Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin changed his team's Tuesday schedule this week. Rather than practice as they've done the previous 14 weeks, Philbin is having his players simply lift weights today. There will be no media availability and instead that will be extended to Friday.
This blog will be lifting weights on Tuesday as well.
What the heck.
But as Tuesday remains the day my friends at ProFootballFocus.com send in their initial tape reviews and I add when and where necessary, we will do that today as well.
Left guards Shelley Smith and Daryn Colledge continued to rotate every two series, with Colledge edging Smith in snaps against the New England Patriots, 46-35.
Running back Lamar Miller handled 43 of 81 snaps, while Damien Williams played 20 and Daniel Thomas chipped in with 18. The majority of Williams’ snaps came on the lengthy final drive. Williams, by the way, dropped a touchdown pass.
The Dolphins dropped two touchdown passes on Sunday with Rishard Matthews having the other one.
Brandon Gibson, inactive and little used in late September, has apparently gotten back in the coaching staff's good graces. Mike Wallace and Jarvis Landry handled 61 and 60 snaps, respectively, while Brian Hartline and Gibson had 44 and 43. That's a lot for Gibson.
Ja’Wuan James took over the left tackle spot when Branden Albert was injured at Detroit. James seemed to initially adapt quite well to the move from right tackle. But after playing relatively weel against Denver and the Jets, James has struggled the past two weeks, according to PFF. Against the Patriots he allowed 11 hurries, a new career high.
Ryan Tannehill finally hit on that deep-ball everyone had been waiting for. Overall, Tannehill was 3-of-8 on throws of 20+ yards for 104 yards. The fact the Patriots were playing man coverage in the first half had a lot to do with Miami's desire to attack with the deep ball.
Tannehill was pressured on 23 of his 51 drop-backs but both of his interceptions came when he was under no duress.
All of Lamar Miller’s success was limited to the first half and almost exclusively on outside runs; on 8 runs between the guards on Sunday, Miller produced only 15 yards.
Darrelle Revis started the game shadowing Jarvis Landry, but the rookie later saw coverage against LBs, safeties, and other cornerbacks. After Mike Wallace beat the Pats on the opening play and for a one-handed TD to close the half, New England coaches adjusted and put Revis on Wallace.
It worked because Wallace was targetted only one time in the second half when covered by Revis and didn't have a catch against Mr. Island. Wallace did finish with five catches for 104 yards against everyone else.
Even with Kyle Arrington injured, Malcolm Butler didn’t see any snaps in the second half after being burned by Wallace for two big plays in the first half. Logan Ryan and Tavon Wilson saw snaps as the nickel and/or dime defenders for New England. More adjustments from the Pats.
With the Patriots going pretty heavy in two TE personnel, the Dolphins’ base defense was on the field for nearly two-thirds of the defensive snaps.
Kelvin Sheppard made his first start since 2013, and he finished with four stops -- a high for Miami. The official statistics had Sheppard for 10 tackles to lead the team.
Dion Jordan dropped into coverage on eight of his 17 snaps. He was often running after New England tight end Gronkowski in coverage. But ...
Jordan was not on Gronk on either of the TE's two touchdown catches.
The Dolphins solved their run defense issues of the past three weeks. They allowed 108 yards on 29 attempts, but most of those came in the second half. In the first half, the Dolphins gave up only 20 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Despite intercepting a pass in the first half, Jason Trusnik was targetted by Tom Brady. The Patriots completed four of five attempts against him for 55 yards.
Likewise, Philip Wheeler was also exploited. Brady was able to match Gronk and Julian Edelman on Wheeler a few times, completing 3-of-3 for 62 yards.
Cortland Finnegan played well in his first game back from an ankle injury that forced him to miss a month of games. He limited Brady to a 50% completion percentage (5-of-10) when he looked his way. It was, however, interesting to see Gronkowski get behind Finnegan in one-on-one coverage. Brady underthrew, giving Finnegan the chance to make up ground and defend the pass.
Juxtapose Brady’s deep-ball figures to Tannehill’s: Brady went 4-for-8 on 20-plus-yard throws, for 127 yards.
No wonder the Dolphins didn’t blitz that much: On eight drop-backs facing the blitz, Brady was 7-of-8 for 86 yards and a score.