Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist
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Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall, in response to a question about positive
takeaways from the loss to the NY Jets.
I don't think Brandon
Marshall could have said it any better for me in describing a game where the
Dolphins were defeated by the Jets in all three phases: Offense, Defense and
Special Teams. Yes, the Dolphins fought hard to overcome a slew of errors and
missed opportunities. Unfortunately that old nemesis--finishing--was
problematic once again.
I also thought that Tony
Sparano and his staff were outcoached by Rex Ryan and his staff, and that this
had a profound effect on the game's outcome.
- The Jets defense was well-prepared for the Dolphin
Wildcat, while the Dolphin D was unprepared for the Jets' version of it.
- The Jets offense found ways to get TE Dustin
Keller almost 100 yards of receptions by halftime, defying attempts by the
Dolphin defense to adjust.
- I felt Dan Henningís playcalling was disrupting
the flow of the game, which was clearly through QB Chad Henne at that
time. I also felt his playcalling on the last offensive set of downs from
the Jets' 11 was just terrible (more on this below).
- Mike Westhoff's special teams soundly defeated
the Dolphins' units, both in kick coverage/returns and in generating a game
changing play (the blocked punt). Coach John Bonamego and his guys didn't
come up with anything to help
the Dolphins win the game. I also think that Bonamego shares some of the
responsibility of Dan Carpenter's shanked kickoff out of bounds, which
gave the Jets the ball at their 40; kickoffs are not Carpenter's strength,
so asking him to pin the Jets' return teams to one side of the field is a
risk. This is the second time in three games that Carpenter has screwed
- I thought it was misguided and selfish for Jason
Taylor to celebrate in front of Dolfans after his first quarter sack, one
that won't be soon forgotten by the faithful. A dumb move, in my opinion,
that applies more tarnish to his legacy.
- CB Jason Allen certainly had a rough game, but I
thought that the pass interference call against him in the endzone was
just terrible. WR Braylon Edwards jumped into him and Allen did turn to
look for the ball just before it arrived. In that borderline situation,
and under those circumstances, the ref should have kept the flag in his
pocket. Let them play!
- Speaking of Allen, his unfortunate slip on
Edwards' 67 yard TD was due largely to the newly sodded area of the field
above where the Marlins' clay infield lies. I thought that one play cost
the Dolphins the game. That canít make owner Stephen Ross or the
groundskeepers feel very good.
- The Jets really exploited the perimeter of the
Dolphin D last night, attacking the OLBs regularly and with much success.
This is an area of weakness that we fretted about before the season began.
Koa Misi, Cameron Wake, and Quentin Moses combined for just three tackles.
- This was the first game where I felt that
Henning should have left the Wildcat back at the training facility. The
plays just aren't being blocked properly right now, and RB Ronnie Brown
isn't a legitimate passing threat. Why hasn't Henning moved back-up QB Tyler
Thigpen into the triggerman role yet? Whatís the delay?
- As I mentioned above, Henningís playcalling on
that last series of downs from the Jetsí 11 was not his best work. On
first down, he called for a Marshall
toss-up when Marshall's
legs were clearly spent; that was a brain freeze. The other three
playcalls were all passes which were well-defended and/or badly mismanaged
by Henne. While those outcomes were not directly Henningís fault, why even
go that route with two timeouts and 54 seconds in hand? With the Jet D was
off-balance at that point, a better choice would have been to spread the
Jets out and leverage the timeouts to run the ball. Personnel-wise, WR Davone
Bess would have been a better choice over Brian Hartline on 4th
down; Bess is quicker and a better receiver in traffic. Again, not
Henningís best work.
- I truly believe the Dolphins are missing WR/KR Ted
Ginn, Jr. Henne's first pass, which was overthrown to Hartline, would have
been an easy six for the speedier Ginn. And the Dolphin kick return teams
are just anemic right now, completely lacking in explosiveness. Are the
Dolphins really better off with DB Nolan Carroll, the guy they drafted
with the fifth rounder they obtained for Ginn? I donít see how.
- Stating the obvious: Marshall can flat out play. I think he's
the best receiver they've had in 20 years (Mark Clayton), and maybe even
40 years (Paul Warfield). Could you imagine what this guy would be doing
with Dan Marino throwing to him?
- Did anyone else notice that RB Ricky Williams
was essentially benched after committing his second fumble this season?
Yeah, he came back on the field but he didn't touch the ball again. Ricky
is normally sure-handed, which makes his case of fumble-itis confusing. Still,
I can't see how Sparano can trust him if he keeps laying the ball on the
As disappointing as this
loss was, the Dolphins still have a great opportunity to hit the season quarterpole
with a nice 3-1 record and two divisional wins in hand if they can defeat the
New England Patriots next Monday (8:30pm ET, ESPN). Not too shabby a situation heading
into the bye week! Hopefully the Dolphins will get the job done.