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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Honestly, we could have put every unit under "The Ugly" this week. All units had their good and bad moments. I think the main reason the Dolphins won this game was the defense. They held the Steelers to 10 points, including no points in the second half. They also forced 3 turnovers, all interceptions. The game was sealed on a Noah Igbinoghene interception, who has been forced into duty with all of the injuries to the secondary. Iggy epitomizes the "ugly" nature of this game. While he looked serviceable, there were times during the game that he still had lapses in coverage. But he made a great play to intercept the pass that basically ended the game.
Jaelan Phillips had 8 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He has been showing up more lately, but we do need to see more consistency from him.
It was good to see Tua back and he looked sharp early on. Jaylen Waddle had 4 catches for 88 yards and Raheem Mostert had 79 yards on 16 carries.
I'm not sure what McDaniel was thinking going for it on 4th down after Edmonds got stuffed on third down. Even worse, why did he hand it right back to Edmonds on 4th down and expect a different result?
Also, overall the offense that started off red hot went into a shell once the Steelers started taking the middle of the field away. It doesn't seem like McDaniel ever adjusted for this. His counter was to run it, which worked at times, and continue attacking the middle, which didn't. I believe the primary reason the offense stalled was because there were not good adjustments made by McDaniel. He's a young coach that has instilled a bunch of hope and energy into his team, but obviously he has some improving to do on gameday and that is to be expected.
Speaking of said offense, and Tua in particular, it was a very Jekyll and Hyde performance. Tua came out on fire and stayed hot but cooled off as the Steelers began countering the Dolphins approach.
Tua is back, the Dolphins win. But it was an ugly win. There is still a lot of work to do on this team on both sides of the ball, but at least they stopped the losing streak.
Next up are the Detroit Lions, who are 1-5. This is definitely a game the Dolphins should win, especially if Tua is at QB.
Tyreek Hill had a monster game, with 12 catches for 177 yards.
The defense played well enough to win the game, until the end when they gave up a 53 yard run to Dalvin Cook. Overall, the defense allowed 24 points, 78 yards rushing, 156 yards passing and only allowed 11 first downs. Elandon Roberts had 7 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Even Noah Igbinoghene had a couple of passes defensed after a rough PI call. The only thing missing from the defense was forcing turnovers, which they seem to be struggling with this year.
Even though Jaylen Waddle put up some nice numbers on paper (6 catches, 129 yards), he did drop a pass that led to an interception and fumbled a ball after the catch that essentially ended the game.
Teddy Bridgewater was a major reason the Dolphins offense couldn't get it going. He threw several passes that were behind the receiver. It is clear that even the 7th round rookie with little profession experience is a better player than him.
The offensive line, decimated by injuries, is a mess. Little at left tackle was a disaster. Liam Eichenberg is currently one of the worst guards in the league and is showing no sort of improvement. It may be time to shift the offensive line around. At this time, Armstead, Deiter, Williams, Hunt and Jackson may be the best unit the Dolphins can hope for.
5 penalties on the same drive. This team lacks discipline. That's on the coaches.
Mike McDaniel has zero trust in the running game. That is evident by his playcalling. However, he may need to adjust his approach. Mostert was effective and should have gotten the rock more. Chase Edmonds needs to be benched. He is completely ineffective as a runner. At this point, I'd rather see Gaskin (if healthy) or Admed.
From 3-0 to 3-3, the Dolphins fall has been precipitous. It coincides with Tua's injury, so the natural conclusion is the Dolphins would have won some of these games if Tua had played. Clearly, the offense looks significantly different when he is the QB. But there are certainly other problems. The cornerback position is decimated. The offensive line is decimated. Aside from Tua returning, we will need these units to get healthy to get back on track.
Next up are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are 2-4 and have had some struggles. This is a game the Dolphins need to win, or this decline may have no bottom any time soon.