Well, on a day when DE Jason Taylor and LB Zach Thomas were inducted into the Dolphins’ Ring of Honor, it wasn’t the prettiest game the Dolphins ever played, but it was effective as they beat the Rams 17-14. The Rams had their chances to knock the Dolphins out, but the defense of Miami stepped up when it counted, especially in the last minute of the game. Also, Rams’ Rookie Kicker Greg “LEG-A-TRON” Zuerlein missed 3 Field Goals (ALL LEFT), including the Potential Game-Tying Field Goal from an INSANELY, DAMN-NEAR IMPOSSIBLE DISTANCE of 66 YARDS, which would have been an NFL record by 3 yards .http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tannehill-helps-dolphins-edge-rams-202814945–nfl.html. He had the leg, but it went LEFT, LEFT!! Ball Game!!
Today, was the COMING OUT party of 3rd Round-Pick DE Olivier Vernon from the University of Miami. He has been mentioned before in previous blogs, but today he was the FEATURE DEFENSIVE STAR. He had his family and friends in the stands and boy did he make them proud. It was him, who sacked Sam Bradford with 0:37 seconds left to force Zuerlein to try to make the 66 yarder. Here you can see the Vernon sack among the highlights of the game: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap1000000080146/Rams-vs-Dolphins-highlights
Bradford had driven the Rams from their own 3 to the Miami 45 with 42 seconds left. Then Bradford, who had been 6-of-7 passing for 52 yards on the drive, dropped back on third-and-4 and Vernon was on him almost immediately.
“We ran a little game, me and Jared Odrick, and I came right in Scot-free and made the play,” Vernon said.
In the 2nd quarter at the 8:57 mark, he sacked Bradford for an 8-yard loss, which forced Zuerlein to try to make a 52 yarder, and he sailed it LEFT. That led to Marlon Moore’s 1st TD catch of the season. Zuerlein hit 2 of 5 Field Goals; made from 48 and 32, but missed from 52 and 37 in the 2nd quarter both HORRIBLY LEFT. He was 15/15 to start his career. Here are the misses: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000079679/Greg-Zuerlein-misses-3-FG-s-vs-Dolphins
At the 5:16 mark in the 2nd quarter again, Fullback Brit Miller of the Rams on the kickoff after the TD, INEXPLICITEDLY caught the ball ran it 13 yards and fumbled. It was recovered by Marcus Thigpen. Vernon hurt his left ANKLE on the play, but that didn’t stop him. That led to Dan Carpenter with REDEMPTION on his mind, drilling a 42 yard Field Goal to go up 10-6. Vernon has 4 tackles and 2 sacks (1st 2 of his CAREER)!!
Just needed some tape, some gum, and it was good,” Vernon shrugged.
“That shows what a competitor he is,” Cameron Wake said. “It’s a man’s game. It sounds harsh, but nobody cares about your ankle. It’s ‘What are you gonna do for me now?’ You need a play, so you shake off the distractions and go out there and do it.”
Vernon said Bradford was trying to keep the defensive line off balance by using a hard count on snaps.
“So we tried to time it up, and as soon as we figured out what they were doing they couldn’t stop us,” said Vernon, who was credited with three of the Dolphins’ six quarterback hurries.
Vernon gets to enjoy the spoils of being the defensive hero with his parents and all of his close friends that were on hand. He’s talked about the massive tailgate party his parents host and the amount of food they bring back home with them, which he is looking forward to.
“It feels good just to make plays and play well in front of your family because you want to represent your last name,” Vernon said. “It just feels good to have all of your friends and family down here watching you and supporting you and to give it back just makes it better. I hope my dad saved a lot of that food.”
Wake also said these comments after the game about Vernon as well: http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/Vernon-Shines-In-Win-Over-Rams/19bcef63-de9b-4285-aa74-c95397e3b617
Today’s your day. Go out there and seize your opportunity,” and as you can see he did. I’ve seen things that he’s done, running around chasing Tannehill and going against Jake Long in practice and I have no doubt in my mind that he can get it done. He’s been close and today he finally
made that play.” I’m glad that he’s on my team.”
