Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Random Observations

I haven't had the time or energy to do my observation videos from the Miami Dolphins' 25-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That being the case, I've compiled these observations from the game in text, which some of you might even prefer.

Offense
  • Outside of his horrendous, nearly game-losing interception late, Chad Henne played pretty well against Tampa Bay. He didn't hold onto the ball too long as much as he had lately, and moved around a little better.
  • Also, as bad as that interception was, Henne was that much better on the final drive to get the Dolphins in field goal range. It's good for his psyche that he was able to rebound.
  • The Dolphins need to abandon the option they're trying to run with Pat White. That kind of offense will never succeed in the NFL.
  • Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams both ran the ball hard and well. Ricky can handle the load moving forward as long as Ronnie is out, but the Dolphins sure are going to miss Brown.
  • Davone Bess had the biggest day of all the Dolphins receivers, and Greg Camarillo had a few good grabs as well. Ted Ginn, Jr. also had another tough drop, and this mental problem keeps getting worse and worse for him.
  • Kory Sperry came out of nowhere in his first NFL game and had a great day. With Sperry and Joey Haynos looking promising and Anthony Fasano struggling in a contract year, the young guys could get longer looks in the second half of the season.
  • The offensive line did a much better job protecting Henne, keeping him off the ground and unsacked all game. The run blocking was also strong, as the Dolphins' two tailbacks and fullback Lousaka Polite combined for over 200 yards on the ground.
Defense & Special Teams
  • Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman did a great job moving around and avoiding pressure, but I liked the rush provided by the Dolphins' defensive line and linebackers. Jason Ferguson and Kendall Langford stood out to move in positive ways.
  • The Dolphins didn't miss Joey Porter at all, and not just because his production hasn't been consistent this year. Cameron Wake, Charlie Anderson, and Matt Roth all played very well in Porter's absence.
  • It sounds like Porter will in fact resume playing this week, but I feel somewhat indifferent. I don't think Porter will be in Miami in 2010, and at 4-5 I wouldn't mind if he gave way to guys like Wake when it came to playing time in the second half.
  • The Dolphins' consistent pressure and Freeman's inexperience certainly helped, but I was pleased with Vontae Davis and Sean Smith at cornerback against the Bucs. They'll have their ups and downs, but everything I've seen from them thus far tells me they are both going to be good corners.
  • Gibril Wilson and Yeremiah Bell both had better days than usual, with Bell making a fantastic deflection of a Freeman pass on a big third down. A lot of that had to do with their opponent, but it was nice to see.
  • Dan Carpenter continued to excel on field goals, going 4-for-4 to raise his season percentage to 93.8. He did have an extra point blocked, but that was more the fault of long snapper John Denney getting dominated by Buccaneers offensive tackle Donald Penn.
  • Brandon Fields had another good day, with a long punt of 62 yards and half of his six boots downed inside the Tampa Bay 20-yard line.
  • Ted Ginn, Jr. was pretty pedestrian on kickoff returns, but I don't think he had much to work with in terms of blocking. As usual, Davone Bess was mediocre approaching bad on punts.