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin did his postgame press conference out on the field, by the end zone. As a group of reporters surrounded him for his four-minute talk, a nearby fan yelled over at the top of his lungs:

"Breaking news," the fan yelled, "the Dolphins still suck."

I wouldn't go that far nor would I make assumptions on a season or even a preaseason based on this preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

But on this night the Dolphins definitely didn't present much of a counter-argument against that heckler.

They didn't just lose this one 24-20, but lost it ugly. They played poorly, they played sloopy, and they got beat. Not a good recipe for turning the thing around in time to start the season fast.

"I told the team I thought we would play better," coach Joe Philbin said. "That's obviously not the way you want to start any football game, I don't care if it's preseason, Game 1, the Super Bowl or any game in between."

The start was ugly. Lamar Miller fumbled on the first offensive play.

The Cowboys recovered inside the Dolphins 10 yard line and scored.

The galling thing?

The defense that started for Dallas was missing every defensive starter in the lineup save one. Yes, coach Jason Garrett sat practically everyone and still won.

"I told our team we've talked a lot about taking the ball away. We've talked a lot about ball security. We spent a lot of practice time but it didn't show up on the field today. We have to go back to work and get that corrected. That's the reason we lost the game and that's what's going to turn this program around more than anything else is us doing a much, much better job in that category."

Yes, it was a bad start for Miller, who is trying to replace Reggie Bush, but he recovered a little bit. He finished with two carries for 21 yards.

"I had to make up for it and look forward to the next play," Miller said. "I was trying to move the chains and help the football team."

Miller added the team, "can only get better."

Obviously. The Dolphins lost the turnover margin, 2-0. One of those was a 75-yard interception return TD by reserve linebacker Devonte Holloman, who picked off Matt Moore. The pick goes on Moore's stat sheet, but the problem was that rookie receiver Chad Bumphis sat down in the zone when Moore was expecting him to run through.

"It was a bad read on my part," Bumphis said. "That one's on me. But I'm going to learn from that and that miscommunication won't happen again."

Bumphis wasn't bad otherwise. He caught five passes for 85 yards to lead the team. Michael Egnew had four catches for 52 yards but had a drop. Keenan Davis had three catches for 48 yards and a TD.

"Keenan Davis made a couple of plays," Philbin said. "Bumphis has caught the ball in practice ... The kid gets open and he catches the ball."

Moore finished the game with 19 completions on 29 attempts for 238 yards. He played most of the second quarter but was forced back in the game in the fourth quarter when third-stringer Pat Devlin "got nicked," according to Philbin.

Dolphins05 rmattsacked jwrI'm sure Moore loved the idea of coming back in the game. He was sacked once (which you see courtesy a photo by Joe Rimkus) and hit hard on multiple occasions as the second-team line -- particularly reserve left tackle Dallas Thomas -- seemed to struggle. Frankly, I'm wondering if Thomas has the quickness to play left tackle. If he does, he didn't show it tonight.

It looked like Devlin took a shot that had him a little glassy-eyed in the locker room afterward.

Speaking of quarterbacks, starter Ryan Tannehill completed two of five passes for 1 yards. His 47.9 QB rating was the lowest of the Miami QBs. His inability to connect on a couple of simple slant throws to WRs showed either his lack or work with those receivers, or a twinge of inaccuracy or both.

Afterward, Tannehill conceded the Dolphins looked ugly.

"It wasn't our cleanest game, wasn't our best game," he said. "I'm glad we can get that one out of the way early. We have four more preseason games before we get into the regular season. So hopefully this was our sloppy game."

The leading rusher on the night for Miami was Jonas Gray. He rushed for 41 yards on seven carries. Gray missed all of last season as he rehabilitated a knee injury from his Notre Dame days. 

"This was a reassurance that my knee is 100 percent," he said.


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Miller fumbles
Dallas Thomas is not going to be elite at anything ever.
Moore > Devlin
Oline is not ready for prime time
Tannehill gets an F
LT gets an F-

How is the vegas line looking now? 7.5?

I stick by my name.

Looked like the same ole' damn Dolphins tonight. The score was close, but, a blowout in the terms of how we played.

How is the vegas line looking now? 7.5?

I stick by my name.

Posted by: 2015 | August 05, 2013 at 12:41 AM

Vegas drops that line to at least 5.5 after witnessing tonight's game.

