It wasn’t pretty but the Miami Dolphins went west and will fly home to South Florida with a big win! Like a thief in the night Miami stole victory from the jaws of defeat and won a game in which Miami did not play it’s best.
The positive from this game is Miami’s run defense even without Lawrence Timmons was much improved and looked much better than last year. Melvin Gordon was held to just 13 yards rushing by a stout Dolphins run defense. Mike Hull played the run well and deserves credit for his play in the middle vs the run. Hull did struggle in pass defense though. Jordan Phillips aside from one bad offsides also showed up and helped clog up the middle.
The Dolphins pass defense was bad and that is being kind. The Chargers were running wide open all day long in the secondary making easy uncontested catches. Nate Allen struggled as did Byron Maxwell. I thought Xavien Howard was ok for the most part but overall there is a lot of room to grow in the secondary.
On offense the Dolphins executed at a high level. The issue with the offense was the poor playcalling by Adam Gase in the first half. I honestly didn’t understand what Gase was trying to do with the “dink n dunk” style offense. Jay Ajayi was running at will vs the Chargers but Miami never challenged the Chargers down the field. Come the 2nd half when Gase let Cutler air it out, Parker and Landry started making big plays and moved the chains.
The other big play of the game was Cody Parkey’s 54 yard game winning field goal. There is now no question as to why Miami added Parkey and moved on from Franks. That is a big time kick in a big time moment.
Miami now has back to back road games (let’s call them what they are, that London game isn’t a home game) vs the Jets and Saints. The Jets game shouldn’t be a tough test but the Saints and Brees could expose Miami’s lackluster secondary so the Dolphins have some work to do to fix the back-end of the secondary moving forward.
This was a big win though and to open the year 1-0 is a good first step in the 2017 season. Anytime you can win a conference game on the road it’s huge.
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