The Morning After: What We Learned About the Miami Dolphins in Week 1

Alain Poupart

It's never a good idea to overreact to what happens in the first game of a regular season. It's also important to note that the Miami Dolphins' last two playoff appearances came after they lost their opener that season.

So all is not lost just because they dropped a 10-point decision against the New England Patriots in Week 1.

But the game also served as a reminder that, as much as the Dolphins improved their roster in the offseason, it's fair to question whether this team is ready to contend, as some pundits predicted they would.

It truly was fashionable as the regular season approached to project the Dolphins as an up-and-coming team ready to shock the NFL just one year after fielding an opening-day team that had some questioning whether they might go winless.

But how realistic was it?

Again, we don't want to  overreact to one game, but there were some very disturbing things we saw, starting with the inability to stop the run when it pretty well had been established that's the route the Patriots were going to take on offense with Cam Newton now at quarterback instead of Tom Brady.

The Dolphins allowed 217 rushing yards against the Patriots, and that turned out to be the highest total in the NFL through the Week 1 Thursday and Sunday games.

Not good.

And if the Dolphins had their problems with Cam Newton, guess who's coming to Hard Rock Stadium next Sunday? Josh Allen.

Sure, his passing can be erratic, but he's also a very large quarterback who can and will run. You know, kind of like Cam Newton.

The biggest concern, however, based on what we saw at New England is the offense.

And, no, we're not talking about the performance of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

As I explained in the video at the top of this story, his performance on paper was a whole lot worse than it truly was.

No, Fitzpatrick wasn't great, but look at his interceptions and look at every play in the game, and you'll see Dolphins receivers having a very hard time creating separation. Yes, New England has a great secondary, but still.

Of course, it doesn't help that DeVante Parker had to leave the game in the second quarter because of his continuing hamstring issue. And nobody is going to blame a single Dolphins fan who's thinking, here we go again with Parker.

And, let's face it, the Dolphins receiving corps without Parker just doesn't scare anybody.

That's a problem.

And what's the solution if Parker has to miss some time to let that hamstring completely heal? And what happens if it's one of those things that just keeps lingering?

And what about the running game? Jordan Howard was brought in to be the feature back, but it was 2019 seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin who was the go-to guy against the Patriots.

That's because Howard had 7 yards on eight rushing attempts, which needless to say is not ideal.

Again, this was only one game and Miami figures to get better in all areas as the season moves along because that's what all teams do — even the talent-deficient 2019 Dolphins. But, again, that's what all teams do.

Then it becomes a question of each team's ceiling and which teams can reach those ceilings.

The Dolphins certainly figure to be better later in the 2020 season, but it's fair to wonder whether that will be good enough to meet the lofty expectations of those who expected a dramatic one-year turnaround.

THANKS FOR READING ALL DOLPHINS
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Comments (11)
No. 1-8
FlFred1
FlFred1

It seemed like Cam ran most of his plays between G & T ? Whoever was on defense on the left side must have been having a sandwich and a cool one, because no one was home ! And I'm gonna' say something here that will irritate many of you: Bobby ( FS ) is a good man, a loyal man, and a team player. What he isn't... is a "head-hunter" ! And I can't remember the last time we had one of those ? But it's the first game - we get that. Was Alexander's game-plan to keep Cam contained ? If so...it needs work ! Fitz.' is Fitz' ! Experienced, gutsy, and bright, but as has been said, if WR.'s can't get separation...well...... All and all...a new season, new people, new coaches. Let's just hope that injuries do not attack our team.

jaxdolphin
jaxdolphin

I was most disappointed in the soft, cushy and pliable fluffy porous diaper-liners of so-called 'edge setters' we signed as FAs. I'm looking directly at you, Emmanuel Ogbah and you, Shaq Lawson (BTW that will make you cross-eyed). WTF are we getting for our millions?? While I'm certainly no GM, it seems to me these guys need to earn their pay. Tighten up guys.

