Tough loss! Tough Breaks, including loss All-Pro LT Jake Long! Mischances!
The loss, allowed the Patriots to win its’ 4th consecutive division title.
It was a game that the Dolphins almost had, but lost 23-16!!!!
They held Tom Brady and their offense to 238 yards passing and did what I called for: GET AN INTERCEPTION!!!
The Patriots finished with a season-low 321 yards, and Brady went 24 for 40 for 238 yards, TD, INT with four sacks. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pats-clinch-afc-east-title-211732541–nfl.html.
What more can they do against them? They had to do a lot considering the offense was ANEMIC.
In the end, Brady does what he always does: WIN!! I am sure Tannehill got some pointers from the master.
Unfortuantely, the Dolphins made PLENTLY OF BONE-HEADED MISTAKES, that helped the Patriots win.
The Dolphins put them in a hole early, because after going 3 and out, All-Pro Punter Brandon Fields mishandled the snap and got tackled for 10 yard loss. That put the Patriots at the Dolphins’ 12, and RB Stevan Ridley punched it in from 2 yards out to put the Patriots up 7-0. It had showered before the game, but that is no excuse. Fields has handled hundreds of punts and he should have fielded the ball cleanly. Watch Fields’ gaffe here as part of this highlight package: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000104284/Patriots-vs-Dolphins-highlights
Finally in the 1st quarter, the Dolphins did something that no one has done to Brady in 203 attempts and that was INTERCEPT him. Trying to connect with TE Aaron Hernandez down the right sideline, S Reshad Jones finally did it. One SICK ONE-HANDED pick and took it back for a 30 yard touchdown. But, there was a flag on the play. Reggie Bush inexplicitably illegally blocked trying to seal the edge for a Jones. He was flag for 15 yards and that NEGATED the touchdown. Watch Jones’ pick here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000103901/Tom-Brady-INT. Dan Carpenter kicked a 44 yard FG to put the score: 7-3.
Then, in the beginning of the 2nd quarter, with the Patriots up 7-3; they go 3 and out, and are forced to punt, but CB Jimmy Wilson INEXPLICITABLY dove into Punter Zeltan Mesko as seen here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000104284/Patriots-vs-Dolphins-highlights. Wilson was called for a 15 yard penalty and an automatic 1st down for the Patriots.
Brady marched down downfield and connected with his buddy Wes Welker 6 times, including a 7 yard touchdown, that put them 14-3.
Welker had an UNBELIEVEABLE game: 12 catches, 103 yards, TD.
From http://espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=321202015, Here is how great Welker is:
Most 10-Reception Games In NFL History
“He’s very crafty,” said Dolphins safety Reshad Jones, who had an interception in the game. “He has one of the best quarterbacks in the game to get him the ball. [Welker] does a great job on options routes, and he does a great job of getting loose.” http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/51649/patriots-provide-dolphins-a-2013-blueprint
Tannehill fumbled as he was getting drilled by Trevor Scott. The fumble was recovered by Vince Wolfork. The Patriots kicked a FG to go up 17-3.
All these mistakes happened in the 1st 2 quarters.
Also, All-Pro LT Jake Long left the game with a left triceps injury and didn’t return in the 1st half. 2nd-round pick Rookie Jonathan Martin shifted from RT to LT, and played well there.
Despite the mistakes, the Dolphins were down only 17-10 at halftime, after Tannehill’s BEAUTIFUL 2-yard touchdown run: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000103982/Ryan-Tannehill-TD-run
Down 20-10 in the 4th quarter, the Dolphins got to within 20-13 after Carpenter’s 33 yard FG. Considering, Tannehill was sacked twice in the drive by Trevor Scott again and Jared Mayo, a FG made it closer. Mayo came untouched and Tannehill was planted into the ground. Watch the sack here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000104284/Patriots-vs-Dolphins-highlights.
At the 8:28 minute mark in the 4th quarter, the Patriots went downfield from their own 20 for 7 minutes and 18 seconds. It was the Stevan Ridley show. He ran 9 times for 46 yards. The Dolphins’ defense looked tired and that point. They needed to make a stop to get the ball back with decent time on the clock, but couldn’t. They kicked a FG to go up 23-13. Outside of that drive, they contained Ridley all game. Ridley went for 19 carries, 71 yards, TD. That TD was on the Patriots’ first possession.
