The Finsiders
The Finsiders Blog
Five Things We Learned In Week One!
By on September 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm

There are a lot of things you can be critical of anytime you lose a football game. The key for the Miami Dolphins is how they react next week at home against the Houston Texans, and if they can correct the mistakes made while building on some of the positives. Here are some of the things that I observed from last night against the New England Patriots.

1) HYDRATE! – First of all, I’ve never had to excerpt that much energy in a football game that I ever came close to cramping! Now that I’ve stated that, can someone please tell me why it was the team that should have the advantage in the humidity that was leaving the field due to the heat? Key players like Vontae Davis and Sean Smith lost valuable playing time against arguably the best quarterback in the NFL Tom Brady. Brady took advantage of the players replacing Davis and Smith, and the lack of consistent pressure led to a Patriots franchise and Monday Night Football record for passing yards with 517! 

2) Quality Quarterback Play – Both Tom Brady and Chad Henne were in attack mode last night combining for 933 passing yards! Henne (30 of 49 for a personal best 416 yards, two touchdowns and one interception) looked in control all evening making good decisions with the football while dealing with much more pressure in the pocket than Brady. He also was able to hit the Patriots defense for some chunk yardage plays and use his legs (7 rushing attempts for 59 yards and one touchdown) to keep drives alive. Brady (32 of 48 for 517 yards, four touchdowns and one interception) unfortunately worked most of the night at his desired pace keeping the Dolphins defense on there heels reacting instead of attacking.

3) Dolphins Offense Created Big Plays – From the opening drive and throughout the game, the Miami Dolphins offense found a way to get the big play back into their offense. The first play from scrimmage when Chad Henne found Brandon Marshall down the Dolphins sideline for 25 yards, you had the feeling that this offense would stretch the Patriots secondary. Anthony Fasano had a spectacular, one-handed, 22 yard reception on the same drive to set up the Henne touchdown run to complete the drive. In the second half, Marshall had receptions of 22 and 27 yards and finished the evening with 63 run after catch yards! This is something that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can take some credit for and allowing Henne the ability to change the play at the line of scrimmage.

4) Last Year Means Nothing – Everyone, including yours truly, assumed that the Dolphins defense will pick up right where they left off last season. Well as we witnessed last night, it just doesn’t happen that way, especially going up against the arsenal that is the Patriots offense! I know that this defense isn’t going to get beat all season like they did last night, and I have a strong suspicion that the heat will get turned up against the Texans next Sunday. They is too much pride and talent on that side of the football not to turn this thing around quickly! Offensively, the big question was at quarterback and if Henne could be “the guy.” Chad delivered and carried his solid play in the pre-season to week one. If he continues to play at this level, the Dolphins will have a chance to win each and every week.

5) Score Touchdowns In Red Zone – The offense made significant strides from last year to week one, but this unit still must take advantage of 4th and goal from the one yard line! Once in the third quarter and again in the fourth, the Dolphins only came away with three points when they had a chance to tie the football game with a touchdown, and the other would have made it a seven point difference. Against teams like New England, you must take advantage of those situations to win games down the stretch.


Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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aleroy25 says:

totally agree with dolfantomcat post, kind of disappointed in the defense against the pats we had the number 6 Defense last year and i just didnt see it on monday night,and beleive it or not it could have been alot worst then what it was for us to only be down by 14pts with all the yards they had, which that wes welker play shouldnt of even happen (well sapps gone for that one ),but very empressed with the offense just knowning we can throw the ball and move it down field is huge compared to last year.I think we are in good shape and will be fine this year, but for the love of me DEFENSE HAS TO PLAY BETTER so that our offense and have more chances of punishing other teams, Bush and Marshall are two of the league prolific players mix it up and use devone Bess very dangerous with the rock so yea ,LETS GO DOLPHINS ( o yea i have my texans vs dolphins tickets ready so we are watching. run the ball Bush and bring your superbowl ring to practice for motivation

