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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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Mark. I don know how you can say that.
Posted by: darryldunphy | December 10, 2013 at 01:26 PM

He's a canadien. Football clueless.

Posted by: darryldunphy | December 10, 2013 at 01:21 PM

Could not have said it better,DD! This is exactly what Fins need to do.

...I think it is a no brainer..You keep Nolan Carroll. He is a Phin, drafted a Phin, developed here. He probably will be fairly affordable. And according to his metrics(like this or not) Is a above average corner back in this league today..

If you wanted to see a pour secondary..Look at the Crackwagon, Heck the Panthers secondary stinks compared to ours right now. Jimmy Wilson..The other suspect along with Carroll in Dolphins fan eyes as the suspects that shot JFK..He is now tied as the 6th best slot corner in the league...6 out of 28 other nickel guys that have enough snaps to qualify.

The Jets beat teams we did not in Tampa, Saints, Pats and Bills.
Buffalo beat MIAMI, Carolina and Ravens!!

Im not saying we will not beat them....I'm just saying these are not easy wins for us.

Who is Justin Rodgers Miami signed him to take Patterson roster spot.

And Michael Thomas off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. Thomas will play special teams and maybe retun kicks, he also is a slot corner.

Since when has a game in Buffalo and a game against the NYJ been easy???
Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | December 10, 2013 at 01:31 PM

Last week vs the Jets MORON!!

dd, the records of our opponents and teh crap play of Joe Flacco this year simply indicate that the odds are higher of us winning two of three than them.

We face two of the 5 worst starting QBs in the last three games. if we can't get at least two of three games down the stretch here then this team isn't who I thought they were.

Justin Rodgers? Too bad that isn't Derrick Rodgers....

Not really seeing the Patterson gets cut thing like everyone else. Sure, that's a scenario, but to claim it so already is far premature. I see him making it into camp.

Once in camp, coaching staff has a full 4wks to make a "cut decision". Since I can not make a health prediction in "2014's camp". It's more "wait and see" for me.

The key for Patterson to remain with the team should rest soley upon a very healthy 2014 camp, and Taylor/Davis not outperforming him for the starter job.

These are the criteria I see effecting Patterson's future with the Dolphins.

Did you just call me a Maroon??

make no mistake, this weeks game against the pats is the biggest oppourtunity to present itself for miami this year, the FINS are hot in december and on a roll, they play NE at home, gronk is out and a win against the pats on sunday will send new england into spiral. i hope we are prepared for the brady hurry-up that took us to the woodshed a season ago i hope mike sherman is up late this week putting together the perfect game plan, could this be the game that sherman unleashes a 2 tight-end set that obliterates the new england secondary as clay does his thing and EGNEW is somewhat unvieled as another big weopon, do we hit them with a series of wrinkles from the spread offense, do finally master the QB sneaak on 3rd and 1, do we have our version of the hurry-up in waiting, is DANIEL THOMAS ready to pound the rock? can't wait for sunday and i hope DION JORDAN is ready to do his best J.T. impression against the same quarterback(brady) that taylor used to use as his play toy! GO FINS!

Christ, talking about taking out a player's knees?
What a classless scumbag this DC Dolfan is.
Posted by: Roger | December 10, 2013 at 01:32 PM

He isnt the sharpest tool in the shed either.

Anyone know the status of Reggie Bush this week? We need a good game from him against the Ravens. i expect Lions to play hard and win since they lost last week and GB and Chicago both won. they need to stay ahead of those teams to make playoffs as no wild card will be comming out of the NFC north.

...Bill A. Thanks for calling me MR. DD. Makes me feel important!!

I didn't say the games would be easy. The point was to Mark that I agreed that our schedule on paper was easier then the Ravens...I never assume that we will beat anyone. Just as I do not think it is a good or safe idea to assume the Ravens will lose games..

check out this scouting report on the dolphins


New blog up

Mr. DD you are correct on paper we "appear" to have an easier schedule. Yes we "should" beat the 2 teams with the worst QB's in the AFC. However as a long time Dolfan I can remember better Dolphin teams losing to the Bills and Jets. Especially when we needed the win and they could play spoiler. I also firmly believe that NO division game is a walk in the park for either team.

Ravens have difficult games against the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions (7-6) and the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (10-3) before their regular-season finale in Cincinnati (9-4).

If we beat Pats then Bengals have a great shot at 2 seed, they have the tie breaker against Pats. This will make them both play hard against the Ravens. I can see the Ravens loosing all 3 games.

Posted by: budtki | December 10, 2013 at 01:40 PM

Budtki, In my mind I read your post in the voice of William Shatner.

I see we picked up Justin Rogers. I hope we see him spell at KR and PR.

Thigpen has been pretty bad this year. Rogers has some experience of playing against the AFC East teams too. Hope we can contribute for us.

Sam Brenner- they may have gotten him "cheap" but he plays with all he's got. Bravo to the guy who had the foresight to keep this young man on practice squad, now somebody in the head office needs to step up and make it a commitment that has real meaning.

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