What was interesting during the drive, was Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick weren’t on the field until it was too late. From: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/sfl-hyde10-ten-thoughts-on-patriots-23-dolphins-16-20121202,0,3799935.story. Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick spent most of the Patriots’ game-cementing drive on the sideline. I’m not sure what that was about. Tired? Strategy? New England took over with 8:28 left in the game and leading, 20-13. The Dolphins needed a stop to get the ball back. Rookies Derrick Shelby and Olivier Vernon replaced Wake and Odrick. New England ran eight plays, moved 50 yards and got a nice rhythm to the Dolphins 30. Then the Dolphins took a time-out with 4:15 left in the game and put Wake and Odrick. At that point, much of the damage was done.
That was crazy!!! Wake and Odrick are studs on the defensive line and they need to be in the game. I don’t want to hear excuses about why they weren’t there. Big Game and they needed to be in game.
The Dolphins, after the FG marched downfield and scored a quick FG to cut the score to 23-16. Then, the Dolphins went for an ONSIDE-KICK, but it was unsuccessful. Ball Game!!!
Tannehill did not have his best game and had some throws he wishes he could have back because he had Hartline open twice and failed to connect. That would have changed the complexion of the game.
Tannehill’s line: 13-29, 186 yards, 0TD’s, 0INT’s, 1 fumble lost; 5 carries, 19 yards, TD. Here are his highlights:
Here is an article from http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/sports/football/miami-dolphins-ryan-tannehill-makes-too-many-erran/nTLS5/ talking about the misfires between Tannehill and Hartline.
The Patriots’ Aqib Talib was assigned to cover Hartline, and the cornerback’s over-aggressive approach left him several steps behind when Hartline took off down the middle of the field midway through the first quarter. But Tannehill’s throw sailed over Hartline’s head and off his fingertips, and what seemed a sure touchdown that would have tied the score at 7 fell incomplete. Watch here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000104281/Week-13-Ryan-Tannehill-highlights
“I just overthrew it; it was a bad throw,” Tannehill said. “You’ve got to hit those; you don’t get many shots like that.”
My hands were clinched with anticipation for the play. What a call, but it was just underthrown!!! The moans and groans from the Dolphins’ fan at Houligans where I watched the game, were inunison.
“It’s tough,” Hartline said. “We’ll have to go back and look at it and adjust, see what I can do for him, because he’s got a lot going on.”
The Dolphins were again within a touchdown, this time at 17-10, in what proved to be a scoreless third quarter when Hartline came open again, this time down the right sideline. Tannehill’s throw wasn’t close, winding up several yards out of bounds.
“It was designed to be a hook (and) up,” Tannehill said. “I looked off the safety and set my feet to throw short (and) he stuck his hand up and went deep. I just didn’t get enough on it.”
Then, in the fourth quarter, Miami had a second-and-4 from the New England 7 when Hartline again beat Talib on a slant over the middle. But Tannehill’s throw was a split-second late and Hartline couldn’t get his feet down inside the back of the end zone. Tannehill was sacked on the next play and the Dolphins had to settle for a field goal that made it 20-13.
Hartline was very effective today: 5 catches for 84 yards; including some SENSATIONAL catches as seen here in these highlight packages: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000104281/Week-13-Ryan-Tannehill-highlights.
He had to pick up the slack for the receiver corps because normally all-reliable Davone Bess, was nowhere to be seen except for 1 catch, 13 yards. That catch was on a 3rd and 14, and initially looked like he had the 1st down, but he tried to spin away from the defender instead of falling down. The result was: catch for 13 yards and 1 yard short.
The Dolphins once again really STRUGGLED on 3rd-down. 3 of 13. Here is a breakdown from: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/dolphins-blog/sfl-breaking-down-dolphins-third-down-failures-against-new-england-20121204,0,2346510.story
3-4-MIA 22: Tannehill‘s first third down throw was a poorly thrown pass to Rishard Matthews on his left. Jake Long got beaten badly by Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who stabbed at his forearm. Pressure possibly contributed to the bad throw. Miami punts.
3-6-NE 45: Third third 3rd down, Tannehill got hit on the throw by Vince Wilfork, who might have forced him to rush the throw and hit his arm. Wilfork beat Richie Incognito to make the impact play. Coincidentally, that was the play Long suffered his season ending injury trying to block Ninkovich.
3-19-NE 32: On third and 19 courtesy of a John Jerry holding call and a Daniel Thomas fumble, Tannehill scrambles for six yards, setting up a 44-yard Dan Carpenter field goal. Nobody was
open down field and he made the best of a bad situation.
