Well, here we are in Week 2, and the Dolphins have looked awful in many facets so far. Despite a late comeback against the Patriots, the Fins ultimately fell short and now sit at 0-2. Let’s take a look at the position grades for each Week 2 performance.
Let’s get one thing straight: Ryan Tannehill is not an elite quarterback. In fact, he is barely on the cusp of becoming a top-15 quarterback. However, Tannehill was on the money this game. Now, that Patriots’ defense is not as impressive as they have been in years past, but they are still a top team, and Tannehill shredded them. He certainly is not the main reason the Dolphins have been stuck in mediocrity for his now five years in the league, and if he can keep performing like this, they might just contend for a playoff spot.
Final Stat Line: 32/45 for 389 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions
Running Back: F——-
The Dolphins really struck out in the running game this off-season. After not paying Lamar Miller, which was a huge mistake, they then missed out on CJ Anderson. This led them to sign Arian Foster in hopes he could regain his elite-ness and stay healthy. Well, hope is a fickle thing, and Foster is now injured. Second-year man Jay Ajayi looks terrible, and Damien Williams is less-than-average. Perhaps a bright spot could be Kenyan Drake, the rookie out of Alabama, who scored his first career touchdown on Sunday.
Wide Receiver: B
Miami could very sneakily have one of the best WR corps in the entire NFL. Jarvis Landry is the best slot receiver in the NFL, DeVante Parker is coming along nicely, and Kenny Stills is doing what he should have done last year – stretching the field. Rookie Leonte Carroo is still learning the system, but he could develop as a nice #4 receiver. Ultimately, we saw a solid performance out of the wide receivers against New England.
Tight End: B
Jordan Cameron was M.I.A in Week 1. He came back in Week 2 to reel in five catches on seven targets for 49 yards and one touchdown. If JC can stay healthy, he gives Tannehill a nice target in the middle of the field.
Offensive Line: C+
The O-line had a much better performance this week as compared to Week 1. The allowed zero, yes, zero sacks, and ultimately there was not too much pressure on Tannehill. Jermon Bushrod and Laremy Tunsil looked more comfortable playing the guard positions, although some of the blame for the lack of a running game could get placed on the offensive line; there were not too many holes there all day.
Defensive Line: B+
Ndamukong Suh is finally living up to his huge contract. He backed up a solid Week 1 performance with another one in Week 2, finishing with twelve total tackles and plugging up the middle. Jason Jones, a reserve defensive end, added one of two sacks on the night for the Dolphins’ defense.
I blame the majority of the Dolphins’ defensive struggles on the linebackers. Kiko Alonso looked okay, but Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins had zero impact. Runs were either getting stopped in the first or third line of defense, never the second. The Patriots’ perimeter run game was solid, mostly due to the outside linebackers not containing, and that needs to change next week against Isaiah Crowell and the Browns.
Jimmy G looked like a veteran picking apart the defensive secondary. The Dolphins could not stop tight end Martellus Bennett, as he caught five passes for over 100 yards and one touchdown. Danny Amendola, who spent the majority of the time being covered by Byron Maxwell, caught two touchdown passes. Julian Edelman hauled in seven passes. Reshad Jones was fine, but was spending most of his time cleaning up in the running game after linebackers missed tackles, and he did get burned a few times by Marty B. The secondary will face another tough test next week with a lot of speed in the Cleveland Browns.
Special Teams: B
The special teams were nothing to write home about. Andrew Franks made his only field goal attempt, a 27-yarder, and connected on all three extra-point attempts. Matt Darr averaged nearly 50 yards on four punt attempts.