The outlook for the Miami Dolphins is not nearly as bleak as it was four weeks ago. With three straight wins leading to a one point loss against the Dallas Cowboys, a team that was nine point favorites, the Dolphins fans have a lot to look forward to. Even amid a stellar pass rush from the likes of OLB DeMarcus Ware and the run stopping abilities of NT Jay Ratliff, RB Reggie Bush found big gaps, rookie RB Daniel Thomas found his stride again, and QB Matt Moore did almost all he needed to to keep his team afloat.
The red zone woes once again found their way into the ‘Fins host of concerns moving forward, yet the play calling ability of Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll is not to fault, and it is likely that Daboll or even both coordinators including Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan may be kept on after the streak and another very good defensive performance, limiting a high caliber offense to 20 points, two Tony Romo picks, and a last gasp field goal to take the win for the home crowd.
Once again, the Dolphins were less than stellar on offense, but it is not like there are pro bowlers at half back and quarterback, and despite an incredible catch by WR Brandon Marshall, who was quite literally being strangled as he fell clutching the ball, he has not caught enough in the red zone to call it a solid season.
Despite all the falterings, I have said it once and I will say it again: The Dolphins are a quarterback away from a playoff berth. This team has a defense that started slow but now is bottling up the run and intercepting good quarterbacks. OLB’s Cameron Wake and Jason Taylor lead the charge from the outside, while DE Jared Odrick is having an excellent sophomore season. ILB combo Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett continue to impress lately, and the DB’s are coming around. The ‘Fins have the stable of halfbacks and good options at receiver, with hopes that Marshall will continue to work his hands, and WR’s Davone Bess and Brian Hartline will keep contributing.
Adding the deep speed of WR Clyde Gates will be a bonus.
The ‘Fins are obviously very far from the coveted pick for QB Andrew Luck, but other guys like USC QB Matt Barkley and Oklahoma QB Landry Jones are likely choices, both are NFL ready. They have the blocking of C Mike Pouncey, who yesterday brutalized the star NT Jay Ratliff and of course the All-Pro Jake Long to right off the bat protect whoever gets under center.
QB Chad Henne and Head Coach Tony Sparano are done here, but if the ‘Fins can come out of the gates swinging like they are now, the momentum could carry a full season, with the playoffs a likely possibility.
Tagged with: Andrew Luck, Brandon Marshall, Brian Daboll, Brian Hartline, Cameron Wake, Chad Henne, Clyde Gates, Daniel Thomas, Davone Bess, DeMarcus Ware, Jake Long, Jared Odrick, Jason Taylor, Jay Ratliff, Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, Matt Moore, Mike Nolan, Mike Pouncey, Reggie Bush, Tony Romo, Tony Sparano