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Saints beat Dolphins (who are not elite)

NEW ORLEANS -- It's only one loss. No big deal. You didn't expect the Dolphins to go undefeated, did you?

Indeed, I believe the Dolphins are still a good team. But they are not elite for reasons I detail in my column in The Herald.

That doesn't make this 38-17 loss any less painful.

"We're not happy," said quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is pictured getting sacked in the Joe Rimkus photo. "You don't want to perform like that in any situation. So we're not happy with ourselves. But there are things we can correct. and at the end of the day we have a big game coming up in six days. We have to learn from our mistakes in this game and look forward to next week and beat Baltimore."Tannehill sack

Learning from mistakes is important. Learning what your team does very well and doesn't do very well also is important.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton, for whatever reason, understood that Darren Sproles was a matchup nightmare for the Dolphins and no matter what Miami did Sproles made plays. He caught seven passes for 114 yards including a 48-yard catch on a double move that fooled safety Reshad Jones.

"We tried variety of different coverages," Philbin said. "We tried zone, we tried man. We tried pressures. Sproles is very good. We knew he was a good going into the game and we tried different combinations but he was very effective. No question."

The Dolphins, particularly on offense, are still trying to figure out their personnel. They tried Marcus Thigpen in the backfield throughout training camp and finally unveiled it Monday night. It worked as Thigpen caught a 50-yard pass out of the backfield.

But the Dolphins tried this only a couple of times. Not nearly enough to make a difference.

Meanwhile, the team apparently still is convinced Daniel Thomas is a good option in place of Lamar Miller. Think about it:

The Saints scored on their first series but the Dolphins seemed to respond immediately. Lamar Miller rushed five times for 33 yards and, mixed with a couple of Ryan Tannehill completions and a keeper on the read-option, Miami was at the New Orleans 9 yard line.

And then on third and an inch that is where the coaching staff decides it's a good time to bring in Daniel Thomas. And they think a wide pitch three yards deep is the play to run.

Yeah, the play lost two yards.

"It's a play we practiced all week," Philbin said. "We told the players going into the game we like it. It was a variation off a similar play we'd had success with and we didn't execute it as well. But I knew we were going to call it. We practiced it. We were prepared. They made a better play."

Quarterback sneak. Just sayin'.

Also, can I officially request the Dolphins use Lamar Miller on first and second down and Thigpen on third down? And leave Thomas and his 2.8 yards per carry this season on the bench? Please? Miller rushed 11 times for 62 yards, which is a 5.6 yards per carry average.

The Dolphins defense, by the way, is very good against the run. The return of Paul Soliai -- who told me he comes out of this game without re-injurying his knee -- was key and that's perhaps one reason the Saints averaged only 2.8 yards per carry on 244 attempts. They're like a team version of Daniel Thomas.

But Miami's pass defense was atrocious.

Drew Brees threw for 413 yards. He threw four TD passes. His passer rating was 144.5.

And after a week when the Dolphins focused on stopping Jimmy Graham and prepared to stop Jimmy Graham, there was Jimmy Graham dunking the football over the crossbar -- twice.

"We have to do better on defense," Philbin said. "We don't want Jimmy Graham running down the middle of the field wide open."

Yeah, he did that on a 43-yard TD. The Saints ran a sluggo-seam to get Graham open. New Orleans had a receiver on the other side of the formation run a slant and go which drew the safety in that direction. And then Graham just ran past Chris Clemons down the seam. Easy.

(Graham caught the other TD surrounded by three, count 'em, three defenders. Kid's amazing.) 

Miami's deep threat, meanwhile, didn't show much in his hometown. He caught three passes for 24 yards. That's an 8-yard average. He dropped two passes, including a deep shot that might have been a TD.

We were executing our offense but you have to hold on to the ball.

"He made a good play on the ball," Wallace said of the DB on the play. "I don't think he tipped it. I feel like I should have made a play on the ball."

Everyone agreed on this: The Dolphins cannot win a game in which Tannehill throws three interceptions and fumbles the ball away once.

"I feel like we made plays but at the same time we killed ourselves at times," Wallace said. "We have to finish drives and not give up turnovers. We have to make the plays when they count. We can't turn the ball over in scoring territory, especially against a good football team like this, because they're going to capitalize when we make mistakes like that."


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Other good players: Odrick, Clay, Wake (great), Gibson.

Also cocoa, apparently the oline had the nerve to talk trash to the Saints DL throughout the game (even when they were getting the snot kicked out of them). And that further enraged the Saints. They said they wanted to inflict even more pain (with sacks, etc). Plain stupid. Rule 1 in sport, when you're losing badly, STOP TALKING!

