DISCLAIMER: If you’re someone who believes that being a fan requires blind allegiance without questioning a team’s regime, this piece of scribble is not for you. We’ve never liked that idea. Fans have every right to talk about their team how they’d like. They’ve invested their mind and hearts for years, decades even. When the ball leaves the tee on game day, we all cheer like hell. So, here goes.
We were just as thrilled as anyone to look at that record. 3-0. Wow. Could it be that we’ve finally put it together? At the time our second half schedule looked like a big, honkin’ piece of cheesecake, and to start off with three victories was fantastic. We wound up on the winning end of a couple of close games, which was a refreshing change from what we’ve grown used to.
It was fool’s gold. Sure, there’s the Al Davis “Just win baby” thing, which is a fair quote to toss around. But behind those three notches in the win column was a hugely flawed team.
We were out-gained by every single team we faced, even the Browns with soon-to-be benched Brandon Weeden at the helm and with Josh “Holy Shit, That Guy’s Only 22?” Gordon still on suspension. Three games into the season our opponents’ total offense was 1,116, compared to our 958.
Even in those early victories our tackle play was abysmal. The hope was that even after the draft and scouting process pointed to Martin’s NFL potential elsewhere on the line, and even after seeing him struggle in place of Jake Long last season, he would put it all together this season. Those hopes are dashed. Now, at perhaps the second most important position on the entire football team after quarterback, we are lost. The signing of Tyson Clabo was a double-whammy. It sent Martin to the left side, and left us with, well, Clabo on the right. We were 3-0, but with 14 sacks allowed and a pocket routinely crumbling around Tannehill.
Our running game three contests into the season was also brutal. We averaged 3.24 yards per carry in those wins, a clip good for 30th in the NFL right now. Daniel Thomas has now averaged 3.5, 3.6, and 3.4 yards per carry in his three NFL seasons, and shows no signs of exiting the Miami Dolphins’ game plan any time soon. This year he’s averaging almost a full yard less than Lamar Miller. Of course we brazenly traded up for Thomas in the 2011 draft. Demarco Murray and Stevan Ridley were the next two backs selected.
The Dolphins announced an extension for Jeff Ireland after Tanny dumped that lob to Dion Sims and we toppled the Falcons. Apparently Ross was too ashamed to announce it when it happened, during the offseason. Could there be a less confident vote of confidence? Maybe if you’re afraid to tell people you’re extending a guy, that’s some sort of red flag?
Of course, looking back at the early part of the season, there were red flags all over the place.
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose