Spreading it around:
Tannehill's first 4 passes went to 4 different receivers before coming back to Wallace for his 2nd reception on the first drive of the game.
Play 2: Wallace for 17 yards
Play 3: Hartline for 16 yards
Play 6: Matthews for 3 yards
Play 7: Clay for 18 yards
Play 8: Wallace for 13 yards
Great way to keep the defense from keying on any one receiver.
For the past few weeks I have read about how the officials were ganging up on the Dolphins and that there actually may be a conspiracy against us. I assured everyone that there is no such conspiracy and that they tend to even out by the end of the season.
Well yesterday's game went a long way to evening those numbers out. San Diego was flagged 10 times for 76 yards while we were flagged only 3 times for 15 yards.
There were a few times when it looked like from our angle on TV that the Chargers had been drawn offsides by Tannehill. I swear I thought the refs looking down the line were missing their contact lenses. But we never got a look directly down the line with replays so the Chargers could have still been onsides by a fraction of an inch.
Jerry's 2 False Starts came at critical moments in the Red Zone.
His first, during our first drive of the game, came when we had the ball 2nd and Goal from the 6 yard line. And we wound up settling for a FG.
His 2nd came on our 3rd drive of the game, this time with the ball at the 7 yard line and we were facing a 2nd and 1. This was a big penalty as now we go to 2nd and 6 from the 12. The next play, Tannehill hits Hartline and he fumbles (?) the ball at the 1 and San Diego recovers. However, we catch a huge break with a roughing the passer penalty and we wind up with a 1st and goal. Two plays later, Thomas goes over the top from the 1.
We never got a replay of Hartline's fumble at the 1 yard line. Had he been downed at the 1 prior to coughing it up then that roughing penalty would have been administered from the end of the play and we would have had the ball 1st and goal from the 1/2 yard line. I was surprised we never got a second look at the end of the play, only a replay of Tannehill getting roughed.
San Diego had 2 huge penalties called against them on their final drive of the first half. On their second play of the drive that started with 3:39 left, Gates went 27 yards to our 27 yard line and it sure looked like he got tackled by a face mask and the flag came in. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that he got called for face masking while straight arming.
Their second big penalty on that drive came with 1:11 left facing a 2nd and goal from our 5 yard line, Rivers steps past the 5 and sidearms a pass to Gates for an apparent TD. But he is flagged for an illegal forward pass and the reviews show he clearly was past the 5. So not only do they lose the points, but get backed up to the 10 and lose a down to boot making it 3rd and goal.
4th Quarter Sacks:
For once it wasn't Tannehill being submerged late in the game but Rivers who got sacked twice in their final 2 drives.
The first came with Rivers facing a 3rd and 5 from our 29 yard line with 4:36 left in the game. Vernon bull rushes the tackle and drops Rivers for a huge 7 yard loss. Shockingly, rather than having Novak attempt a 53 yarder after he already booted a 50 yarder with plenty of room to spare, San Diego punts.
The second came on their final drive of the game, facing a 2nd and 2 from their 42 yard line, Cam Wake beats his man and down goes Rivers for a loss of 5 with only :49 left. This forces San Diego to burn their last TO of the game.
Growing Up Tannehill:
Ryan still has some maturing to do that comes with experience. I don't blame his interception on him. I just think that was a hell of an intuition by their nickle for pulling off his man, the slot, and under cutting the route by Hartline in the flat. That could be our tendencies being detected in film study and figuring that was exactly what we would do.
However, he did miss a wide open Wallace early in the game for a sure TD and then a wide open Hartline late in the game as we were trying to ice the game. Those were 2 big throws that he has got to start making.
Lets take a look at our last drive of the game. We get the ball at our own 6 yard line with 3:38 left in the game and San Diego has all 3 TOs left. Everyone expects us to run the rock. I figured we would too and force the TOs and hopefully, somehow against a stacked box, get a 1st down.
But "How do you like my play calling now" Sherman fools everyone and has Tannehill hit Hartline out in the flat were he avoids a tackle and scampers for 15 yards down the sideline while staying in bounds.
Next, Tannehill scrambles for 4 yards and wisely stays in bounds, clock a ticking.
Then, "Eat my playbook" Sherman fools everyone again and has Tannehill hit Matthews for 13 yards to the 38 yard line and another 1st down. TO San Diego!
Maybe it was all that extra time he had to think, as Sherman next calls a run for 2 yards. 2nd TO San Diego!
Now comes 2 plays Tannehill wants back.
First he misses a wide open Hartline for a sure first down. Clock stops.
Then on 3rd and 8, Tannehill avoids the pressure by rolling right and after looking for any open receiver he runs out of field and out of bounds to stop the clock again.
This is were he needs to grow up a little with some experience and just slide down in bounds. Even with the sack, the clock will get running again and force that 3rd TO to be used.
These are some of the growing pains we will all have to deal with while trying to mature a Franchise QB.
Red Zone D:
They made three trips into our red zone and walked away with only 1 TD. Great job and the reason we won this game.
Red Zone O:
We made 3 trips to the red zone and walked away with only 1 TD. Poor job and the reason why we didn't blow them out and not have to rely on our Defense.
What else has to be said about this guy. We all know how important he is to our success and how we all want him back. The only reason I can think of for why his contract has not been extended is probably that HE doesn't want to get it done yet and prefers to see what he can get on the open market. Let's hope we get him extended before he gets voted as our MVP because he has a great shot at that. And then who wants to lose their MVP?
Carolina on my mind:
Glad to hear all the players talking about focusing and getting ready for our next game. We have been 2-1 since the scandal broke wide open. 2-1! So much for distractions. Tampa Bay was destined to win soon any way and look how well they played in their 2nd win yesterday. We just got spanked by a fired up home team on MNF.
Let's all watch tonight's game with Carolina hosting the Pats. Let's hope the Pats fall and then that will be some weekend for us Dolfans as all the teams in the hunt with us fell, including the Chiefs who now join the ranks of every other team that ever played the game lest one. OUR PERFECT 1972 DOLPHINS!!!
Special Shout Out:
I spent yesterday's game on facebook with a good dozen or so die hards from Dolfans NYC. They are quite an active bunch and I look forward to joining them at Slattery's in NYC for a game soon enough.
Dolfan since 12/25/1971