Monday, September 14, 2009

RE-CAP: Dolphins vs. Falcons - Sept. 13th, 2009

Well this was a heartbreaking loss simply because we played up to the level of the Falcons for most of the game.  During the live chat/viewing, we noticed how, heading into the final drive, Miami and Atlanta were even in just about every category:

16 to 17 on first downs.
259 to 259 on total yardage.
29 minutes to 27 minutes in time of possession.

There was the shaky performance by the offensive line and the foreseen inability to stop Tony Gonzalez and Atlanta's fast, hard hitting defense, and we were still breaking even with them.  There were some bad throws by Matt Ryan in the 1st quarter that could've put us under in a big way, but once he got on target, our defense had tightened up a bit.

This game like no other came down quite simply to the 4 turnovers given up by Miami, as opposed to the zero by Atlanta.  Take away a couple of those turnovers, and we would've outgained them, out first-downed them, and really taken the time of possession crown.  It was a game that should've gone our way, and if it wasn't for Fasano's slippery hands and Pennington's poor decision making on a couple of plays, then the results would've been quite different.  

Let's talk about the things that DID happen.  

For one, I thought our d-line did pretty well versus the Atlanta O-line, keeping Atlanta to under 70 yards rushing, some of that coming in garbage time.   Jason Taylor got his first sack after rejoining the Dolphins early on, and Jason Ferguson added the 2nd one for Miami.  So the two oldest guys on the team were the only ones to get to the QB.  Porter was good in run support (I noticed Atlanta ran to his side more than to Taylor's) but did not come close to Ryan all game long.  

Sean Smith got burned on that deep route by Roddy White where Ryan completely missed the throw.  He didn't get beat for the rest of the game.  W. Allen on the other hand, struggled as did both starting safeties for the Dolphins.  They just couldn't handle the speed of the receivers and the velocity of Ryan's throws.

Jason Allen was the only special teamer making any tackles in the game, though they credited both of his tackles to Brian Hartline for some reason at  I guess the 32 looked like an 82?  Our special teams was horrible.  Punt Return Average = 5.5 yds.  Kick Return Average = 18.4 yards.  Our average starting position after a kickoff was the 17 yard line.  Atlanta's was the 29 yard line.  

Oh well, not the way to start the season, but at least one thing good came out of it:


  1. That was very difficult to watch.

  2. The Knight who says Ni!September 14, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    Pretty much agree with everything you said. Too many mistakes on offense was basically the game. We're still not sticking with the base running game and it's starting to really annoy me.

    Merling played well. 

  3. Ronnie Brown had 4 carries in the first half. FOUR!!

  4. what the F happened to my post.

    knight, i dont think sticking to the base running would of helped yesterday.  our o-line was horrible.  now, i dont think it was cause of talent, i just think the atl d wanted it more then our O yesterday

  5. I said the same thing last night @ ""We're not perfect,but we're live"",
    and it's what I've been telling everybody,that's saying the FINS are done(after ONE game)LOL!!!

    "" <span style="color: #476cb8;"><span style="cursor: pointer;">13kvFINS</span><img src=""/></span> <span>Can somebody understand the ONLY overwhelming stat differential that decided this game????   
    (We played EVEN,or would have @LEAST),ON THE ROAD,vs a well stocked Offensive PLAYOFF TEAM,   
    who's D also showed-up on OPENING DAY!!! Who'd of thunk that might happen??   
    Those TO's weren't blatant brain-farts on our part,   
    they were due to excellent play's by peterson,and BIGGG HITS ALL DAY!!    
    I AIN'T slittin my wrist,(ORANGE and TEAL)stains aren't as consealable as red!!! ""   
    <span style="color: #476cb8;"></span></span>

  6. Our running game was not bad yesterday...ronnie averaged 4.3 yds, ricky
    averaged 5.6 yds. We just didn't run enough IMO.
    But we did run enough to come out as the 11th best running team this week.
    Our run D was the 7th best.

  7. I agree with everything you have said. I just find it really uncharecteristic of Fasano. Last year, he was clutch. It was ONE HELLA hit on him to get that first fumble though.

