It’s never easy the day after a loss at any level, especially in the National Football League. The Miami Dolphins fell to 0-2 after coming up on the short end of a 23-13 home loss to a very good Houston Texans team. Now the task at hand is very simple and the Dolphins should have tunnel vision looking forward to Sunday’s match up against the Cleveland Browns. The Finsiders will preview the Browns contest later this week, but for now, let’s take a look back and see what we learned from this week.
1) Rookie Daniel Thomas Was Impressive! – In his first game as a pro, running back Daniel Thomas let his legs do the talking as he ran for 107 yards on 18 carries. What was most impressive about Thomas’s debut was the hard running style between the tackles and the acceleration he possess to get to the second level. The improvement from the pre-season to yesterday was very evident and will only add to the weapons that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will have at his disposal.
2) Red Zone Issues – One of the things that the Dolphins offense will need to pay special attention to is improving the execution when they travel inside the opponents 20 yard line. Multiple times yesterday the offense either settled for field goal chances or left points on the field. A dropped touchdown, a missed field goal and a blocked opportunity keep this team either closing the scoring deficit, or taking control of the game. When you drive 75 yards building up momentum and ultimately get turned away in the scoring zone, it deflates a football team!
3) Henne To Marshall Is Improving! – To say that the chemistry that quarterback Chad Henne had built with wide receiver Brandon Marshall has come a long way would be a drastic understatement. Now saying that, there is still room for both of these players to execute at a higher level and that will produce better numbers, and just may be the difference in winning and losing football games! Henne to Marshall so far through two games has been productive and impressive. Marshall has 13 receptions for 218 yards and one touchdown. He’s averaging 109 yards against two aggressive defenses, and is on pace for over 100 receptions on the year, and his continued production is crucial to this units success.
4) Disappointing Numbers On Third Down – One of the areas of improvement must occur on third down situation because it will sustain drives and keep the defense rested on the sidelines. Through two games, the Dolphins offense is 6 for 26 (23 percent) on third down and that needs to get better in a hurry! I would expect that running back Reggie Bush and wide receiver Davone Bess will get more involved in moving the chains and getting the football in space. Bess is one of the best receivers on third down in the league, and Bush is built for taking a nothing play, and turning it into something special. I would look for these two players to get favorable match-ups this week against Cleveland, and for the offense to improve quickly on third down!
5) Losing Ground Quickly – The most important game on your schedule is the next game, and for the Dolphins, this game is critical! You can’t lose anymore ground in the AFC East because were two games behind after only two weeks. Head Coach Tony Sparano said today that at the end of the season they only add up the number of wins and losses, and not when they occur. That is certainly true, but I’m sure he would like to have this week’s game at Cleveland count as one of those in the win column!
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.