Posted by: DC Dolfan | October 01, 2013 at 04:00 PM
What? You're kidding, right? OMG, that's just really stupid. Sounds like something Incog would do but Pouncey? Oh, that's right, he had a 'Free Hernandez' hat.

Well, at least I don't live in that $hithole state.

Strange Game. We could not be that bad as we were last night after beating two pretty darned good Teams this Season. Is NO that good? I don't believe so either, they struggled vs TB and had not looked so magnificent until last night. Then? Well...Hmm...





The offensive side of the ball still has no talent.

No Oscar, Phins played very bad which enhanced NO play that was pretty good to Unreal. Simple as that. Move on from the negative my child and move the focus to the Ravens. JEEZ people.

Yeah, Pouncey isnt the sharpest tool in the shed haha

thank you 3watt, Jets fans are noted

And yes mando's commentary is fair. They are a good team - probably a 5 or 6 seed in the AFC but elite - not with performances like that...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | October 01, 2013 at 09:42 AM


Just laughing at a lot of people reading this and that into everything. Realistically, not much has changed since the season began. We haven't put together a REAL SOLID game yet. We just found ways to win in the first 3 weeks. Pretty impressively if I say so myself.

What last night boils down to is that we're not yet good enough to overcome turning the ball over 4 or 5 times a game. Of course, not many teams are and especially not against Drew Brees' and the Saints.....AT HOME!

We still have to get the O-Line fixed, we still have young players that **WILL** develop and we still have to get over some injuries. But just because we lost to the Saints at Home doesn't mean were not becoming a high powered passing team. We've made progress.

We still have all the problems we had and we're still making some good progress. We just happened to commit the Cardinal Sin(5 times-LOL)and Bree's, being who he is, made us PAY! Simple as that in my opinion.

This wasn't directed at you Mark, I just wanted to get that out there. But the reason I posted to you is because you called Armando's commentary fair.....?

I have to disagree, I don't consider **OVER-Stating** the **HECK** out of the obvious "Fair Commentary".

Let's be honest, saying that Miami isn't elite is kind of like saying Condoleeza Rice is **NOT** Hot.

You know what I'm saying...........?

4 weeks ago, a majority of people figured us for a Non-Playoff, .500 team at best. And suddenly Armando feels it necessary to state that we're not elite-LOL?

It's like a Scientist calling a press conference to announce: The Earth Is ROUND!

See what I'm saying........?

Yeah.......ah.......sorry Mark, just not quite what I would call "Fair Commentary".

In Summation: C'Mon ARMANDO!!!!

Strange Game. We could not be that bad as we were last night after beating two pretty darned good Teams this Season. Is NO that good? I don't believe so either, they struggled vs TB and had not looked so magnificent until last night. Then? Well...Hmm...

Posted by: oscar canosa | October 01, 2013 at 04:22 PM

4 turnovers.

Begining of story, end of story. Nuff Said!

It's time to get back to work on a short week and focus on Baltimore.

Odin, I think (not) 'serious playoff contenders' would have been a more appropriate phrase by Mando. I never cared for the word elite anyway. Gets used way too much

Odin, Wish I would have said that, like I did 30 posts ago, all these people just want to hate hate hate. I don't think ANY NFL team would have done any better against NO with 4, count them 4 turnovers. Yup, NUFF said, and move on haters.

I just can't seem them going far as long as Mike Sherman is the OC! Can't they get someone with some imagination. Also, these 3rd and long conversions against them are absurd!!!

Tannehill is back to his 29th QB ranking where he was all of last year.

So either Miami is still waiting for the pieces to fall into place for that "signature" big win where all phases of the team play great football....Or.....this team overachieved mightily the first three weeks of the season and squeezed every last bit of talent they could out of a wretched offensive line, awful secondary, and questionable starting quarterback. Hope the former is true.

Well look at you sad dolphfans crying over your sorry team! Makes me feel wonderful, here's some facts to go on.

1. Doplhins suck
2. Tannegirl is garbage
3. Your OL is horrible
4. No run game
5. Your #1 free FA WR Wallace sucks
6. You won't beat anyteam in the division twice
7. You will lose the next 3 games
8. Your GM is horrible

Odin, I hear what you're saying brother. But to me the reason I'm saying it's fair is maybe I was just so dejected by Tannehill's play yesterday. Unlike some, i could care less if this o line is ok, or that RB is soft, or if that cb is injured. To me all these players are easily swapped out especially when you have billions in cap space and an owner willing to cut cheques. However, the most important thing is the QB who can put up 20+ points a game and take care of teh football. This is the way you ensure long term success in the NFL. I don't ever want to see Tannehill play like that again. It hurts and concerns me deeply. I want him to be a top 10 qb ..and top 10 QBs don't turn the ball over 4 times (yes I realize Peyton Manning turned the ball over 3 times in the playoffs last year) teams that have that kind of QB play lose ...