    I think this loss was attributed most definetly  to the turnovers and the inability to protect Penny long enough for anyone to run their routes.

    Tin, I have to say you have better coverage than the Herald and SS and I just wanted to thank you for that.

    13kvfins...I love your voice of reason and although I was sick yesterday watching the game, you are right it was one game, lets see what this years team is made of after such a loss.

    GO FINS!

  8. First off it has been a really long time since I have last posted.

    From what I saw during the game.

    O: When we did run the ball we got a good amount of yards. For a while Ricky was over 5 YPC. IMO it seemed as if Chad was only looking at the receivers that were within 5 yards of the LOS. Turnovers killed us.

    D: We were getting pressue on Ryan but we were just late almost everytime. Run D looked good but they were making up those yards in the air. To me the biggest thing was that we could not get off the field on 3rd down. There were like 3 or 4 times where they were in 3rd and 9 plus where they still go the 1st. 2 of those were like 3rd and 14 or more.

  9. So what would have happened if Greg would have ran all the way to the endzone after he got up?

    Was the play considered dead because the ref blew the whistle, even though it should have been live

  10. The Knight who says Ni!September 14, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    ffr, the OL struggled more against the pass rush then the running game. We moved the ball on the ground a bunch of times. We didn't stick with it.

  11. The ruling is the ball is dead where the whistle blows.
    The same thing happens all the time where there's a fumble recovered and
    advanced. The ball goes back to where it was when the whistle was blown.

  12. Tin, you're thinking what I'm thinking! The Pennington fumble and interception have to blamed largely on the O-line as he was running for his life most of the game. The two Fasano fumbles were the killer mistakes. Our D kept the score low, but the offense got run over by a hungrier D.

    I thought , either Ginn isn't an NFL kick returner or, the blocking is is so horrendous that he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. In the end, it didn't matter anyway because their kicker left 7 points on the field!

  13. SAME as ABOVE,w'a little more depth,(another cut/paste from last night)!!

    NOT a sadd day though,other than the turn-overs!!
    We basically matched a high powered PLAYOFF O
    w'a short field on opening day in their home!!

    Time of possesion differed by less than 2 min!!!

    The difference in the game SIMPLY PUT was the turnovers!!

    Other than that we basically matched them in EVERY stat!!!
    OR would have,had we not kept ending our own drives!!!

    CP did fine(minus the int,GREAT D PLAY/Peterson)..
    OL had it tough vs a pumped-up D(esp JL),
    AIN'T gonna happen very often!!

    Minus the TO's we'd of outplayed them in PRACTICALLY every stat,
    INCLUDING time of possesion,but NOT including sacks!!

    OPENING day loss on the RD vs a heavily stocked PLAYOFF offense
    that had a short field ALL DAY(TO's),while b/c it was a home game their D
    happened to show-up also w/ferosity..
    NONE of our TO's were blatant brain-farts,they were all a result of
    GREAT defensive play on the int,and teeth chattering hits on the fumbles..

    We WIN the game,MINUS the TO's,(we're NOT a TO type of team),
    and I guarantee that type of TO performance doesn't happen toooooo
    mannnnnnyyyyy times this yr!!!

    DAMN,IF only PW'd of hit that bomb to TG,
    I'm EXCITED about the possibilities that I saw on both sides of the ball!!!
    MINUS THE TURNOVERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I expected to lose on the rd vs this O,we didn't need to help them,
    had we not,we'd of won !!!

    O was effecient enough minus the TO's,and lack of run opportunities taken!!

    Sends badd vibes to MY TEAM,(guess it's the hippie or athlete in me)!!

    HEY TIN,what was the deal w'SSmith taking 24,and VONTAE goin 21??
    I was expecting # changes,(but the type that would give us more OFFENSIVE option possibilities)!!
    I guess TriTuna missread my memo,(OHWELL too late now,I guess)??

    colts @home barily got by the jags,bring'em on to OUR home OPENING DAY,MINUS OUR TO's !!
    Their not near as loaded as ATL on either-side of the ball,cept for PM who's ALWAYS had difficulties vs MIA!!


