“Any combination of runs and pass completions adding up to
50 or more usually adds up to victory for that team.” ---Dick Vermeil, former
Want to know why the
Miami Dolphins lost their opener? Just apply Dick Vermeil’s logic.
Washington Redskins: 41 runs+12 pass completions equals 53.
Miami Dolphins: 20 runs+24 pass completions equals 44.
What does this mean?
On a hot summer day,
it means that the Redskins used their ground game to wear out a Dolphin defense
not in good enough condition to withstand a run-pass mix of 2-to-1.
It means that an
error-prone Dolphin offense couldn’t run the ball worth a lick. Instead, they resorted
to a dink-and-dunk approach that failed to yield little more than a single touchdown
against last year’s 31st ranked defense. This all but encouraged the
Redskin offense to stay patient with their ground assault on a defensive front
seven lacking quality depth. If you’re going to pass, you have to score
touchdowns or you will lose. Period.
It means the Redskins
used a surprisingly effective combination to get a win, an approach that future
Dolphin opponents are certain to copy.
Hard to believe the
Miami Dolphins, a team that trains in the heat and humidity of South Florida, a team with an offensive guru for a head
coach, could be beaten in this way.
Hard not to wonder if
the Dolphins frequent use of their air conditioned practice dome is coming back
to bite them, as some feared it would. Did the lack of playing time for key
veterans in the preseason contribute?
And, in a close game
where one big play can win it, why is Cam Cameron is not playing Ted Ginn, Jr.
(more) and Lorenzo Booker (at all) on offense, two of the fastest guys on the
team? What’s Cameron worried about, that they’ll make a mistake and lose the
game? He already knows that the guys he inherited aren’t good enough.
Dom Capers should
stand next to Cameron and do some ‘splainin as well.
Why not give Travis
Daniels some help over the top against Antwaan Randle El? Or, did the safety
blow the coverage? Clearly, Daniels was overmatched heads up.
One can only imagine
the delicious thoughts flowing through Terrell Owens’ mind right now.
Why wasn’t Joey
Porter on the field more in overtime? Why pay the guy millions if he isn’t
balling in the defining moment of the game?
It is just a shame
that the Dolphins went home 16-13 overtime losers in this one. There were
several opportunities for the Dolphins to force the Redskins out of their game,
just as there were opportunities for the Dolphins to decide the game in
Players get a good
share of the blame, too. Once again, some of the usual suspects failed to show
dropping a pass. Again.
A Dolphin TE, this
time David Martin, dropping two passes. Again.
Rex Hadnot drawing a
Now you know why
Cameron and GM Randy Mueller are turning this roster over as such an aggressive
pace. They’ve got no choice.
Still, both Cameron
and Capers need to do some hard introspection after this one.
Did they make a
mistake in not training the veterans harder during the preseason? The sight of
Dolphin defenders, on their knees in between plays, was alarming.
Did Cameron wait too
long to decide on his starting five on the offensive line? They were completely
impotent in the run game.
Did Capers make a
mistake in not rotating out his defensive linemen more freely? Akbar
Gbaja-Biamila and Rodrique Wright didn’t even play.
On a team that needs
to find a way to win while the offense matures, it is nothing less than a
missed opportunity not to get a win against a very average Redskins team.
Now comes the Dallas
Cowboys, fresh off a 45 point explosion against the New York Giants. What sane
person would give the Dolphins a prayer in this one, talent be damned, after
what they saw against an inferior Redskins team?
I know that a third
of the Dolphin roster has a season or less of experience.
I know that there is
a new offensive system being mastered.
I know that there is
a new quarterback.
I know there is a new
And, yes, I know it
is early. As Cameron himself said, this is only one of sixteen, and they need
to move on to Dallas.
It’s just never
pretty to lose the way the Dolphins did, especially to a very average team.
Coaches and players
need to be smarter if they want a prayer of a chance against the Cowboys. What
we saw against Washington
just isn’t good enough.