I don't care how many times you run this play in practice and how successful it is. This is just not a play you run on 3RD AND INCHES.

With such a short distance for a 1ST DOWN, you don't want to run AWAY from the LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, You want to ATTACK the line of SCRIMMAGE.


Posted by: Sam I Am | October 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM

I'll bet Dollars to Doughnuts that Philbin has repeated this to himself a Hundred Times since last night.

His wife heard him mummbling this at Breakfast this morning.

Two things........

1. Philbin isn't going to "OUT" Sherman PUBLICLY.

2. Sherman obviously **THOUGHT** he saw something in the Saints Defense that would allow this play to catch them sleeping. He's been around long enough, he knows better. He **THOUGHT** and he **THOUGHT WRONG**.

In laymans terms: He got cocky(why, I don't know)and He got too cute.........AGAIN.
= = = = = = = = =

The GOOD news, we won't see anymore bullshyt the rest of the year, when it's 3rd and less than a yard.

nice try 3 watt, but he's 18th in the league in Qb rating and 14th in passing yards. Not bad, pretty much what we expected this year - he needs to get better though - and the rest of the roster and coaching needs to get much better.

The GOOD news, we won't see anymore bullshyt the rest of the year, when it's 3rd and less than a yard.

Posted by: odinseye | October 01, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Not trying to bust your balls but what do you base that on?

The Dolphins lost,It happens but rather than making accusations and placing blame I will come back later this week and post my 3 stats that I follow later in the week just writing now that the Dolphins lost all three of them.This is the first game out of ONLY four where one team has lost in all three categories

Sean Payton is a SCAB. Fact.

No big deal< 1 bad game on the road against what may be the best team in the NFL. No worries, they will get this thing back on track next week, it means more to win against the afc teams than nfc anyway, so we are still in good position and besides the patriots schedule is getting much tougher and they just lost vince wilfork for the year. All is good in the afc east, just keep watchin'.

King thats what this blog is for, its so us wizards can blame someone for the loss and make our great recommedations.
We need to get the facts when Armando drops the hammer on players that didnt make the grade when he writes his article that uses the PFF stats.
Until then we can only complain about what we saw with our naked eyes.So King pick a different screen name and join in the fun Be wary of the monitors on this blog and their different screen names.

The Phins lost one game. It's not like anyone was predicting we'd be undefeated. One game that most said we probably would lose so getting crazy and jumping to conclusions is a waste of our time. All of a sudden the pretend fans and trolls know it all again. They told us all how it was going to be...and blah blah blah. The fact is all players, coaches and everyone on the planet have bad days. Too funny just do like I do and laugh at them.

Miami has the Dolphins
The Gayist Football Team
We take the ball go Three and Out
Like no ones ever seen
Were in the air, were on the ground
Were always out of control

And when you say Miami
Youre talking Super Bowl
When the season is over
You'll find that its a Joke

We are 3-1 and many of you are burning down the house, SMH.


1- We make that first down on inches, go down and score...

2- Wallace catches the ball and just happens to run it in and score....

3- THILL does not fumble or throw that interception...

4- Carrol or whatever the DB that intercepts the ball away from Sproles for a pick 6...

Everybody would be talking about how great we played and how the coaches had the team prepared and the game plan was awesome, and their all geniuses. Ugh!

The game is about execution, our young inexperienced team made a lot of mistakes and just didn't execute against a top 5 elite team. Simple as that fact.

Get over it fast, keep a short memory and start focusing on Balitmore. How the team responds in the next game may very well determine the course of the season.

The poor execution in this game was on the players and its history, but refocusing the team for the next game, a conference game is on the coaches. Keep your chin up, it's a LONG season.

Here's all I want to see...how they play the Ravens. How do these guys respond to a poorly played game? Happens to every team in the league even the 49ers played bad the first two weeks this year. We played horribly against a good team and deserved to lose. Now we'll have to see if we can rise up and play better. I believe they can.

Miami has the Dolphins
The Gayist Football Team
We take the ball go Three and Out
Like no ones ever seen
Were in the air, were on the ground
Were always out of control

And when you say Miami
Youre talking Super Bowl
When the season is over
You'll find that its a Joke

Nice post Sam, but I have one exception, our Coordinators. may I "Point/Counterpoint" your post.......?

What I Learned Last Night:

1. Tannehill is far from a finished product.

-I agree, but I knew this long before last night. Tannehill was the 2nd most RAW and INEXPERICED QB **EVER** to have been taken that high in draft.

-He's just about won me over. I now believe the Kid can be REALLY GOOD!
- - - - - -

2. Neither offensive tackle looks like the future of our offense. Unless, Martin's moved back to RT, after finding his true replacement at LT.

