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Dolphins vs. Steelers: PFF and Salguero review

Yesterday was perhaps the longest travel day of my career. (Using Chicago's O'Hare as a connection hub in December and counting on Farm Mule Airlines American Eagle as the connector is a bad idea, folks). I was, however, home by midnight.

Anyway, the folks at ProFootballFocus.com got the film review of the Dolphins stirring victory over Pittsburgh to me early this week. And I'll add insight where I can as usual.

Here we go:

First let me say that in Mike Wallace's first game against his former team there was lots of pregame hugs and cheer. And the Pittsburgh defense paid much attention to Wallace. While he caught only two passes for 19 yards, he affected the game.

Take, for example, the six-yard TD from Ryan Tannehill to Charles Clay in the second quarter. Clay was all alone in the right corner of the end zone. Know why?

Wallace, who had lined up on the right side as usual, ran an in-cut and not only was he doubled but actually and without exageration five Steelers defenders -- FIVE -- zoned him up in the middle of the field to keep him contained.

That left Clay uncovered for the easy throw by Tannehill.

Obviously it was a defensive bust. But it spoke to the unseen (in the statistics) effect Wallace can have on a defense.


RB Lamar Miller outsnapped Daniel Thomas 20-10 before leaving. Thomas played all but one snap after Miller left with a concussion.

Nate Garner started, but played just 16 snaps. Sam Brenner played 48 snaps at left guard.

Salguero: It seems Brenner is mounting something of a push for the starting job outright. He has been something of an epiphany this season -- a rookie undrafted free agent -- making the suspension of Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito seem of no effect.

Despite seeing just two targets, Rishard Matthews played 43 snaps. The Dolphins still prefer their 11 personnel above anything else.

It was another short passing day for Ryan Tannehill. On passes over 10 yards, he was 3-for-8, while on all other passes, he was 17-for-25.

Tannehill didn’t handle pressure very well, going just 1-of-8 and getting sacked twice when either blitzed or under pressure.

Daniel Thomas performed well, but the Steelers’ defense weren’t really touching him. Just 29 of 105 yards came after contact.

When Brian Hartline moved into the slot and worked on slot corner William Gay, he caught all 3 of his targets for 32 yards.

Clay caught passes against Lawrence Timmons, Troy Polamalu, Cortez Allen, Ike Taylor, and Will Allen. He also had that wide open TD.


Dmitri Patterson returned from his groin injury to play 12 snaps. Nolan Carroll started but did get a couple of series off in the first half.

Phillip Wheeler had his fifth game with a grade of -3.0 or worse this season.

Cameron Wake continued his run of good play now that he’s fully healthy. He tallied, four hurries, a hit, and one sack.

The Dolphins did not exclusively use Brent Grimes to shadow Antonio Brown. However, Grimes still excelled in the matchup, allowing two catches for 18 yards on four targets.

Jared Odrick peeled off the line of scrimmage and was in coverage on Jerricho Cotchery’s TD catch.

Salguero: Interesting zone blitz idea but not a good matchup in coverage.

Finally a bit of news: The Dolphins are signing safety Michael Thomas to the roster today. They lost R.J. Stanford for the rest of the season to an ankle injury on Sunday. Thomas was on the 49ers practice squad and is a rookie from Stanford.


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what is the line and +/- ?

mark, cutler is available
mcown is winning over the bears

NE by 3 is starting line I believe.

...It feels great to have a game of consequence in December. I really believe that this team has to win out to have a real shot at the playoffs. IMO the Ravens are not losing 2 more games. The Bengals aren't losing their last 3. And the Chargers are not winning their last 3..Highly unlikely the Pats lose out as well..So where does this leave us?

This makes this weekends game the most important game of the Philbin era. At some point, this franchise has to get over the hump v the Pats. Beat them in a meaningful game. I am pumped for this weekends challenge. It would be a nice little win for this team if we can pull it off.

No idea on the O/U, but I'm guessing 45-47 range.

2 early 2 get an accurate 4cast for the game
i'll check it again later in the week

oscar and a few others must have gotten killed on the +/- against pitt

90 td's on sun.?

Pats are 2.5 point favorites now, about 60% of the money on the Dolphins I think I read at least early.

O/U is 45.5.

I was hoping that they would flex this game. I am unfortunately on a plane to Mexico during kickoff. It will be great to get out of the cold and be in 80 degree weather, but it sucks that I will miss most of the game and probably have to watch some chitty,mindnumbing airline movie during the game, on the flight down south.

as a point of reference, about the only people that I know that consistently use "lol" are my 12 and 16 yr old daughters, and my wife and a few of her female friends--you can take from that what you want but i think it sorta speaks for itself...

...Rage..Enjoy Mexico!!! A lot of those planes have direct tv on them..You may get lucky and get a national feed for the game on the plane...