  14. I'm with both of you guys.  I was hoping that with the acquisition of Grove we would actually become more of a run oriented offense.   I was hoping that our team would start to look more like Parcells' old Giant teams. I think the defense is on its way but not on offense.  Therefore I'm wondering if we have the right offensive coordinator in Henning.  Based on the yards per carry by R&R, it's just  shocking that Henning didn't call more running plays.  In addition--although I admit I was curious to see White run the Wildcat--it turned out to be a big mistake.  His insertion into the game disrupted any kind of continuity we had & was a momentum killer.  After he missed Ginn by a good ten yards I'd have to say he needs more seasoning.  BTW--Can't fault Ginn on that play--he had very good seperation from the DB's. 

    However, the worst momentum killer BY FAR was Fasano.  This is supposed to a "Parcells guy???"  Two fumbles???  WTF!!!  That's pathetic!!!  All I can say is that he's not exactly Mark Bavaro.  Hell, give me Kevin Boss for Christ sake!   Seriously.  After that I'd just like to say that Jake Long should be ashamed of himself.   Pennington didn't even have a chance out there & I can only imagine how physically & mentally sore he is right now.  What's so bizarre is that his completion percentage was excellent...Imagine if he actually had any time???  It's bad enough that this O-line could not control the line of scrimmage but they could barely even pass protect!!!   I want us to be running team & we have the backs to do it but between our O-line & Henning, we're just not. 

  15. It could've & should've been better.  Between R&R and Cobbs, we should run the ball a MINIMUM of 30 times a game.  Minimum!!!

  16. Tins,

    Keep up the great work.  It is truly appreciated. :)   I'm tired of all the blowhards in the media.

  17. We cant win with 4 turnovers.......If we score before halftime we are in this game, instead we turn it over and they get 3 more points. Kudos to the defense they played very well against a very good offense, keeping Atlanta out of the endzone for much of the day. We only had two sacks but we pressured Ryan several times. I felt Pennington didnt help his O line out much by holding onto the ball longer than he should of with them not playing well. I guess thats what happens when you feel you need to make a play. I expected our Offense to play better than that and put up more points. I felt if we could keep them under 21 we would win the game. Their kicker did everthing he could to keep us in the game and we didnt do anything with it.

  18. Knight,

    That's definitely true but we were not dominating at the point of attack the way Sparano has preached all off season, & throughout camp & in the pre-season.  There was one run (might have been Polite???) when he was hammered in the backfield as soon as he touched the ball.  You can't allow defenders to come in completely untouched.  That was ridiculous.

  19. "The difference in the game SIMPLY PUT was the turnovers!!"


    It was more than the turnovers & the stats can't tell you how slow & out of rhythm our offense looked.  Even the final score is deceiving.  They missed two FG's, an extra point, & Ryan was not great yesterday.  He's good & everything but the damage could've been far worse if he was really on.   The difference to me & what really pisses me off is that we didn't match their intensity.  Their defense which had a bunch of questions marks coming into this game looked like the freaking Ravens!!!  We didn't help our cause but even if didn't turn the ball over 4 times, I still think they looked like the better team.

  20. The Knight who says Ni!September 14, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    WHP, sometimes the other team makes a play. When teams play the 4-3 scheme with smaller but quicker DL like the Bucs always did and the Colts do they make plays like that from time to time. It wasn't like it happened all day.

  21. The Knight who says Ni!September 14, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    WHP, all the would have could haves works both ways. You can't give it all to the Falcons. Turnovers kills a team mentally. You're about to score inside the 10 and now the other team has the ball on your 30 or whatever it was. That is a huge momentum killer.

  22. There was a point in the 2nd half, when the score was still only 10-0, when the Dolphins did really start to run the ball hard and often.  The OL was finally moving the ball and momentum was being built up when Fasano fumbled the ball for the second time.  (And again, he was holding the ball with one hand as two or more tacklers approached.)  I can't recall if the Falcons scored right after that turnover but soon it was 16-0 and the Fins turned to the pass.

