The Miami Dolphins fell to 1-3 as the NFL First Quarter comes to a close, and their report card would have to have some mixed results at this point. If you simply look at the record, it would seem as if the 2012 NFL season is off to a disappointing start for the Dolphins. But that is not entirely true.
While the Dolphins may be 1-3, they could just as easily be 3-1. That would be good enough for a one game lead in the AFC East, instead of being in last. Still, Miami finds themselves just a game back of the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. They do, however, have a better point differential than the Jets and Bills.
The Dolphins lost their second consecutive game in overtime on Sunday, this time falling to the Arizona Cardinals on the road, 24-21. Miami just could not close out the win, much like their week 3 loss to the Jets, 23-20. Miami had more than enough opportunities to come out on top in each game. After destroying the Oakland Raiders in week 2, the only game that the Dolphins never truly stood a chance to win was their season opener against the Houston Texans, which saw them fall 30-10.
Miami has two more games against the Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams before entering their bye week and, while neither game will be an easy win, neither is out of reach for Miami to walk away with a victory. Taking a look at some of the statistics thus far, the Dolphins clearly have some room for improvement.
Ryan Tannehill: 80 completions of 143 attempts for 1,046 yards // 2 TD and 6 INT
Reggie Bush: 67 rushes for 369 yards // 2 TD
Daniel Thomas: 26 rushes for 84 yards // 1 TD
Lamar Miller: 23 rushes for 126 yards // 1 TD
Jorvorskie Lane: 9 rushes for 18 yards // 2 TD
Brian Hartline: 25 catches for 455 yards // 1 TD
Davone Bess: 20 catches for 297 yards // 0 TD
Anthony Fasano: 15 catches for 115 yards // 1 TD
Reggie Bush: 10 catches for 72 yards // 0 TD
In the kicking game, Dan Carpenter has come up short for Miami in 2012 after a strong 2011 season. A few kicks here and there, and the Dolphins would be staring at 3-1 instead of the reversal record of 1-3. If he can rebound, Miami will be in much better position.
As for the defense, they have played fairly well this season, especially against the run. The Dolphins rank No. 16 in overall defense, but are No. 1 in rush defense. Unfortunately, Miami is only No. 30 in total pass defense. Maybe Vontae Davis should have not been traded after all.
In overall offense, Miami comes in at a surprising No. 9 in total offense. They are No. 5 in rushing and No. 19 in passing. Reggie Bush continues to run the ball well, and Ryan Tannehill is getting better with each passing game, having thrown for his first 400 yard game on Sunday. If he can continue to improve, and the defense continues to come together, Miami will continue to surprise quite a few teams in 2012.
Overall, I would give the 2012 Miami Dolphins a grade of a C-.