Removing Mike Wallace would be plain idiotic.
Defensive coordinators dont stress all night over stopping Brian Hartline.
Mike Wallace is making a play off push! Get on board!

I hope Brenner gets the start against the Pats. Miami needs Brenner to play well enough at LG so that's one more spot on the O Line filled. Kudo's to Ireland in finding yet another diamond in the rough in UDFA.

dd, beating the Pats is not unimaginable. But beating them AND the refs that have been ordered by the league to ensure they are always in Playoff contention is a tall order. Miami has to be ready to win big, because if Pats have the ball end of game and need a score to win, expect the refs to call EVERYTHING a penalty to extend their drive.

2 watt, u know I love u because i know you don't believe half the shite u write. u were jumping up and down just as much as us homers on sunday. u just ocme on here to push buttons.

Thanks DD. I'll tell ya, If my flight has that, The stewardess is going to hate me.
"bring us a round of beers every 7 minutes until someone passes out. Then bring them every 10 minutes". -Rodney Dangerfield


My suggestion to beat the Pats AND the refs is to take Brady out of the game. We should have a bounty on him. I'd take a player like Jenkins, or another backup, and ask them to hit Brady in the knee. Sure, it'll be a penalty, and the player may be suspended for a game, but that way we'd have a very good chance at victory. I generally don't support playing dirty like that, but it's getting ridiculous how that team gets all the favoritism from the league. Time for the rest of the NFL to do something about it.

That was a good game. Nolan Caroll is showing improvement again. Good guy to have even if he ends up being a backup. Was also nice to see Thomas have a good game, last few games he has been in he seems to be running harder.

Think they are going to pull off the wildcard. Win 2/3 and watch the Ravens lose 2/3. If they can beat the Pats this weekend they are in great shape.

Cutler is pretty much where Tannehill is right now. But Cutler will be much more expensive and won't improve. I see no reaso to make that swap. Cutler is the new Carson Palmer - except Carson would've been gret if Kimo didn't wipe out his knees on what would now be a roughing the passer hit.

I saw NE -2 last night...

How much better would this defense be if it had Burnett and Dansby at LB? Wheeler has been awful and Dansby is having a much better year than Ellerby.

I am a supporter of Ireland but I think that he made a mistake losing Dansby and Burnett.

As for Sam Brenner. That was a great find by Ireland. I am also in the camp of resigning McKinney and starting Brenner at LG next year. I would spend our resources (draft and FA) rebuilding the right side of the line, brining in one more playmaker (rb or another TE), and tweaking the defense (DT and LB will need upgrades. I also think that some of these year's rookies will show improvement next year. The future is looking bright for the fins.

hhmmm, do we really need to list here the handful of clowns that predicted Miami would go 5-8 or 6-10, some of them still predicting that just 2-3 weeks ago? Lets see, alphabetical or by lowest IQ....

Cutler is garbage, and always has been. The only thing he has of an elite QB is the whinning.

haha, Rage! Long live Caddyshack!!!

DC, if someone hits Brady in the game, expect some never before seen penalty called from a obscure part fo teh rulebook that calls for a 95 yard penalty and a 21 point deduction.

My first impression is that it'll come down to Philbin vs Billichik. You've got a perennial playoff team that's depleted vs. an inconsistent desperate team hoping to get into the playoff. Philbin and Sherman have got to manage the clock better and keep Brady on the sideline.


I agree. The dolphins have to run the table if they want to get in the playoffs.

Hey DC, just curious: who are the Redskins fans blaming the most for this season's fiasco? Shanahan, RGIII, or Snyder?

Wouldn't say Cutler is garbage but tought to make an argument that he is better than average. Certainly not worth the draft picks/contract Chicago invested.

not sure if garbage Common, but agree that I wouldnt want Cutler at this point....not sure he's an upgrade over TH, is obviously older and has plenty of baggage--a pretty unremarkable career so far.

SS just reported that Dimitri Patterson has been placed on season ending IR.

Yeah rage, thats a loss. Hopefully Nolan Carroll can keep playing well.

Shame about Patterson, he is a play maker when healthy. seems this injury is cronic.

Arizona with 11 wins this year may not make the playoffs ... don't see that everyday.

obviously NE is the best team of the remaining 3 but we all know that beating the Bills and Jets is no given--despite the recent laugher over the Jets, these are almost always tough divisional games....and season sweeps are not easy to come by....beating NE would obviously be big in general, but it would be beyond huge and give us small wiggle room from that standpoint.

And with that we've seen the last of Dimitri Patterson as a Dolphin. Talented dude but weak balls area.

NeMo,It's too bad. When that kid was on the field, he was a badasz.

Wallace would love to have Cutler as his QB....

