Disappointing Birthday for the Phins
On a night where so many Dolphins greats were in town, you would’ve liked to have seen a win. Even if our chances of making the playoffs before last night’s game were slim to none, a win would’ve meant hope – hope for Ryan Tannehill, hope for next season, hope for this team. Instead, Ryan Tannehill had a Ryan Tannehill type of night. Inconsistency. The same story we see week in and week out. Tannehill connected with Kenny Stills for a 47 yard TD that put the Phins ahead in the third quarter. Then with the game on the line and an open Jarvis Landry waiting down field, Tannehill was unable to do what his counterpart Eli Manning did – make the pass in the big moment.
Running Back: B+
Lamar Miller got off to another good start, but was almost completely removed from the game in the second half. With 12 carries good for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns, one is left scratching their head as to why the Dolphins game plan didn’t include Lamar Miller in the second half. Once again the Dolphins got away from the run, and once again they allowed their opponent to control the pace of the game.
Wide Receivers: B
Jarvis Landry was targeted 18 times of which he caught 11 balls for 99 yards and a long of 25 yards. Continuing to be Tannehill’s favorite target, Landry is now 80 yards away from his first 1,000 yard season. Kenny Stills had two receptions for 49 yards, the majority of those yards coming on the aforementioned 47 yard strike from Tannehill. Rookie DeVante Parker was targeted 5 times, catching 2 for 16 yards.
Tight Ends: D
Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims had a good game blocking, and were finally a bit more involved in the passing game. Cameron caught 3 passes for 35 yards and Sims caught 3 passes for 14 yards. However, Sims did have a fumble early on in the game that setup the Giants with an early field goal. Cameron also had a fumble, but it was recovered by the Dolphins.
Offensive Line: C+
Ryan Tannehill was only sacked once against a stout Giants defensive line. The Dolphins O-Line has shown signs of improvement over the past two weeks, but they are still far from perfect. Lamar Miller had solid running lanes the majority of the night, but even when he didn’t he made something out of nothing.
Defensive Line: C-
The Dolphins line was mediocre on a night where Rashad Jennings rushed for 81 yards and Eli Manning had plenty of time to throw on almost every pass. The Dolphins had no sacks, but 4 tackles for loss. Ndamukong Suh ended the night with 4 tackles, while Olivier Vernon and Jordan Phillips each tacked on two.
The linebackers had a difficult time keeping up with Rashad Jennings in both the passing and running game. In coverage the linebackers looked slow, getting beat on most out and slant routes. Kelvin Sheppard finished the night with 5 tackles, while Jelani Jenkins led all linebackers with 8 along with a tackle for loss.
This unit seemingly gets bruised and abused on a weekly basis. Outside of Pro Bowl hopeful Reshad Jones who had another great outing with 11 tackles, and a fumble recovery, this unit is ridiculed by opposing receivers far too often. You’d think the secondary would have watched sufficient film on Odel Beckham Junior to not let leave him entirely open where he could take a pass 84 yards for a touchdown, but apparently they didn’t. OBJ finished with 166 yards and 2 scores on the night. Rueben Randle added 58 yards and a score on 5 receptions, and two other Giants receivers also had 5 receptions. Eli Manning passed for 337 yards and four touchdowns, completely decimating our secondary in the process.
Special Teams: B+
The leg of Matt Darr continues to put on an impressive performance, punting for 280 yards on 6 punts with a long of 68 on the night. Andrew Franks hit his only field goal attempt of 36 yards and Jarvis Landry returned 2 punts for 30 yards. More impressive were Landry’s kick returns on the night, taking one kick back for 30 and another for 36 yards.
The Dolphins came out aggressive early, but a fumble by Dion Sims on the Phins first possession quickly put a halt to any momentum being built. It was disappointing to see Lamar Miller once again eliminated from the game in the second half by no fault of his own. Zac Taylor isn’t afraid of letting Ryan Tannehill throw the ball, and it has paid dividends for the interim offensive coordinator. The talent in Miami continues to be misused as the Dolphins struggle to find an identity offensively. The defense can do its part, but its much more difficult to do so when you’re on the field for over 60% of the game.