Tannehill=C- (no Wallace and no hartline) and 7 pass plays does not constitute a failing grade

D.Jordan= B+..very impressive off the rush and dropback coverage tackle

J.Martin/Dallas Thomas= F (very concerning)

M.Moore= D+ (Pick six, and horrible sack inside red zone)

Run Defense= D+ ( that's being nice) 171 yrds is bad no matter who's out there

Red zone oFFENSE = D+ (took two 4th down conversions and one lucky @ss tipped pass to even earn that high a grade

Egnew= B- (had one drop tho)

Did anyone significant get hurt? No? Then this game wasn't that bad for the Fins. It was a super sloppy affair all around and should give the coaching staff a good idea on what needs the most work.

The sky is not falling everyone, we're in year two of the rebuild.

Why do the homers keep saying: "It was a sloppy game?"

It was a sloppy game for the fins only. The damn Cowboys didn't look sloppy.

Skies not falling at all...the only people that were devastated by this loss are the people who thought SB or bust for this team this year...im just grading some performances is all...definitely room for improvement...no arguing that much!!!!Just Sayin!!!!

9 penalties shows the Cowboys were sloppy.

Every preseason game we hand ourselves our own ass and homers say:

"Don't jump the ledge it's only preseason".

Yet we haven't made a playoffs for 4 of the last 5 seasons. Homers are in such denial.

I'm no homer though the Fins looked bad on multiple plays. Anyone can see that.

Common. Let us not overreact here. The big difference in the game were the two turnovers and that is correctable. Yes the defense looked a bit flat, the passing game out of sync, and the rookies played like rookies. Last year I remember the defense looked similarly bad. What you want to see in pre-season games is potential. Teams are looking for unheralded players to flash and to validate draft picks. Dion Jordan looks like a stud out there. Should be hard to keep him off the field. Why not replace Koa Misi with Jordan ? Gillislee looked good. Keenan Davis looked good. Lamar miller looks explosive. Jonas Gray maybe a player. Having said this, the left tackle spot seems scary. Jonathan Martin may yet come around, but what happens if he gets hurt ? Nate Garner ?

Cowboys were sloppy , thay had 5 offside calls, two illegal shift penalties and a PI called...they also had trouble moving the ball in all but one drive in the game and that was in the 4th QTR...they also gave up 3 sacks and fumbled once (and recovered somehow)

I don't now where ppl think dallas was almighty out there for some reason...Miami looked worse but dallas was far from perfect in mistake free football


It isn't sb or bust for me. For once during a preseason I would like to see something that looks like a legit 8-8 regular season team.

The city of Miami would throw a parade for that alone.

Its pre season critics...

This team has only finished 8-8 or better only once in the last 5yrs. Then come out of the preseason looking like the preseason teams of past that failed to post at least and 8-8 record.

If J.Martin doesn't adapt, u can forget about miamis QB tannehill staying upright this season...there is no depth at LT and certainly nobody that can step in for martin if he isn't the answer....Miami made that bed and now they have to live with it all season!!!!

It's just over reaction superPHIN because we lost. Dallas was far from dominant.

I don't now where ppl think dallas was almighty out there for some reason...Miami looked worse but dallas was far from perfect in mistake free football

Posted by: superPHIN | August 05, 2013 at 01:04 AM

Hell, that's the scariest part, Dallas sucks. Yet we proved to suck far worse.

Whats that to say about us when playing bad teams and looking worse?

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | August 05, 2013 at

U do know just as a fun fact that Miami has lost each of every HOF game they've played in the last four previous matchups and gone on to post winning regular season records right???

It's a fricking pre-season game 17, get a grip. I don't care if we never win a pre-season game again as long as we perform in the regular season. That's not homerism, it's just realism. I care more about a loss when the games matter.

Seems you guys don't get it. If we play bad teams and look even worse.

The Pats cant lose enough players to lose the division to us. From tonight's play, the gap between us and the Pats didn't narrow this offseason, it got wider.

We're not beating anybody with this suckety oline. Plus, Tannehill is still showing to have accuracy and ball location issues.

Forget good or even average, we don't even have an NFL-caliber starting LT. I mean, who'd thunk before the draft or during FA.

Well, Ireland knows best, right FanBoys?

Sloppy, p**s-poor performance that does have meaning, because it reflects the continuing, utter ineptitude of Fireland & Phailbin & co.

Dig-in for a long year.

But One-Trick Pony! may get well soon, so who knows what greatness lurks on this putrid squad.