The Dolphins beat the Rams despite the fact that they were out-gained 462-192 on the afternoon and were only able to run for 19 yards. St. Louis shot themselves in the foot with 94 yards off of 12 penalties, a turnover and missed field goals. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1369619-st-louis-rams-vs-miami-dolphins-instant-grades-analysis-for-miami#/articles/1369619-st-louis-rams-vs-miami-dolphins-instant-grades-analysis-for-miami
In the battle of QUARTERBACKS: It was Ryan Tannehill who won the matchup. Tannehill was once again SOLID as a ROCK!! His line today: 21-29, 185 yards, 2TD’s, 0INT’s. He was sacked twice. His QB Rating was a CAREER-BEST 112.0. Here are his highlights: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap1000000080101/Week-6-Ryan-Tannehill-highlights
|1st 5 Games||Sunday|
|Avg pass length||8.7||5.5|
|1st down pct||38.2||46.2|
He threw a GOREGOUS 29 YARD TD PASS to a WIDE-OPEN WR Marlon Moore while being hit as he threw. CHECK IT OUT: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000079647/Ryan-Tannehill-29-yard-TD-pass. To utilize a quote from the LATE, GREAT George Carlin: “There wasn’t a RAM within 5 miles of Moore!!” It sure seemed like it. Rookie CB Jenoris Jenkins was looking in the backfield and Moore went right by him. Moore had 3 catches, 46 yards, TD.
Also, he threw a BEAUTIFUL 1 YARD STRIKE to Anthony Fasano in the 3rd quarter as seen here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap1000000080050/Anthony-Fasano-TD-catch. Again, Fasano was so open!! Not a Ram in sight!!!
Tannehill could not get ANYTHING GOING with Brian Hartline at all. Hartline, no CATCHES. He was targeted twice and got a PASS INTERFERENCE CALL on CB Cortland Finnegan on the 1st target. I was sitting next to buddy Mark and right near another Dolphins fan sitting next to us and I said; “If they call Hartline’s number, a FLAG would be called”. I was RIGHT!!! The second target was null in void due to a penality (not a flag on Finnegan). It was a holding call on the Rams.
He faced a LIGHTNING QUICK DEFENSE and the play-calling to COMBAT was GREAT. QUICK, SIMPLE SCREEN-PASSES!!! I called in my PREGAME BLOG, that they needed to get Reggie Bush and Lamar Miller in the open-field and they did. Well, Bush did!! Miller didn’t even play on offense. Bush had 5 catches for 44 yards. Unfortunately, he couldn’t run on the Rams at all. 12 carries, 17 yards. On a critical 3rd and 1 in the 4th quarter, he got KNOCKED in the air trying to make the 1st down. He missed it. Check it out: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000079667/WK-6-Can-t-Miss-Play-Reggie-Bush-flips-in
To keep that drive going, Coach Philbin pulled TRICKERATION, by calling a fake punt. TALK ABOUT GUTS!! That was a DEFINING MOMENT RIGHT there. Safety Chris Clemons got it and ran it 3 yards to keeping their final drive alive. Look here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap1000000080171/Chris-Clemons-fake-punt
If that went wrong, Dolphins Nation would have wanted Philbin’s head at the CHOPPING BLOCK. He OUT-SMARTED Fisher!!! Figuratively, he took the Rams’ HORNS and SHOVED DOWN THEIR THROATS!!
After the game, in this article from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/fl-hyde-miami-dolphins-1015-20121014,0,5584159.column
“We kind of needed a play,” Philbin said.
He had one, too. The opportunity was seen by special-teams coaches Darren Rizzi and Dave Fipp in preparing for this game. St. Louis often had just seven men in the defensive “box” on punt returns.
“I hadn’t run the ball since high school,” Clemons said.
“You’ve got to have faith in the players,” Philbin said. “If you’re going to spend the time practicing something, hopefully you believe in it. And we felt it was the right time to do it.”
Clemons had the final call on the play. He lined up as a blocking back on the punt team. He read the defensive alignment to ensure they were as expected.
“I told them all week if we used it I was going to score,” Clemons said. “I wasn’t able to do that.”
