Monday, December 24, 2012

Dolphins-Bills game observations

The Miami Dolphins rolled for their second straight victory in Week 16, earning a 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately, the team was also eliminated from playoff contention with the Steelers' loss to the Bengals, but it's not like many were expecting a postseason berth anyway.

I'm going to get into some very brief observations on this Christmas Eve, although who knows how brief they'l actually be considering how long-winded I am.

One more note is that the Dolphins-Patriots game in Week 17 has been moved from 1 p.m. ET to 4:25 p.m. ET, so as to make the late games actually mean something to the playoff picture.

  • Not the prettiest day for Ryan Tannehill's completion percentage, but he made some nice throws including a beautiful fade to Reggie Bush. He was pretty off at times, however, and missed a lot of throws that sailed high or wide.
  • Bush had a nice game, running well and catching the ball in space. (Who would've thought that'd be a good idea?) I was also very impressed with rookie Lamar Miller, who ran hard inside and looked extremely impressive.
  • Armon Binns led the team's receivers with three catches and rookie Rishard Matthews led them with 37 yards. Needless to say, it was a weak day for the weak receiving corps and the team needs a star here in the worst way. I will admit though, I am interested in seeing Binns in camp next year.
  • The offensive line allowed two sacks, although one was really on Tannehill stepping into it. The other was allowed by Richie Incognito, who was either badly beaten or looking for a chip from Mike Pouncey. Overall though, I thought the protection was good and the run blocking opened up some nice holes as well. I continue to be amazed by Pouncey's speed and athleticism blocking downfield.
  • Another great day for Cameron Wake, who had a sack and a forced fumble in addition to plenty of other pressure. Olivier Vernon also had a nice game and I give him a ton of credit for chasing down and slowing up C. J. Spiller on a run that should have been a touchdown.
  • As much as I hate the guy, I will say that Karlos Dansby is playing a lot better lately. Kevin Burnett has easily been the best and most consistent of the team's linebackers, though. And I swear Jason Trusnik was invisible yesterday as I don't even remember seeing him replacing Koa Misi.
  • In a battle to fill Nolan Carroll's spot, I thought the newly-acquired Dimitri Patterson showed better than Bryan McCann. Patterson played well despite not joining the team until Wednesday, while McCann seemed to allow everything thrown his way to be completed. I expect both to return in 2013 to compete, with the well-paid Patterson serving as insurance in case Sean Smith walks in free agency.
  • Chris Clemons had a good day at the office, but Reshad Jones stole the show once again with two fumble recoveries and a beautiful late interception on the goal line. He whiffed on a couple tackles that he should have made, but overall he's having a great season and has really made a strong case for a Pro Bowl selection.
  • Nate Kaeding only had four kicks blocked in nine seasons in San Diego, but it only took one game to have his first kick blocked as a member of the Dolphins. Richie Incognito got dominated on the play and allowed the block. Kaeding, meanwhile, drilled his other attempt and filled in nicely for Dan Carpenter.