“Don’t stop believing. Hold on the that feeling.” – Journey
The Miami Dolphins (1-1) lost in a convincing bully-beat-down esk fashion to the Baltimore Ravens (2-0) on Thursday night. However, their 31-7 defeat came with a lot of positives: no injuries to starters, flashes of brilliance from young players, and the social media explosion of Smokin’ Joe in Miami memes… Did I mention no injuries?
Recently acquired QB Jay Cutler only played in two offensive series, but the 34-year old QB looked sharp in his Dolphins debut. Though Cutler finished 3-of-6 for 24 yards, he showed his arm strength is still lethal, completing a back-shoulder pass to DeVante Parker for 31-yards. Unfortunately, the play was called back for offensive holding by Sam Young.
Don’t worry Sam, I’ll get back to you in a few paragraphs.
On defense, Xavien Howard stole the show. The second year standout from Baylor is expected to make a giant leap in 2017. After an injury riddled rookie season, Howard showed off excellent speed and coverage, beating wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo to the ball for Ryan Mallett’s first pick of the night.
Overall, while not pretty, it’s not time to give up on the injury-filled 2017 season. So don’t stop believing, fans. Hold on to that feeling of last season.
DeVante Parker is a guy I have watched like a hawk since the start of the Jay Cutler Era. Last night did little to change my opinion that Parker will be the Dolphins’ leading receiver in 2017. Parker (6-3, 212), is virtually identical in stature to Cutler’s former No. 1 WR Alshon Jeffery (6-3, 218). He also seemed to get the same attention from Cutler that Jeffery did in his back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. Keep a close eye on DeVante come your fantasy football season because his upside is higher than Mt. Everest.
Mike Hull graded out in the top-5 of all Miami Dolphins players, according to Pro Football Focus. His pass breakup on 4th-and-2 showed his consistency in pass defense and overall ability to be a legitimate replacement to Raekwon McMillian, who is currently out for the season with a torn ACL.
Sam Young was far from “The Good” column in his start for Ja’wuan James, who is currently nursing an injured shoulder. Young, aka “The Big Play Killer” received two holdings calls within the first six plays in which he was beat off the snap. The never ending merry-go-round of offensive linemen has seen its struggles within the first two preseason games, and Sam Young did zero to assure coaches and fans he deserves to be on the ride.
Dolphins Special Teams
While the field conditions Thursday night could easily be added to the “Ugly” column, the Fins looked like absolute sh*t on special teams. Senorise Perry was moments away from making the “Good” after a beautiful 11-yard TD run put the Dolphins ahead 7-0. However, his double fumble on a kick return negated that. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker recovered that fumble!
Add another muffed kicked and a blocked punt, and you have all the ingredients to make coach Darren Rizzi look like this!