3-4-MIA 26: Tannehill’s fifth third down was his worst. He needed four yards for the first down but Nate Garner got beat by Trevor Scott, who went wide on the new Dolphins new first-team right tackle. Scott’s sack forced Tannehill to fumble and Wilfork recovered the ball on Miami’s 25-yard line. That’s the second impact play for Wilfork. The defense would hold New England to a 43-yard field goal.
3-3-NE 30: Tannehill’s best third down play was provided by a slant Brian Hartline beat Aqib Talib
on. It was a perfectly timed throw Hartline bobbled before bringing in for a 17-yard catch that got Miami into the red zone. The Dolphins would score its only touchdown four plays later on Tannehill’s 2-yard scramble.
3-9-MIA 24: The first third down play of the third quarter featured an empty backfield set and Reggie Bush lined up to the left as a receiver. Bush runs a slant and Tannehill throws the football behind him. Clearly they don’t have chemistry. If the ball had been placed better Bush would have converted the 9-yards needed for the first down because the middle of the field was open and the linebacker was trailing. Miami punts.
3-8-MIA 22: Out of the shotgun formation Tannehill pinpoints a pass to H-back Charles
Clay, putting it on the perfect shoulder for a 20-yard catch to keep Miami’s second drive of the second-half alive.
3-14-MIA 38: It is third-and-14 after Wilfork collapses the pocket and allowed Jerod Mayo to
tackle Thomas for a 4-yard loss. Tannehill has adequate time in the pocket but throws a 13-yard pass to Bess. Pass was thrown one yard short. Miami punts at midfield.
3-13-MIA 48: The Dolphins get stuffed for a 3-yards loss on second down when Bush is forced to carry the ball despite New England putting eight-men in the box. Tannehill throws deep to Hartline down the right sideline but the bad ball floats out of bounds. Bad throw considering Hartline had Talib trailing a bit. An accurate pass would have at least produced pass interference knowing Hartline. Miami punts.
3-11-MIA 33: In one of his best throws of the game Tannehill rifles a bullet to Hartline on a deep slant that gains 22-yards. The catch keeps a scoring drive alive.
3-5-NE 26: Trailing by 10 points the Patriots collapse the pocket with five rushers, flushing Tannehill out. He scrambles for 4-yards and sets up a fourth-and-1 the Dolphins convert with a 9-yard run from Thomas.
3-4-NE 7: Three plays later Thomas doesn’t pick up Mayo, who is blitzing between Incognito and Jonathan Martin and Tannehill gets sacked in the red zone. Miami has to kick a 33-yard field goal instead of putting a touchdown up. The play was perfectly timed by Mayo and Tannehill didn’t have any receivers open because the play took too long to get open in man-to-man coverage.
That is the full story of Miami’s 3-for-13 performance on third down, which contributes to Ryan Tannehill’s status as the NFL‘s worst quarterback on third down.
So, who is to blame? By my count there’s plenty of protection issues, a couple of big completions to Hartline and a few bad throws.
It is DAMN SHAME, they couldn’t take advantage of the Patriots, suspect pass-defense.
The Dolphins did run the ball effectively for the most part today. Reggie Bush had 15 carries, 64 yards.
Unfortuantely, they struggled defensively vs. Welker and TE Aaron Hernandez. Brady threw quick short to Welker and CB Sean Smith had a hard time covering him. You can bump him within 5 yards, but Smith was way to lax with him.
Hernandez went for: 8 catches, 97 yards, 4 drops. Same thing, quick passes to Hernandez and he made the most of them.
Dan Carpenter and Stephen Gostkowski each had 3 FG’s: Carpenter won the battle (44, 33, 43) because Gostkowski missed a FG (43, 32, 20, miss from 49).
Reshad Jones had an AWESOME GAME: An interception, a sack, 11 tackles, and a pass deflection. Tremendous game for Jones, who was Miami’s MVP against New England. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1434440-reggie-bush-and-daniel-thomas-how-the-dolphins-are-misusing-their-rbs#/articles/1428832-new-england-patriots-vs-miami-dolphins-instant-grades-analysis-for-miami/page/10
They should have won this game. Now they fall to 5-7 and hanging on to DEAR-LIFE in the playoff mix.
Next up: the 49ers. 49ers are one of the best in the business.
About the Author
Written by Daniel Saviuk
My name is Daniel. I love the Miami Dolphins (been a fan since I was 10)...