Here are my capsules for the Dolphins’ first two preseason games:
Miami 10, Tampa Bay 7
This is not a game by which we can judge our Dolphins, as the conditions were similar to Typhoon Lagoon. The Dolphins still pulled out the win, but it was far from impressive.
Brandon Marshall dropped both passes that came his way. Initially it scared the crap out of me, but I blame it on the weather, his number (#19, which used to belong to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named), and the fact that it’s the preseason. This guy is a 100-rec/year Pro Bowler who will do just fine in the regular season.
Patrick Turner and Marlon Moore each caught 2 passes for 44 yards as they battle over the fifth receiver position. Personally I would like to see Turner take the role, as he has finally showed improvement in the offseason and his size is ideal (6’5″). If he can continue to step it up and realize his full potential, our receiving corps can become even better.
Miami’s secondary looked weak. Vontae Davis was beat on a 30-yard pass by rookie Mike Williams, who if he isn’t on your fantasy radar now might be the time. Tampa Bay’s passing game is far from elite, yet took the Dolphins to town. Smith & Davis need to lock it down back there before the season begins.
Backup Tyler Thigpen looked better than usual, going 10-for-19 for 145 yards. While Thigpen has skills, his inconsistency still worries me. Dolfans remember Thigpen’s ability last season to come in and make a completion, then throw a terrible interception two seconds later.
Miami 27, Jacksonville 26
Major highlight of the game? Chad Henne OWNED. Henne went 11-for-14 for 151 yards and 2 scores in the first half. He would have been 13-for-14 if not for two dropped passes. I once doubted Henne’s abilities, but after his strong showing at the end of last season and the command he has has shown lately, I am now a believer that this guy is our quarterback of the future.
Brandon Marshall rebounded nicely from last week’s mishap, catching 4 balls for 65 yards. True, he dropped another pass, but he also broke tackles and showed that once again he will be The Beast this season. Anthony Fasano also had a strong showing, catching 2 balls for 2 touchdowns, including a 55-yarder from Henne.
Nolan Carroll returned 4 kickoffs and had a 25 yard average. Carroll has really made an impression, and it will be interesting to see what this kid does in the regular season when given the chance. By the looks of it, he could be the team’s kick return specialist this year.
Pat White was never brought into the game. The 2009 second-round draft pick has proven to be a bust in his time in Miami. Don’t be surprised to see White traded or cut before the season starts.
Well, that’s it for now. The Dolphins have pulled out two wins against “meh” teams, though remember this is only the preseason. The preseason is more about position battles than anything else, so we won’t truly know how our Dolphins look until their Week 1 matchup against Buffalo.
(NOTE: I still contend that the preseason is far too long and the risks outweigh the rewards. Too many quality players get hurt, and for a league that only has 16 games, don’t 4 preseason games seem a bit much? If it were brought down to 2 games, I would support it more.)
About the Author
Written by Brian Saa
Lifelong Dolphins fan from New Jersey who runs DolphinsLA.com, a website for Dolphins fans in Los Angeles. LA fans should come out to The Casting Office Bar & Grill in Universal City on Sundays for the games, as it is now the Dolphins bar in LA! Ready for the Dolphins to declare Marshall Law on the competition in 2010 Follow me on Twitter: @briansaa or @DolphinsLA for Dolphins bar updates