  23. Nick Saban is a LIAR!!!September 14, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    I agree with all the sentiments above but my question is "what is ronnie thinking right now".  Two years ago, he was one of the league's best (before the ACL injury) and now he's running bs wildcat plays, which are destroying his stats (ten carries the whole game, WTF!!!!!).  It's got to be extra tough considering he's in his prime.   

  24. Tin
    Interesting and innovate approach to comparison of the game
    Did not study these  post game stats
    Analysis like this catapults your coverage a stones throw ahead of local media
    Amazing fun facts

    Ok Know U are waiting for the sean smith rant(here we go again)
    Accurate reporting on seans 1st blown coverage and misfire by Ryan which is only reason for prevented TD over sean

    Do not agree with statement that this was the only time he was beat
    sean was beat for another easy TD underthrown by Ryan
    White beat him deep by a step or two inside the ten
    sean got away with a push off
    Clear as day(dont deny it)
    Ball was underthrown aprox 3 yards right into the lap of sean
    who dropped an easy int after an offensive pass interference non call

    Earlier in the game Jenkins beat sean for a aprox 15 Yd down and in again Ryan misfired

    When U have time to rewatch these plays please post back

    Good job
    on pre game report in regards to Tony G
    We unfortunately were both right Atlanta Wins, Dolphins Lose
    Thanks Tin
    Will hang up and listen to your protective answer  lol

    Predicting win next Monday Night for our Home opener

    ***** The DYNASTY BE FINS! *****

  25. Slush, love the avatar!!  I'm a margarita girl myself. 

    It wasn't just Fasano.  It seemed like they just weren't ready, any of them. 

    I also appreciate your site Tinshaker.  I couldn't say if was better than the Herald, as I don't go there.  And the SS just makes me 'bitchy' I think it has been said.  If that means being annoyed with some of the crap posted there, then I am proud to be bitchy!

  26. Just had to know the Bills would find a way to blow it....

  27. The Knight who says Ni!September 14, 2009 at 9:25 PM

    Of course they do. Unreal!

  28. *defensive pass interference

  29. I'm going to agree with you here.  I have been saying this same thing, and most fans just don't want to hear it.  Quite frankly neither do I.
    But the stats as usual don't tell the whole story.  The Falcons defense is not that good people, but they looked like a SB team in this game.  The mistakes really hurt us not only because they happened but when they happened and the timing of them.

    I just can't stand losing I guess but I saw little in this game to get me pumped up, other than next week has to be better because it can't get much worse.  I have to beleive that this loss was a good thing for the team and wakes them up. I'm not sure if I'd want to be in the locker room this week !!!

    After watching the games this week Miami is not the only team that seemed slugish to start the season.

  30. The Knight who says Ni!September 15, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Week 1 is usually a weird week. This one wasn't that weird but not many teams if any that I saw looked to be in midseason form.

  31. The other thing that comes to mind for me is.� This past week being the first week of the� season a few teams get really jacked up.� I think that was the case with Atlanta's defense.� I doubt we will see that intensity from them next week, but no matter what they do from here on they did there damage to us on Sunday.� It was a very disappointing game for me from the Dolphins side of things.
    Two things that really bothered me from last year and I see continuing this year is.� First Miami can not create a hole for the backs to run through on the inside in the base offense, and Secondly Miami can not get the ball down field far enough to keep the defenses honest.� I think the lack of going over the top of the defense allows the defenses to collapse quickly on our running backs.
    If our offensive line played as well as our defensive line we would have been much more competitive even with the turnovers.� They weren't and it's a big reason we lost that game.

  32. The Knight who says Ni!September 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM

    Fang, it's one game and if becomes a consistent theme then we're not that good and we'll have to accept it. I don't think that will be the case. Call me an optimist but I am so. LOL

    We'll compete, keep the faith.

