There was a time the worst news the Dolphins could possibly fathom was dealing with a loss. Then the scandal and suddenly losing was a secondary part of a larger depressing state of affairs.
Today, with the help of my partners at ProFootballFocus.com, we try to make some sense of the Tampa Bay loss on Monday night. As always, they come with the film study while I add insight.
Despite finding no room to run, Lamar Miller has taken full control of the backfield, out-snapping Daniel Thomas 43 to 13.
Salguero: Miller earned the add snaps as he entered the game having averaged over 5 yards per carry the previous three games and had had his best game of the season in the previous outing against the Bengals. Thomas, by the way, was tackled in the end zone for a safety.
Rishard Matthews played his highest snap percentage (73%) of the season. Matthews was targetted seven times and caught five of them against Michael Adams for 55 yards. His touchdowns, however, came against Dashon Goldson and Leonard Johnson. Matthews had more yards after the catch than all other Miami receivers, tight ends, and backs combined.
In his return from injury, tight end Dion Sims logged 14 snaps behind both Charles Clay (43) and Michael Egnew (19).
When Ryan Tannehill was blitzed, he went 3 for 9 with 28 yards and was sacked once. On throws 10+ yards down the field, Tannehill was 8 for 19 with 92 yards.
Darrelle Revis was targeted in coverage six times. All six targets were to Mike Wallace and he hauled in three of them.
Salguero: I recognize that Wallace is not a fan favorite. But I must share that he generally won against Revis and yet had very little to show for it. On the play where he caught the football out of bounds, Wallace was open by a couple of yards but the ball was poorly thrown. There was another instance when Wallace was not targetted that he beat Revis deep and Tannehill threw to Matthews instead. The Dolphins simply do not maximize Wallace.
The Dolphins struggled against the run. The Bucs gained 140 rushing yards. It seemed as if the Dolphins got bulldozed. But the truth is most of the yards came on the edges not between the tackles. Randy Starks was dominant against the run. He had five tackles, two of which went for a loss.
Dion Jordan played just nine snaps, but produced two hurries on six quarterback dropbacks.
Salguero: Third overall pick. Nine snaps. Dolphins don't trust him on running downs. But honestly, are the guys playing in front of him playing run defense any better?
Philip Wheeler played 49 out of 67 snaps, with Jelani Jenkins (7) and Jonathan Freeny (9) picking up some snaps. Was Wheeler benched for his poor play in the second half?
Salguero: No, he wasn't benched for poor play. He was benched for dumb play. He committed a roughing the passer penalty midway through the fourth quarter that turned a third down incompletion into a first down. The Bucs didn't score as a result, but Wheeler took a seat on the bench.
- Vincent Jackson caught just 3 of his 8 targets, but two came with Dannell Ellerbe in coverage and the other came against another linebacker, Jason Trusnik.
- Brent Grimes was targeted four times by Mike Glennon, giving up just one catch to Tiquan Underwood.