Its not losing a game that makes a fan pessimistic. It's how you lose the game. We were barely competitive against a team that was only 8-8 last season.

Im being extremely fortuitous saying "barely competitive".

Posted by: Darkoak | August 05, 2013 at 01:12 AM

And I agree with u 100%....and while I am concerned about the turnover and Lt issues with this team, they still have plenty of practices and preseason games to fix these problems.... if this had been the final preseason game, then I can understand how people might be skeptical, but in one game, I tend to err on the side of patience and optimism.. theres still a lot of work that needs to be done and its only just started

You know 17 the Pats have lost all their pre-season games before and then dominated the league right. Hell the Phins have one all of their pre-season games and had a terrible year. It pre-season, that's all. Players get evaluated in the first couple games, the plays are vanilla, and things get tried out like Thomas at LT.

Won not one, stupid IPhone. Lol

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | August 05, 2013 at 01:17 AM

so if the pats had opened the preseason and looked the same way Miami looked tonight against dallas...would u just then bury the pats and tom brady after one bad performance on the field????

Im out. Same overly optimistic homerisms to began a season. Then Same tragic endings. Yet they never learn.

I'm not very optimistic about Martin right now. You could see he was barely handling the players he was up against and they were not Demarcus Ware. Ware would dominate him the way Martin is playing right now.

so if the pats had opened the preseason and looked the same way Miami looked tonight against dallas...would u just then bury the pats and tom brady after one bad performance on the field????

Posted by: superPHIN | August 05, 2013 at 01:20 AM

f the Pats looked like this tonight you could call it an anonmolly. With us its a long standing pattern.

Pats have made the playoffs every single Brady season except the one he was injured. Are you nuts?

Well 17,

I guess I wont get an answer to that ? and im not overly optimistic going into the season....but im sure as hell not going to be overly pessimistic after just one freaking game either.

Well, we got our answer. Martin made Vernon look great in camp. Did Vernon even play tonight? I didn't hear his name even once.

superPHINs point an mine as well is that the pre-season is not always indicative of regular season results.

We may have also found that our starting defense has looked so dominant in camp because the offense is a smoldering stink bomb.

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | August 05, 2013 at

annomonly????HUh???/.....they have never looked good in the preseason history wise...neither did the ravens or bengals last year, yet that didn't stop them from turning the corner....u place more emphasis on Miami looking good in one game and shrug off the rest of the teams that also look bad in preseason play...I don't get it

I've actually already spent more time discussing this stinker meaningless pre-season game than I wanted to. Lol

Take care guys, I'm out.

For our defense to be great, we need to find a great offense to practice against.

The defense wasn't ready because it practices and dominates a pea shooter offense every day. Now they know they aren't nearly as good as they thought they were.


I don't think anybody is commending miamis performances tonight as non-concerning but jesus man...they went 7-9 last year in a preseason in which they went 0-4(and looked horrible) where no one thought they would win 4 games that year and they were 2 OT losses from being 9-7....calm down!!!!

No mention of the futility at left tackle? It's one thing to get beat by Demarcus Ware. It's another to get beat by a small, white guy wearing a linebacker number. Jonathan Martin is not an NFL left tackle. He just isn't.

Everything will be fine. Everybody calm down. Theres alot of football to come. As for jmartin, the coaching staff arent a buch of bums, they obviously drafted djordan over a lt because they believe jmartin can get the job done. At the end of the day we have a solid core of elite players yes elite. Let the season roll on and the gelling take place and we will see the vision our miami doplhins coaching staff had planned....ps lamar miller makes reggie bush look old. Wow hes explosive. If u are a real dolfan ur gonna enjoy watching our phins this season.

It is a preseason game. We are a team with a high percentage of new players. Most of the prospective starters did not play or played very little.
I saw some concerns, but I also saw optimism. Take the good with the bad.
If after game five we look like this, we can pass out the cyanide pills.

A lot of overreaction posted here BUT there should be legitimate concern about the LT situation. I do not doubt Martin is a smart, young man; however he seems physically outmatched to be a starter LT in this league. As bad as that situation is, God forbid he gets injured because Thomas was just awful; he better show some improvement these next few games or this season will go down the toilet in a hurry. I thought signing Long was the safer route, he still is young and always thought his late injuries were the result of awful management by Sparano. If he is indeed back to 100% health we are going to look really dumb. For the record I do disagree with those wanting to give Ireland a pass saying this is still a rebuilding effort. NO, 9-7, at least playoff contention or he must go!

