For the second consecutive week the Miami Dolphins mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt and fell short in the dying seconds.
Where are the 0-2 Miami Dolphins heading and what positives can we take out of these two heartbreaking losses?
TANNEHILL DOES LOOK IMPROVED
The pre-season provides about 4 to 5 quarters of game play. Teams seldom game plan and reluctantly use plays they’re saving for the regular season. Perhaps we can view Tannehill’s second half in New England as his career turning point.
Tannehill completed 10 of 18 in the first half for 110 yards. The Patriots led in Time of Possession 21:08-8:52, so Miami did not have many opportunities to run plays.
However, things changed dramatically after Pats QB Jimmy Garoppolo exited the game with a sprained armo-clavicular (AC) joint in his right throwing shoulder. The air went out of the stadium and with the Patriots swagger appeared to deflate (yes, deflate).
Tannehill completed 22 of 27 for 279 yards and two TD’s in the second half. He made some strong throws and we witnessed excellent receiver play from Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and tight end Jordan Cameron. Even Kenny Still registered a TD catch.
The Patriots didn’t pull in the horns and clearly needed to stop the Dolphins in order to help their third string quarterback. So this performance cannot be downplayed.
TWO TOUGH TEAMS ON THE ROAD
Could a team draw up a tougher season opener than making the longest flight in the NFL to play against Seattle’s 12th Man only to follow up that up as guests for New England’s home opener?
The Dolphins created some laughable game tape in both of these games, but they were in each game until the final whistle. Short of winning, it sure beats changing the channel in the third quarter.
RECEIVING CORPS DEVELOPING
With Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker the Dolphins have one of the duos since the Marks Brothers. Jordan Cameron performed well in New England. If Kenny Stills can stop worrying about ambiguous political issues and concentrate on catching footballs, the Dolphins have a chance to get by with a weakened rushing attack.
CLEVELAND COMES TO TOWN
Well, the Dolphins continue to play the role of schedule relief for playoff contenders, but at least they haven’t reached the rock-bottom buffoon status of the Cleveland Browns. As if the Browns weren’t bad enough, they look like an absolute minor-league outfit in their “re-branded” uniforms. Another example of crass marketing and sneaker/apparel companies destroying classic looks because well…”it’s time for an update.”
The Browns haven’t won a championship since 1964. If they’d waited a year, they could’ve replaced the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I. As it stand, the Browns have never returned to the NFL Title Game.
WILL ROOF MAKE STADIUM LOUD AGAIN?
As harsh as I’ve been about Stephen Ross’ stewardship, he has managed to transform Dolphins Stadium into an excellent venue. He paid for it out of pocket after failing to land public money, too. And that’s the way things should be.
We’ve all spent many a Sunday melting in the uncovered sections of the old stadium. The roof will not only provide much-needed shade, but should help make a Dolphins Stadium loud once again. The Orange Bowl, dump that it was, made for a loud, intimidating place to play. Home field advantage remains a big part of re-establishing this team’s winning tradition.