bartevers
bartevers

As most I was disappointed in a loss, but there was signs improvement. The defense was not what I had expected, especially against the run. Baker looked good, and there was signs of life, very few penalties was nice to see with so little time to prepare, but as mentioned before in other post the turn over in the coaching staff and personnel, this team has not had the time to jell. Did anyone see the disaster Tom Brady had against the Saints, Drew Brees had his same line and weapons as last year, while Brady was starting over with a new unit. The Buc's will get better and so will the Dolphins. Fitz did not look great but with a new offensive line, he was given more time than one would expect. The running game was bad, no way to sugar coat that, but hope we address that in the draft next year along with some receivers that don't spend most of the season on the IR list. Tua's time will come, but for me I would like to see a few more pieces added to the team before he is thrown to the wolves. I still like the direction the team is going, I know it sounds like a cop out but this is still a rebuilding team, and after many years frustration, I can wait till this team is something to be proud of.

JimTaylor31
JimTaylor31

Run defense was bad. That last interception was a killer. Overall, it was a pre-season game. The Pats will never win being so 1 dimensional. Cam will be the leading passer and rusher for that team, sound familiar? Not good.

72again
72again

11 new coaches. Bad game plans on O & D.
Last year players and rooks played a lot better than expensive FAs who were invisible
Team not motivated on field like pats-thats on coaches too
Howard was replica of ballage running the ball. There were some holes - either hevdid not see or too slow in getting there

72again
72again

Bad in some permanent respects: bad game plan on both sides of ball. 11 new coaches. Better or worse than last season?
Howard looked like Ballage. Some holes he did not see but come on! Right down the middle everytime?
Where were all the new LB’s? Not to be seen.
Bottom line: last yr players and draftees lot better than FAs we spent furtune

KimFitz
KimFitz

ALL WE NEEDED WAS A LOUSY 22PTS TO WIPE THAT STUPID SMILE OFF CAM NEWTONS FACE AND THIS IS WHAT YEAR 2 FROM FLORES AND FITZ GETS US? 11 POINTS WITH 3 INTS.
Our leading rusher had 40 yds?
Our leading WR had 47 yds?
This team was coached poorly yesterday if ya ask me. And, I honestly do not appreciate being told not to read too much into game 1 since we had no preseason/off season and we are still rebuilding! HOG WASH!! This is year #2 with the same QB/WRs and the same HC and I expect more than 11pts in the season opener against the division champs of the last 20 yrs!! And along with Cam Newton and his stupid hats!!
Our performance on offense was vanilla and our inability to stop the run when we knew it was a run, was pathetic.
BTW...Flores' stubbornness to continue to start Fitz over anyone else is getting old. He does NOT give us the best chance of winning - if he did - he would NOT have played for half the league! Let Tua rip it! And give Fitz a clipboard like he deserves!
Does Flores have a bromance thing with Fitzy? Man, he is so stubborn!

Bobby1080
Bobby1080

Going into the season I thought Miami would be a 5-6 win team. I was/still am ok with that if I see progress. And I did see some yesterday. I liked the play calling. I thought Gailey did a good job mixing up the run and pass. Our offensive line played fairly well. The run blocking needed improvement but pass blocking was solid. I've always liked Jordan Howard and thought he got a bum rap. Yesterday was not good so hopefully he picks it up. But it was also good to see Gaskin playing well. Fitz has always run hot and cold so you should expect some bad games. I'm still good with us sitting Tua for a bit. We don't have much depth at all at WR. I would have liked to have drafted one this past year but it can be addressed next season. I'm also very happy with the much improved discipline. Only 4 penalties for 35 yards. For years we were basically averaging a penalty every snap. Defense is where I was most frustrated. It was a continuation of the past decade. We still can't cover TE's or running backs out of the backfield. Our run defense was awful, especially at setting the edge. We didn't get much pressure on Cam. Baker definitely looks like the leader on defense. Penalties not withstanding, I thought he looked very good.


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