  33. I agree on the heartbreak. With that said, you hit the nail on the head tin with ronnie and ricky's avg. Why in hell would Ronnie Brown be sitting in the locker room at halftime with 4 carries!!?? WTF! Ok so that's off my chest. We need to put the ball in our RBs hands early, often, again, more often, and then some more later. Sparano let me down on this one guys. Pat is not ready, all those plays should have gone to Ronnie on a running play. That's where the fins are right now. Ricky ran hard as hell and I have no problem substituting the name Ricky anywhere I said Ronnie. If they have 30-35 carries between the two of them, we will be victorius on Monday night in front of the entire nation.

  34. Tin
    Please quit your day job and ignore your family   lol

    Need more Dolphin coverage
    More blogs
    More info
    More dolphin food please

  35. The Knight who says Ni!September 16, 2009 at 6:30 AM

    Is Tin on vacation?

  36. I wish. Just extremely busy at work. Today is supposed to be 'substantial
    completion' date on our current project but of course we're about a month
    behind schedule...still, part 3 of defense article will be up today as well
    as some tin bits.

  37. The Knight who says Ni!September 16, 2009 at 7:06 AM

    Part 3 of the defense article could be a tough sell. The Jets defense looked very good against Houston but I happen to think Houston is a little overrated anyway.

  38. "<span style="">W. Allen on the other hand, struggled as did both starting safeties for the Dolphins.  They just couldn't handle the speed of the receivers and the velocity of Ryan's throws.</span>

    I think "struggled" is too strong here. They were the only game in town since the number one running game in the league from '08 was shut down. I think you could just as easily say they played Gonzalez (recievers were the real "bringers" vs. our secondary, not mr "velocity") et al to a draw, and collectively they allowed 2 TDs all day which is plenty good enough to win.

    Also, spare us a bit with Allen would ya? 2 tackles is all the tackles our ST made all day? Funny I thought there were 2 Kickoffs and 3 Punts from us. Doesn't that make 5 tackles (assuming no unforced fumbles or TDs)? Your boy damn well BETTER be making ST tackles, it's the only reason he still has a roster spot IMO.

    Now that I'm done being critical let me sing some praises: Your analysis of the matchup (outside of the final score prediction) was VERY accurate. Peria Jerry isn't a world beater, but he's damn good and you liked him all along. Kudos. Also, Gonz. killed us like he always does, which you also pointed out. So credit where it's due, well done.

  39. I think you'd better wait to see what happens when Kevin Walter gets back into the game. He had as many TDs and Johnson last season, and on Sunday, with him out, Johnson was routinely TRIPLED! That offense has been touted alot this preseason, but I wouldn't write 'em off just yet.

  40. Jahndoh, in regards to J Allen, are you suggesting that since the Falcons
    ran the ball 30+ times that Jason Ferguson should've gotten 30 + tackles
    because he was in the game on rushing downs?
    "Also, spare us a bit with Allen would ya? 2 tackles is all the tackles our

  41. Tin,

    No I'm not suggesting that. I'm suggesting you said "<span style="">Jason Allen was the ONLY special teamer making ANY tackles in the game..."</span>

    <span style="">Emphasis mine, words yours. That is all. If you said Ferguson was the ONLY defender making ANY tackles in the game than I'd point that out as well :) </span>

    <span style="">I DID give you credit too. It's not ALL criticism from me ya know...</span>

  42. you give me too much credit, actually, assuming I actually read what I
    Anyway, obviously I wasn't being literal there. watching the game there
    were two long returns where lots of tackles were missed and JA was the last
    line of defense and made the tackle. I didn't mean he made every tackle, I
    meant he was the only one who seemed to know how to tackle.

  43. Keep in mind though that the combination of Brandon London being gone and a
    couple of rookies and a general shuffling around of people may have had an
    adverse effect. They should never have taken J. Allen out of the gunner
    position, for example. Sometimes these coaches try so hard to make
    something work, they end up fixing what isn't broken. Obviously, J. Allen
    and Erik Walden were solid in 2008 at their respective positions, so why
    move them out of those positions now? Haven't we moved Allen around
    enough? Are they going to put him on offense next?

  44. " Are they going to put him on offense next?"

    Yeah, they'll probably be replacing Ronnie Brown with him. :)