Final Game 3 Observations

From the Wildcat to the lack of a pass rush to the emergence of Brandon Marshall, there were a lot of things that stood out in the loss to the Jets. We take one last look at the Week 3 game before turning our attention to Week 4 and the New England Patriots.

-- We'll start with the Wildcat because that seems to be a hot topic right now. The consensus seems to be the Dolphins should keep it but be more judicious with its use. I say dump it. The Wildcat was great when the Dolphins were very limited offensively, but that's no longer the case. Chad Henne looks like a legitimate NFL quarterback, the two running backs are still productive and we're now looking at a tremendous trio of wide receivers with Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. The Wildcat right now isn't producing enough to justify disrupting the rhythm on offense.

-- Yes, I said tremendous trio of wide receivers. All three of those guys were outstanding against the Jets. Marshall looked the part of a dominant No. 1 receiver, Hartline did a great complementary job, and Bess was Bess. And that's a compliment.

-- Having said that, depth is an issue at wide receiver because there's nobody trustworthy behind those two. Sure, Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore were nice training camp stories, but Wallace is terribly raw as a receiver and Moore just doesn't have consistent enough hands. There's big trouble if Marshall, Hartline or Bess gets hurt.

-- Going back to the Wildcat, if the Dolphins were so adamant about using it against the Jets, why didn't they use it when they had second and third down from the Jets' 2-yard line in the third quarter instead of having Henne attempt two passes. Throwing the ball twice from that distance really goes against the philosophy of this coaching staff. It more or less was an admission they couldn't gain 2 yards on the ground against the Jets.

-- Would the strategy have been different had John Jerry been in the lineup? Remember, the Dolphins did use the Wildcat on a first-and-goal from the 7 and Jerry's replacement, Pat McQuistan, was called for holding. So who knows?

-- Not to nitpick, but why force the ball into double coverage (if not triple coverage) to Anthony Fasano on the last fourth down? If you're going to throw into double coverage, I say throw it to Marshall. Throw it high and watch him outjump the defenders for the ball.

-- Defensively, where was the pass rush? Yes, the Jets offensive line is very good, but still ... Cameron Wake was noticeably absent and there was nobody else there to pick up the slack.

-- In pass defense, we'll forgive Jason Allen slipping on that completion to Braylon Edwards that turned a short gain into a 67-yard touchdown. But, Jason, please turn around quicker to watch the ball. That cost him big time on two key plays on the Jets' last touchdown drive — the third-down completions to Edwards and the pass-interference penalty in the end zone.

-- Dan Carpenter is having a good on field goals, but his kickoffs haven't been impressive at all. He had one out of bounds against the Jets, the second time that's happened this season. And then he had one that only reached the 3-yard line when he was kicking off from the 35 after a Jets penalty. Brad Smith returned that one for more than 50 yards. It should have been a touchback.

-- Then again, that's nothing compared to the problems in the return game. Obviously, Clifton Smith wasn't the issue. I love Patrick Cobbs, but he's simply not fast enough to be much of a threat on kickoff returns. How about giving rookie Nolan Carroll a shot?


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