The NFL has become a league driven by quarterbacks. Their impact on a single game rivals that of the starting pitcher in baseball, but they also need a closer’s mentality in the 4th quarter. The Browns beat the Dolphins in a game that was not at all pretty, but their QB prevailed. While Miami’s Chad Henne put up the big stats, Colt McCoy led the Browns down the field for a 4th quarter comeback. Henne had a good opportunity to take the lead, but he choked and threw an interception. Colt has always been a big game QB while Henne is the Michigan QB that lost to Appalacian state.
Colt McCoy had a pretty bad game up until that final drive and held the offense back for most of the game. While his protection wasn’t great it was at least solid and helped Montario Hardesty run for 67 yards. Colt only completed 38% of his passes which was a big factor in why the Browns only converted 20% of their 3rd downs until that drive. Because they couldn’t convert a 3rd down, they could not get off the field. The Dolphins dominated the time of possession (38-22), which makes the defensive play all the more impressive.
The defense was performing great on all fronts, but it all started up front. The D-Line was able to put incredible pressure on Henne and stay in the Miami backfield all game. Cleveland collectively recorded 4 sacks, 5 TFLs, 23 total tackles, and 6 QB Hits. Phil Taylor, Jayme Mitchell, Ahtyba Rubin, and Jabaal Sheard have the makings of a stellar defensive front – and a big reason why the Browns rank 1st in the AFC in sacks.
The Linebackers, the weakest unit on the D, were all over the place in run support and were able to get into the backfield several times to put pressure on Henne for sacks. D’Qwell Jackson had another incredible game and Chris Gocong really stepped up and disrupted the QB quite a few times.
While Henne had a good game, that was more of an issue of the defense being on the field for too long because the secondary played reasonably well. Joe Haden held Brandon Marshall to 3 catches for 28 yards when he covered him. Dimitri Patterson had a nice day covering Bess and held him to 4 catches and 36 yards on 8 targets. Henne did a good job at taking advantage of the slower Mike Adams and Sheldon Brown, but the young CBs really stepped up.
Miami should have won this game. They had more chances to score and had the ball for a lot longer, but two patterns persist. First, the Dolphins have not been able to execute the last couple years in the 4th quarter and Brian Daboll hasn’t helped. Secondly, Henne hasn’t performed well late in games. Henne puts up good numbers and is very skilled but because of his play late in games may not be the QB of the Future.
These are two teams going in two different directions. The Dolphins are lost and cannot find their footing while the Browns are a young team that seems to be piecing things together.
About the Author
Written by Bradley Ross
Bradley Ross was born and lived most of his life in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He grew up with a passion for sports and Cleveland teams, instilled in him by his father. He is currently studying Business/Journalism at Cuyahoga Community College and plans on transferring to the Ohio State University in the winter with an expected graduation date of 2013. He is currently a Staff Writer for the Tri-C Voice Newspaper, which was a recipient of an award for the best non-daily newspaper at a 2 year college (northeast region). He runs multiple blogs off of the blogger platform including The Take By The Lake, a sports blog. Sports is his passion and he enjoys being able to write about them and cover them. He also enjoys improvisational humor, long walks on the beach, and writing in the 3rd person. Follow him on Twitter @BRoss_Voice.