MIAMI, FL - It was not the Carolina Panthers' day, plain and simple. From seemingly start to finish, the Miami Dolphins won every phase of the game and sent Carolina into their bye week with a bad taste in their mouth losing 33-10.
Miami moved the ball inside the Carolina 25 on the opening drive after a roughing the passer call on linebacker Haason Reddick and then a 25-yard gain through the air to dynamic rookie receiver, Jaylen Waddle. However, the Dolphins came up empty-handed thanks to a sack, forced fumble by Brian Burns which pushed Miami out of field goal range.
Following the punt, Carolina was pinned inside its own five-yard line and went three and out. To make matters worse, the Panthers didn't protect on the punt which led to a block by Duke Riley and was recovered by Justin Coleman in the end zone for a touchdown.
After several questions were asked regarding Newton's arm strength following the loss to Washington, Newton put that to bed on the second drive of the game. He aired one out deep down the field to DJ Moore, picking up 64 yards on the play. A couple of plays later, Newton took the snap out of the gun and tried to run it in but got stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Right guard Trent Scott noticed he was stopped in his track and grabbed him and spun him into the end zone to tie things up at seven apiece.
Newton was intercepted on the next two possessions but the Carolina defense held serve following his first pick which was thrown to rookie safety Jevon Holland. The second pick was returned by Xavien Howard to the 10-yard line, giving the Dolphins a very short field. This time, Miami capitalized on the turnover and reached the end zone via the Tua Tagovailoa to Jaylen Waddle connection in the air.
Carolina went three and out on the next series handing the ball right back to a hot Miami offense. Tagovailoa went back to Waddle for another explosive play in the air. The 57-yard catch and run put the Dolphins in the red zone and set up a rushing score from Myles Gaskin.
The Panthers' two-minute offense was very poor and resulted in just 13 yards. Miami was looking to add on to their lead prior to the end of the half and was on the verge of doing so but Tagovailoa fumbled the ball and Panthers LB Frankie Luvu recovered it and returned it to the Miami 23. It was a good job by Luvu to be cognizant of the clock by going down as soon as he realized he wouldn't be able to make it all the way to the end zone. Instead of the Dolphins going up 24-7, the fumble and made 41-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez turned it into a 21-10 game at the half.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, the Panthers had nothing going and had to send out the punt team after just three plays. Head coach Matt Rhule decided to call a fake on the punt and it worked. Longsnapper JJ Jansen had a direct snap to Sean Chandler who picked up the first down by running it outside. Unfortunately for Carolina, that would be the extent of the drive, having to actually punt three plays later.
The Fins then went on a long, methodical drive that took up 7:24 off the clock. They controlled the line of scrimmage in the run game and allowed Tua to sit back in a comfortable pocket for easy completions. The drive was capped off with Myles Gaskin running in his second touchdown of the game.
The first play from scrimmage was a nice 16-yard run by Chuba Hubbard but was negated by a holding penalty on center Pat Elflein. Carolina continued to back peddle as Cam Newton was sacked for a loss of 14 down at the one, just avoiding a safety.
Miami tacked on a field goal late in the 4th quarter to bring us to the final score of 33-10.
Carolina will now enter the bye week two games under .500 and will return to action the following Sunday when they welcome in the Atlanta Falcons.
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