Interesting fact, eliminating Denver from the Chief schedule, the winning % of the other teams they face this year is 70-112 (.384%). Talk about a cake schedule...

All the more reason to get Grimes deal done immediately, if not sooner.

yeah, not sure what to do with Patterson next year (I think he has 1 yr left on his deal)--definitely a playmaker when healthy but doesnt matter if you cant count on him--I'd probably cut him if not a huge cap hit, to open up the spot for one of the young CBs.....and assuming/hoping we re-sign Grimes

Cutting Patterson opens up $5+ in cap space. Very significant. To get you an idea, that's how much we signed Grimes for. He's most likely a goner.

NO, do not play "kill the clock"!!

Give the damn ball to Tannehill to score and turn loose the pass rush. They might be able to run on us but they can't beat us with the run.

We either have "IT" or we don't. About time we find out for this season.

Baltimore has the second toughest schedule down teh stretch in the NFL. They aren't running the table ... will be lucky to win one...

...Dc. I saw a stat yesterday where the Pats have scored 10 points in the last 5 first halves. 130 in the second halves of those contests. So to me..We have to score Td's. Philbin has to be aggressive. I will not harsh him, or Sherman if they make a mistake that costs the team if is aggressive. Keep the petal down..

For instance..I know why Tannehill didn't throw it at the end of the game last week..And I supported the decision. This week. Take any variables out of the equation if possible. Just go for it. If we go down playing to win...No problem.

But if we play scared, if the team has a lead and one thing is working(defensively, offensively) Stay with it. Don't guard the goal line when you have been getting pressure. Don't turn to the pass in the second half if the run game is gouging their eyes out..ETC...

Whatever it takes to pummel these clowns.

yeah Mark but the Ravens are the SB champs, they know how to win, clutch QB, great HC....they've proven they can win tough games--would anybody be shocked if they and Miami both went 2-1 over the last 3 games?....but that leaves us out....

My suggestion to beat the Pats AND the refs is to take Brady out of the game. We should have a bounty on him. I'd take a player like Jenkins, or another backup, and ask them to hit Brady in the knee. Sure, it'll be a penalty, and the player may be suspended for a game, but that way we'd have a very good chance at victory. I generally don't support playing dirty like that, but it's getting ridiculous how that team gets all the favoritism from the league. Time for the rest of the NFL to do something about it.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | December 10, 2013 at 01:01 PM

You're funny DC.....expect a fedex from the league office bro!!

so I agree with several here that we really need to win out...and still might not get in--but 2-1 probably wont cut it because I have a feeling Baltimore is gonna win 2 of their games too

I'm guessing Patterson gets cut. Wrong side of 30 and only played about 4 games this year. They were 4 damn good games though. Maybe he will return for less, but at 5.4 mil thats just too much for a guy with major injury concerns.

Grimes will be paid after the season. We don't want him worrying about his contract now. I would guess a nice 4 year 30 million deal with about half of it guaranteed.

I'm interested to see if we re-sign Carroll. He's improved quite a bit this year, but we have the 2 rookies potentially waiting in the wings.

My guess would be Patterson is cut and Grimes and Carroll are re-signed.

if we beat Pats then they will play very hard the following week against Ravens. Belly and Tom are not losing 2 in a row heading into playoffs.

Do we keep Carrol or Patterson next year? Carroll will be a FA next season but has really improved and played well this season. The Taylor and Davis will probably improve in their second season but it is critical that they keep either Carroll or Patterson. Of course it goes without saying that we have to resign Grimes.

Cap space is a non issue under the Ross era. There's always plenty left... LOL

...Mark. I don know how you can say that. They (Baltimore) are playing their best football of the year as well. I think it is a mistake(not that our opinion about the Ravens will change outcomes) I think it is a mistake to assume we can "back our way into the playoffs".. Those guys have just as good a chance to got 2-1 as we do.

Now..Where I agree is that we do have an easier schedule. We have to win this game this weekend. A loss, and a win by the Ravens..I would think it becomes very difficult to be the last wildcard...

A lot of other scenarios in play as well... just think if we take care of our own..We will be in a very very good position to not only be in the playoffs..But be heard from as well.

I see both teams using the runn to great success here in this game which is kind of funny because both teams are known for the pass. However, the game will decided on how Miami fares in their red zone offense. We convert, we will win...

Baltimore is not as good as last year. Its a shame we lost to them at home early in the year. They are going to go 0-3 or 1-2 at best in the next 3. Honestly if Miami goes 2-1 I think they are in.

benz, if they win 2 of their lat 3 then they surely deserve that last spot in my opinion. I think they will be an underdog in all three games.

Mr DD and others who have posted that we have an "easy" last 2 games. Since when has a game in Buffalo and a game against the NYJ been easy???

Christ, talking about taking out a player's knees?

What a classless scumbag this DC Dolfan is.

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