The Bleacher Report voted Dan Campbell as their Coach of the Week. The Miami New Times website published an article by Ryan Yousefi entitled “Dan Campbell Should Be Dolphins Head Coach Next Season.” I even saw a Dolphins fan proclaim that he is the most important Dan in Dolphins history.
It is easy to get excited, but let’s take a breather before you get that “Danimal” tattoo on your bicep. After all, Miami overcame the 1-4 Tennessee Titans and their rookie quarterback. This wasn’t exactly a David vs. Goliath situation. Almost every positive you can take away from this game can be attributed to the fact that they played a weak team.
The defensive line came up with 6 sacks, 4 of those belonging to Cameron Wake, and they only had 1 sack in the first four games. They also played by far the worst offensive line they have played so far this season. In fact, all four of Wake’s came on plays when Miami sent 4 pass rushers or less.
The running game had its first great game. They were averaging 69.3 yards per game and hadn’t had a single rushing touchdown before last Sunday. This week, they had a season high 180 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, but all of that was earned against the 28th ranked rush defense.
Miami scored its first defensive touchdown in 12 games, dating back to last season. They forced four turnovers, but Tennessee has given up the 4th most turnovers (tied at 11).
Ryan Tannehill still didn’t look great. He threw two picks, but it was the first time that Miami has won when Tannehill has thrown two or more interceptions. However, Tennessee was 1-3 in their last 4 games when they forced two or more interceptions.
This information begs the question, would this game have been any different if Coach Philbin would still been the head coach? They might not have won by as much, but does that matter at the end of the season? So what can make this team different under Coach Campbell?
Campbell will truly prove himself if he can build consistency and he has already acknowledged this. “The challenge now for these guys [is] to not start patting themselves on the back. We’ve been notorious for that around here. Man, we get a big win and all of a sudden it’s a lull the next week,” Campbell said about Miami’s inability to string wins together.
Last season, Miami was 2-6 in weeks coming after a win. It has been almost a year since the Dolphins have won two straight. Campbell needs to get this team winning consistently if he wants to lose the ‘interim’ part of his title.
That challenge starts this week against the Houston Texans. Houston has struggled so far to a weak 2-4 start to the season, but history is on their side. In the seven meetings between these two teams, Houston was won all seven.
If Campbell can get this team over the Texans, they can head into Foxborough on Thursday night as an extremely confident 3-3 team. That would give them their best shot to beat the Patriots.