-The O-Line does appear to be our Achilles Heel. We will find out if Martin is good enough THIS YEAR! He's battling and he has a chance in my opinion. A slim one.

-Pouncey is GOLD! Cog's and Clabo to old and that LEAVES Jerry. Can we leave him? I wish we would have left him. I don't think he makes it at guard or tackle, a depth player at best(Still think we should of kept Samuda).

-Dallas Thomas was our weak attempt at addressing the O-Line this last draft. I know we had a lot of needs and we couldn't address everything. But I don't think Thomas ever plays/starts inside or out in the NFL. Not even as a depth player. Not even worth the roster spot IMHO. Hope I'm wrong.

-This all spells a major overhaul for the O-Line and it has to be done quick enough to make a difference NEXT Year. To me, this means it will require a big name free agent or TWO. We'll have to replace everyone except Pouncey, Cogs(for a year or two)and maybe Martin.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. Nolan Carroll is a 3rd-4th cb at best.

-Been saying this since day 1. Thank Jeffy for Davis and Taylor. Carroll's days are numbered.
- - - - - - - - - - - -

4. We have safety issues with both Jones and Clemons.

-Both regressing at the SAME TIME? WTF....?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. We have coordinator issues. OC Sherman is having onset dimensia. DC Coyle was GROSSLY outcoached or out strategized by Saints play calling and offensive staff.

Coyle shouldn't even have the balls to look himself in the mirror this morning.

Posted by: Sam I Am | October 01, 2013 at 02:05 PM

-I have to take exception with this last one Sam.

-First, I think Sherman struggles and tries to get "Too Cute" too often because of our O-Lines lack of execution. I honestly believe that if our O-Line played better and gave us any tiny amount of balance, that Sherman's play calling would improve accordingly. Just my opinion.

-Second, I think Coyles doing a great job considering the QB's and the offenses we have faced so far.

-Granted, he looked terrible against New Orleans. But so too, do a lot of DC's when they face Brees. Especially since their recent seemingly rejuvenated team. I believe a lot of it is because of Payton's return.

-We have a lot of work to do. But I don't believe things are as bad as they looked last night.


What I learnt from this game by Ryan Tannehill
1. Can't beat drew brees turning over football.
2. Can't hold the ball to long in the pocket.
3. I need to make the call of QB sneak on 3rd and inch
4. I need to run a quick play when 1st down is Questionable.
5. I need to slide or double arm the ball when running.
6. Don't throw wallace the ball across the middle, unless LB's and safeties are no where in his peripheral vision.
7. Be aware that CB's are lurking to intercept ball.
8. Don't be afraid to discuss routes and to make changes with WR's once we get to sideline. Couldn't hurt to work together to counter defense strategy.
9. Tell defense to use bump and run on WR and sproles. I heard it helps throw off timing of QB and WR's. Plus gives defense line more time to reach QB.
10. Ask coach "not Ireland" for O'line help.

reading this blog is like passing an accident on the highway...I want to look away, I really do....but i can't!!!!!!

There are so many morons on this blog...Bo, "boy" in Toronto...Ross Sucks..REX RYAN...Odinseye...why don't you all just go root for your team.

We will be fine...win this week and fix OL during the bye...time to work Garner in to the OL..

heres a couple things. mike sherman screwed us a couple times. the first was obviously 3rd and a half inch. QB sneak. end of discussion. the first pick that tannehill threw was because of mike sherman. the siants dbs were just sitting on our short routes because that is all that sherman was calling. sherman makes no effort to run pass plays with multiple receivers running further than 5 yards. WE MUST STRETCH THE FIELD! every good team in the NFL is attacking the defense. WE ARE NOT. the rules of the NFL allow offenses to attack down field. we have the BEST DEEP THREAT IN THE LEAGUE, and we still dont attack. that is shermans fault. i know that tannehill has the arm and the accuracy. unleash him. also, what happened to the pistol offense that was working so well at the beginning of the game? the saints couldnt stop it, and we just decide to abandon it? I dont get it. one more point, tannehill has to get deeper on his drops. im not sure if that is the coaches fault or tannes but it must happen. i assume it is the coaches fault. i just dont understand why he is ALWAYS only 5 yrds behind the line of scrimmage. it makes it so much harder to throw for him with guys all around him. get him in the gun, have him do a three step out of the gun, and then he will have more time. guys like brady, breed, manning all are 10 yrds behind the LOS every time they throw. its also easier to avoid a guy when you can see him coming. duh. not worried though. one game. cant win them all. oh yeah, by the way, sherman has to come up with ways to get mike wallace the ball. you paid 60 mil for the guy, get the ball in his hands. brandon marshall had the same problem with us because the defense only has to play 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. they are pressing us. we have to open it up to create space.

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