Firstly, I want to throw a Carl Leone quote I had on my voicemail today. “ WOW! WOW!” That pretty much sums up the way the Dolphins dominated the Patriots today. The final score did not really reflect it. We had 3 turnovers and missed on few big plays and still beat them by 13 points. Even more moving to me was the attitude of the team after the game. There was not a bunch of smack talking or people using “I” when they spoke. There was the feeling of intensity and determination. In fact, the team was already gearing up to take on Buffalo. All the years we have seem Tom Brady and New England beat us, you would think this team and even the fans would be hell bent on revenge. However, if you saw Mike Wallace’s interview after the game he was the asked the question “what kind of message does a win over the Patriots send the rest of the NFL?” Mike Wallace responded “It does not matter, I don’t care”. He then mentions further to that “All I know is what we have on this team, all the work we put in.. all the hours”. All the players seemed to reflect a similar tone and attitude. They have a tunnel vision of sorts heading to Buffalo next. This was never about getting back at the Patriots. This was never about getting back at all the experts picking the Dolphins to be bad team this year. Watching the team post game I couldn’t help but be reminded of a quote from Doc Holiday describing Wyatt Earp in the movie Tombstone. “No, make no mistake. It’s not revenge he’s after. It’s a reckoning” I can’t think of any better quote to describe the win today.
As far as the game goes here is my view on some of what went on.
1.) The Patriots designed their defense to take away Hartline and Clay with help and then match Revis up 1 on 1 with Wallace. That is why you saw Wallace getting so many balls today. There are not many guys Revis can’t shut down 1 on 1 and Mike Wallace is one of them.
2.) Moreno inspired the O-Line and Lamar Miller to take their game up a notch. Once of the best running back performances I have seen out of Miami in long long time. You could see Belichick’s face fading when they showed him after some of Moreno's runs. The reason is he knew there was little he could do. His team was overtired in the heat and the Dolphins were taking it to them. No scheme can stop that.
3.) For all these glass half empty people ripping on Tannehill for accuracy issues. This is me rolling my eyes. Tannehill did a great job reading the coverages and running the offense. Yes he made a bad throw on the INT and also fit some throws in tight windows. (Guys with rocket arms can do that). Was he spectacular no, but he played a very solid game. Also let me explain something. There is a very small % of the human population that can run as fast as Mike Wallace. You know, guys like Usain Bolt…. Mike Wallace has had some hamstring issues. So of course he does not open up and run full speed like an idiot in practice. In the game he does do that so he can beat coverages. So now you have announcers and analysts all going off how he threw some balls slightly behind Wallace. Do these people understand how fast Mike Wallace can run? Give Tannehill and Wallace some time to get it down. It is getting better all the time. He was off just a bit on a couple routes. And he was off one foot out of bounds on hitting a homerun. I will take that any day over a quarterback looking lost the throwing in bad coverages
4.) Sturgis is healthy. Wow was he booming the ball through the back of end zone. We still need to see if he can hit some 50 yarders and some pressure kicks. But the good news is he appears to be healthy.
5.) Our back-up linebackers stepped up. But, keep in mind they were mostly playing in passing situations. Jelani Jenkins is actually probably better than Ellerbe, Wheeler, and Misi in pass coverage. Let’s hope Misi can get back for the Bill’s game. The Bills are a run first team and they are going to be game planning to attack to Dolphins linebackers.
6.) Jimmy Wilson appeared to get a concussion in this game. I think it might be time to cut a deal with Chris Clemons to come hang out in Miami at the very least as some depth until Reshad Jones gets back.
7.) It sure looked to me that Tom Brady chose to sit on the bench rather than go out on the field to tell the Dolphins they played a good a game.... I always say you learn more about people on how they act when they lose compared to how they act when they win.
For now I am going to go enjoy the win. I already can’t wait until next Sunday. Fins Up!