He also revealed this after game as well: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/mike-berardino-blog/sfl-three-things-are-the-miami-dolphins-putting-ryan-tannehill-at-risk-20121015,0,1222622.story track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sports%2Fseasonticket+%28Season+Tic
“I got the call, but it’s my option to check out of it if I see a different look,” Clemons said, “and to be honest I was supposed to check out of it.”
Why didn’t he?
“My mind was made up,” Clemons said, “because I had confidence in my guys up front.”
I sat there watching the alignment thinking “Something FISHY is going on here!!” And then BOOM it happened. It worked!!! I stood up and OF COURSE, SCREAMED!!!
Now back to Tannehill. The only thing he did that could have been CATASTROPHIC was he threw a backward pass for a 17-yard loss as he was getting drilledin the back of the head. NO HARM, NO FOUL!!
Today, the BEST RUN-DEFENSE in FOOTBALL, got PUSHED AROUND by the Rams. They gave up 162 yards on 27 carries (6 yards a carry). RIDICULOUS!! They couldn’t TACKLE to SAVE THEIR MOTHERS!! Second-year back Daryl Richardson, who is a SPEEDSTER, got things going in the 1st quarter with 44 yard scamper. He finished with 11 carries, 76 yards. Steven Jackson had 12 carries, 52 yards. Sam Bradford had 4 carries, 34 yards.
Speaking of Sam Bradford, he SHREDDED the Dolphins’ defense for a tune of: 26 of 39, 315 yards, 1TD, 1 2-POINT CONVERSION. But even though he did that, he was on the RECEIVING END of 3 sacks (2 by the aforementioned Olivier Vernon, and 1 by the SACKMASTER Cameron Wake). When Vernon dropped Bradford in the 4th quarter; Houligans where I watched the game, had plenty of Dolphins’ fans and we were all INUNISON SCREAMING because of that AWESOME SACK.
The aforementioned Chris Clemons had 10 tackles on the day (1 for a loss), to go along with the fake punt. He was there at just the right time to make a tackle.
Once again today, the Dolphins were victims of bad officiating: 3 QUESTIONABLE CALLS went against them. http://espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=321014015
1) The Rams were down 17-6 before they finally got into the end zone when Bradford scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth down. He juggled the ball as he held it over the goal line, but the call was upheld following a review.
2) The Dolphins up 11 points and appeared on the verge of pulling away when they recovered a fumble by Bradford on a sack midway through the third quarter. But the turnover was negated by a review, when the officials ruled the play an incomplete pass. I couldn’t BELIEVE IT!! That was such a HORRIBLE CALL. The QUOTE UNQUOTE TUCK RULE was in play!!
3) On the Rams’ next possession, Chris Givens lost a fumble after a short catch, but again the ruling was changed to an incompletion following a look at the replay. I was so ANNOYED!!
Some more tidbits:
All-Pro Punter Brandon Fields was BOMBING KICKS as usual!! Fields got a workout on Sunday, punting the ball six times for 323 yards, with two of them landing behind the 20-yard line. One punt went for 63 yards. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1369619-st-louis-rams-vs-miami-dolphins-instant-grades-analysis-for-miami#/articles/1369619-st-louis-rams-vs-miami-dolphins-instant-grades-analysis-for-miami/page/11. He pinned the Rams deep at their 3rd line with 1:41 left.
*The Dolphins have got to do a MUCH BETTER JOB on converting 3rd and 1. It seems like EVERY WEEK, they miss 1 or 2 of those. That kills DRIVES! Can’t rely on fake punts every week. I have a suggestion: Instead of running all the time with Bush and Lane; how about a SCREEN-PASS to Bush or Lane or Fasano. How about this; Have Tannehill fake the hand-off and run a naked bootleg to pick up the yard. If they want to be even more daring, call a play-action pass to Hartline and Bess.
It was not the PRETTIEST OF VICTORIES, but a WIN IS A WIN!!! Now, they get a bye and in 2 weeks in the Meadowlands, PAYBACK will be COMING HARD to the Jets in a week 3 REMATCH!!!
All Stats provided by http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/boxscore?gid=20121014015&page=plays
About the Author
Written by Daniel Saviuk
My name is Daniel. I love the Miami Dolphins (been a fan since I was 10)...