The Miami Dolphins gathered this morning at their Davie, Florida training facility to go over the ins and outs of Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills. And while to naked eyes this team is playing very well because, you know, two wins in a row, the tape does not lie. And so coaches were actually quite critical of the team, I'm told.
We know Jordan Phillips heard from coaches. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was critical of him Monday afternoon in front of reporters.
"The bottom line is Jordan has got to play better overall," Joseph said. "Out of 35 plays, Jordan is playing a solid 25 plays very solidly. He’s having four or five plays where it’s not very good. I think [Ndamukong] Suh is playing well. I think Suh gets doubled a lot, but I think Jordan could play better. Obviously, getting Earl (Mitchell) back in a couple weeks, that’s going to help us there. Losing Earl was a big deal for us inside, because now you’ve got probably three inside starters. Getting Earl back in two weeks, that’s going to help us a lot."
We know the receiver corps had some penalties Sunday but that isn't the biggest correction today. Wrong routes? DeVante Parker cutting in when the play calls for him to go deep just prior to halftime? That's an issue that has to be corrected.
Obviously there was some work done Sunday as well. For both the good and bad, I turn to the folks at ProFootballFocus.com for the weekly film review session:
RB Jay Ajayi went over 200 yards for the second straight week, something that has only been accomplished by three other running backs in history (Ear Campbell, OJ Simpson, Ricky Williams). His 95.5 grade was the highest for any running back this season or last season. He followed up his 148 yards after contact versus Pittsburgh with 129 yards after contact more against Buffalo.
That is the most yards after contact for any back in the league both weeks.
Ajayi ranks as the No. 1 back in the league in terms of rushing, despite playing only 193 snaps this season.
As has been the case throughout his career, QB Ryan Tannehill was effective when facing no pressure against the Bills. He completed 11-of-15 passes for 142 yards, one touchdown and 0 interceptions. Tannehill struggled facing pressure (4-of-10 for 62 yards). He currently ranks 10th in the league on deep ball accuracy percentage -- balls that travel 20-plus yards -- which has been a big improvement in his game this season compared to years past.
For the second straight week, the Dolphins' offensive line had a strong game. They did not allow a QB sack or hit on the afternoon and had a pass blocking efficiency (PBE) of 82.5, good for 12th best in the league for Week Seven. The Dolphins did allow a sack on the day but that was not the fault of the offensive line, per PFF.
According to PFF, RG Jermon Bushrod was the weak link on an offensive line unit that had a great game as a group. He ranked last (54 of 54 guards) in Week Seven, struggling in pass blocking, run blocking and penalty grade. He was responsible for three QB hurries allowed.
The OL performances are suggesting that when the Dolphins have their line fully healthy they are capable of dominating games in the trenches.
For the first time all season, WR Kenny Stills led the team in targets, bringing in five of the eight targets for 100 yards and a touchdown that sealed the win late in the 4th quarter. Most of his damage came against Bills' CB Ronald Darby, who he beat on a 66-yard TD late and caught all three targets for 75 yards total. Despite the eight targets and five catches against the Bills on Sunday, Stills still has seen 32 targets and has 16 catches through seven weeks this season.
Cameron Wake continues to show he can rush the passer at an elite level in Miami's wide nine scheme. In just 32 total snaps (23 passing plays), Wake recorded four QB hurries and 1 1/2 sacks. He now ranks second among 4-3 defensive ends in pass rushing grade this season. His 19 QB hurries on the season ranks fourth at his position despite playing only 195 snaps.
CB Bryon Maxwell had another rough afternoon against the Bills, allowing four of the seven targets his way to be caught for 76 yards. The yardage does not include the 30 extra yards and the TD Marquise Goodwin got when he beat Maxwell for a long catch along the sideline and then got over the top of safety Michael Thomas, who at the very least should have prevented the TD. So the reception is on Maxwell, the fact it extended another 30 yards for a TD is on Thomas, who has taken public responsibility for the play.
Maxwell ranks last (87 of 87) of all cornerbacks in Week Seven and 101st of 116 overall for the season. He ranks in the top 15 in both times thrown at (43) and receptions allowed (25).
Thomas, who started for the injured Reshad Jones, was targeted only two times (a completion for 25 yards and the long Goodwin score) and recorded 3 tackles on the afternoon. He played every snap after not playing even 50 percent of the snaps in any other game this season.
After a couple good-not-great showings Ndamukong Suh, he bounced back in a big way against the Bills, recording three QB hits and a sack. His Week Seven effort had him ranked as the fourth best NT/DT in Week Seven and on the season he sits at No. 2 overall, behind only the Rams' Aaron Donald. Suh ranks in the top 5 in QB hurries (15), QB sacks (3) and stops (21) for interior players.
DE Mario Williams had something of a revenge game against the Bills. Williams had He had two TFLs (tackles for loss), two quarterback hits, and four QB pressures, according to Vance Joseph. The Dolphins have started Andre Branch in place of Williams the last two weeks.
While Williams is not picking up sacks, PFF ranks him as the 14th best 4-3 DE and has he has a solid run defense grade despite some missed tackles. Williams ranks 6th in run stopping.