Philbin appears lost and the Dolphins came out flat. #70 Thomas the rookie OL looked absolutely awful. Nice uniform but otherwise unimpressive play.

The Dolphins have neither an NFL quality team nor NFL quality uniforms. Who wants to watch these jerseys in high def ? Wear your shades.

Wow...the first of 5 preseason games and people are freaking out...Lamar Miller fumbled...it happens. He then averaged 10yrds per the next 3 times he touched the ball. Tannehill thew 5 passes, that is no barometer on anything. I don't think we are a super bowl team by any means, but we should be in the hunt all season and look to be on the way up for the first time in a long time. You can't fix everything in a year, even if Martin isn't the permanent answer at LT, maybe next year thats fixed and he goes back to right...Its only his second season. You know who got sacked more than any other QB in the league last year...Arron Rogers. I'm not saying Tannehill can carry his jock at this point, if ever, or we are as good a team as they are by any stretch at this point, but its worth thinking about.

Grampa Philby can't coach...
When they hired him the reaction was... who ??
When they fire him...who ??


Tannehill is inaccurate. Accuracy does not improve. Fielder, Frerotte, Henne, Tannehill...inaccurate. Sorry folks, seen a lot of football. Decision making can be improved, athleticism, strength etc... Accuracy does not get better. Last year he threw behind receivers...so far in camp and in this game, he has thrown behind receivers. It won't get better. Tannehill is a bust, Ireland and Philbin will be fired.

What on earth do you mean accuracy can't improve? That is a ridiculous statement, no offense. Matt Ryan's completion percentage last year was 7.5 points better than his rookie year...and oh yeah, 10.3 points better than his 2nd season. Labron James couldn't take over a game and hit jumpers if you took away his inside drive 5 yrs ago, look at him now. Practice, repetition, and hard work and that can certainly improve. He played 19 games at QB in college, and started from game one as a rookie and threw for over 3200 yards...he must have accurately thrown the ball to someone last year...do me one favor before you respond to this please. Pull up John Elways career stats and look at his numbers in his first 5-6 seasons...I'm not saying Tannehill is a future HOF QB, but don't be so over the top silly man/gal.

Also, on a totally different subject...

Im being extremely fortuitous saying "barely competitive".

I can't resist. LOVE FAKING 17, you don't know how to use the word fortuitous...unless you actually feel that you used the words "barely competitive" by some sort of Extreme accident or you were just Extremely lucky enough to find those words...maybe the word forgiving is what you were looking for? Sorry, my ex was a school teacher and would hammer me and everyone else for any grammar mistakes in life. I now have the compulsion to take it out on everyone else in an attempt to purge her from my soul....Go Fins!

Dallas was the Team more prepared, more decisive. It showed. Why? I don't know. They had the same amount of time as we did to prepare for this Game.

You're going to say, but we didn't have our starters! Neither did they. And they committed no mistakes like we did that ended up in points against us. Terrible thing when a Team does not execute well. What to do? Kick them in the asss, reevaluate how you practice, wait. What?

Most everybody sukkked on that Field so evaluating individual performances is a waste of time. Those all sukkked. However, from a talent standpoint it seems that we have acquired some serious talent. The kid Will Davis will be a very good CB once he learns a little bit more. Dion Sims was open a couple of times in the end zone. And of course, Dion Jordan is Dion Jordan.

Wow, look at all the negativity after 1 game where players are either rusty or new to the team. Whilst winning preseason games are good for confidence, losing can sometimes give you a better insight into your teams mental ability / attitude and the ability to improve when the coaches are trying to correct any errors.

Why wasn't Dallas rusty and I'm sure they have as many new players as we have? Excuses will carry you nowhere. Face the Truth.

While a sentiment here exists to not be reactionary, it's hard not to be when what we saw on the field looked so familiar. Miami looked worse everywhere on the field compared with Dallas' backups.

Yeah it's still early and it's just the preseason, but I do think there is a takeaway from last night's performance and that is our offensive line is woefully inadequate. The dolphins need to do something before September to upgrade the line or this will be another year laden with disappointments.

This very sloppy performance on our part ultimately has to fall on the Coaches. Lack of adequate preparation for this Game.

Who is aligning the D line? They were ripping us apart with 3 or 4 TEs formations. The Coaches???

Listen, you better shape up or there will be few in the stands for the opening Game of this Season.

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