Coach Sparano makes to many little mistakes that add to the overall problems the Dolphins have. No team in the NFL has the time to be teaching their coach how to coach. Example working on the wildcat instead of the quarterback situation over the last few years. Is anyone else seeing this? Big Dolphin fan

DolfanTomcat says:

U N B E L I E V A B L E ! Why pass when first and goal from the 1? that was a sack and a loss of 9 yards because you didnt run it! Oh wait, No ricky williams to run between tackles. Why run, when deep in your own territory? Reggie Bush is half the size of a real player. Bush is a space player. dont advertise run and then push him between the tackles. create space and give it to him. Henne is a good QB and he is surrounded by very good recievers. You only opened up the passing game in the 4th. you moved it all the way to the 1, passing. Passing is how you get down field. Running is how you pick up 1 yard. I love the new idea of having an attacking offense. Allowing the QB to call the play at the line should be standard for any team in the NFL. I blame coaching for Henne having some bad seasons. You actually were not letting him call plays from the line???? Brady does it, Manning does it. The play calling is what lost the game early on, when you passed and took the sack with first and goal from the 1. Does the word “BLITZ” mean anything to you? You were not pressuring Brady and he picked you apart. If the secondary can’t defend, in the secondary, you might as well send more players after the QB. WHY WHY WHY trade Ricky Williams. it was bad enough that you made him play behind Ronnie Brown for so long. Ricky is a 25+ carry per game, back. Did you not watch the film of what he did to defenses in the third fourth quarters after wearing them down? Reggie bush looks like he is the size of Ricky Williams right thigh. And where is Lousaka Polite? (Rhetorical question) why can teams like the Patriots cycle through so many players but still be good? Coaching. I have watched the Fins loose too many games from atrocious play calling and poor coaching. It is so hard to be a Dolphin Fan. I would never choose another team over the Dolphins but I am seriously considering eliminating the NFL from recieving any more of my time or money.

Note to Pats fans: thank you for your decency in acting respectful in our stadium. You were one hundred thousand times better than jets fans, who DISGUST me!

Note to jets fans: Get on a plane, go to Iran, and crash into anything. P.S. dont forget your fat pig POS coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rico41 says:

Welker was not cut. He was traded for a second and a seventh round picks. My guess, because he was expendable due to the signing of Ted Ginn. Both moves were serious mistakes.
The fatigue Monday nite by the Dolphins was painfully obvious. This is a coaching problem.
FINALLY, the Dolphins are throwing the ball downfield. Long time in this happening. Still, but only occasionally, throwing a five yard pass on third and ten but not as often as in the past. Overall, a marked improvement in team play over last year.
Rico

Paulmatthew22 says:

We need Will Allen back,.Glad we cut Sapp but i would preffered Carroll,.He is worse than bad,..He was out of it mentally,.that cant happen!

marchcool says:

Paradave24 or whatever your name is. Perhaps you are not smart enough to understand what I said. It is not by praising the good things that will make this team better. Perhaps you have not realized how bad our team has been since Marino left. Can you acknowledge that at least ?
I’ve been a dolphan since 35 years. I got the right to be critic about the staff decisions, which in case you have not realized, they have been awful in all the possible respects.
Three passes in yard 5. This is the staff’s fault. Regardless how good the ofense played. The 99 TD pass was not a geniality by Brady, it was a stupidity by the defense. This kind of mistakes are recurrent all the time. 10 losses in the last 11 matches in Miami, yes right our team is improving, you’re right. Patriots are great, so we cannot expect defeat them.yes you’re right. You should be part of the current staff my friend. You would be in good company.
By the way, if you don’t know the very same receiver who caught the 99 TD pass (yes Welker) was part of our team. He used to play very well and he was cut. Like R.Williams and some others. Yes, you’re right our staff has been great in the past ten years and notably the actual one.
I’m a dolphan to my bones. Learn it forever pal.

poizon says:

Welker was not cut. He was traded for a 2nd and 7th round pick when the Patriots were trying to pick him up as a RFA. There was also a rumor of tampering so the trade basically was their way out of that.