Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A condensed Dolphins-Bills observations

It's Tuesday and we're ready to move on to Week 16, so let's get some quick observations from the Dolphins' victory over the Bills out of the way:

  • I thought Matt Moore rebounded nicely from his mild concussion in Week 14. He only completed 50 percent of his passes, but Brandon Marshall dropped three (including two touchdowns) and Moore threw some very nice balls.
  • You've got to hand it to Reggie Bush, don't you? He's really proving he can be a feature back this year and is running as well as I've ever seen him. I still question how long he can hold up, but he'll be great of Daniel Thomas can be a reliable partner.
  • Brandon Marshall has dropped so many passes this season it's ridiculous. He's still got good numbers on the season, but he'd have great numbers if he'd hauled in the touchdowns he should have. On the other side of the coin, Brian Hartline has been making incredible catches all season and had another one here just before he got drilled by a defender. He's impressing me more and more all the time and I'd love to see what he'd do in a great offense.
  • John Jerry held up fairly well in place of Jake Long (back) at left tackle, though it's hard to entirely judge his play when the Bills don't have a pass rusher on the roster. The unit as a hole was iffy at first but really got going and opened up holes for Bush in the second half.
  • I thought the tackling on defense was pretty weak at first, which I would mostly attribute to the cold conditions. Everyone looked like they were going half-speed early on and too cold to really hit somebody, which inflated C. J. Spiller's numbers.
  • Jared Odrick and Randy Starks got nice pressure from the inside, disrupting Ryan Fitzpatrick on multiple occasions and each notching a sack. Cameron Wake was the biggest beast of the day, drawing multiple penalties while recording six tackles and a sack.
  • Reshad Jones lucked into a pick, but Vontae Davis made two great plays on interceptions. He's really having a nice second half after being hampered by a hamstring injury and temporarily in the dog house.
  • Dan Carpenter and Brandon Fields are great at their jobs. What else is there to say?
  • Davone Bess averaged a healthy 16 yards on six punt returns, but his performance also signified just how weak of a returner he is. Watching the game, Buffalo's coverage was weak and there were at least two times where a great returner would have broken it all the way. The slow-footed Bess was caught easily from behind.

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