The Dolphins did exactly what they couldn’t do last week; they were able to come away with an underdog road win this week finally finishing a game. The Dolphins once again controlled most of the ball a game but the difference was this week their defense was able to close.
This game was eerily similar to last week’s Cardinals game as the Dolphins still gave the Bengals a chance at the end of the game to comeback.
The win feels great and is great for this team’s confidence and for the overall culture of the organization, that being said there is still a lot of things the Dolphins can clean up.
Before I dish out on where I think the Dolphins need to improve, it is important to note that a key area of concern for the Dolphins the secondary absolutely stepped up their play this week. Despite down a starting cornerback the Phins secondary held one of the league’s best WR’s and a young hot QB in check. Sean Smith continued his path of retribution as his game has improved almost every week. Many were very critical when the Dolphins traded Vontae Davis but now it appears that trade might have been for the best. While the group of corners and safeties still have a long way to go this week’s performance was certainly encouraging.
Randy Starks and Cam Wake continued their dominance however it does seem the pass rush has been effective only sporadically, at time they look dominant while at other times you hold your head wondering how they let the QB have so much time to operate with.
That being said the defense as an overall unit worked together this week and looks like they are getting stronger week in a week out. This much cheaper defense looked clearly superior to the waste of money down in Buffalo.
A large area of concern for me this week was Charles Clay and an overall lack of a 3rd option for Ryan Tannehill. Hopefully Jabar Gaffney will be able to come in next week and contribute but right now it is apparent that Tannehill could use a bit more help. While the offense is able to move the ball and Tannehill has been very impressive when it is time to close ball games and put the pedal to the medal, Tannehill hasn’t had a 3rd option to turn to.
I will not go into the Dan Carpenter miss because for me it is simply inexcusable, this is now the 3rd straight game when he has put the Dolphins and their fans with their hands in the air.
This week was encouraging however it was still apparent some of the same issues with the team exist. The Dolphins get the Rams at home next week which is a solid matchup and presents a nice opportunity to get back to 500 before heading into the bye week.