Friday Night’s kickoff was scheduled for 7:05 pm but was delayed 51 minutes by rain and lightning in the area of Metlife stadium. Ben McAdoo of the Giants and Adam Gase of the Dolphins began their Head Coaching debuts.
The weather delay could have been a metaphoric foreshadowing of the late start of offensive rhythm for the Dolphins. It took them 6 drives to finally get a first down. The defense helped the offense get into rhythm by causing 4 turnovers. 2 of which were deep in Giants territory.
Of what was supposed to be an improved group of talent, the starting offensive line did not protect Tannehill well if at all (if you’ve been watching practice this should be no surprise). LG Dallas Thomas got bull rushed on 3rd and 9, and LT Branden Albert had a tough couple series against former Dolphins DE Olivier Vernon (looks like he’s living up to that big money so far). On one of these plays, Vernon sped past Albert causing Tannehill to scramble and throw an incomplete pass to avoid a safety.
The line also didn’t help the running game as there was little to no holes to run through.
1st -round pick Laremy Tunsil didn't start but played most of the game at left guard and seemed to hold up.
Ryan Tannehill only played 2 series and went 2/4 passes for 8 yards. The stats speak for themselves. He had a completion to Jarvis Landry for 1 yard and a pass to Kenny Stills for 7 yards. Nothing different from what we’ve seen in practice. Although he was under duress as the offensive line gave poor protection in the beginning of the game.
After his 2nd pass was intercepted and the offensive line began to hold up, Moore recovered by showing veteran leadership, command, and understanding of the offense. With a couple turnovers from the defense, the offense gained rhythm on multiple short fields which led to scores. Moore led the team down multiple drives for a FG, a rushing TD, and a fluky 51-yard touchdown pass through the hands of A.J. Cruz to Matt Hazel.
Brandon Doughty, the 7th-round pick from Western Kentucky, also showed great command and understanding of the offense. He played 2 series and went 7/9 for 66 yds He did not look lost under pressure. He connect with Jakeem Grant twice. 1 outside post pattern for 19 yards. Another for 24 yards on a WR screen.
Jay Ajayi started the game but was not in for very long. He had 2 carries for 6 yards, and was targeted twice on passes. 1 of which was a bobble off his hands which could have been an interception if the defender’s second foot did not land out of bounds.
Damien Williams had 7 attempts for 13 yards, 1 reception for 10 yards, and 1 rushing touchdown. He came into the game as the 2nd back, but didn’t have much room to run. He demonstrated his quickness to the outside on the 5 yard TD ruN and his route running and catching ability.
Isaiah Pead came into the game in the 3rd quarter. He led the team with 10 carries for 50 yards. He had 1 target for -3 yards. Pead showed his agility and quickness. His highlight of the night was a 26 yard run on the right side with 14:28 left in the 3rd quarter.
Daniel Thomas had 10 carries for 40 yards. His longest being a 10 yard run. He had 3 targets and caught 2 for 7 yards. The former 2011 2nd round pick by the Dolphins looks to be the 6th running back on the depth chart.
Jakeem Grant was the highlight player of the night. He was used in punt and kickoff returns. He had 2 kickoff returns for 53 yards (26.5 AVG). He had 4 punt returns for 60 yards. His highlight was a 28-yard return which came in the 3rd quarter with 38 seconds left.
Grant also was targetted on 5 passes. He caught 4 for 68 yards. His 5th target was a deep pass to the endzone by QB Matt Moore. Grant was running and outside post pattern on the right side of the field towards the sideline but failed to make the adjustment and turn upfield for the pass.
Matt Hazel caught a fluky 51-yard touchdown pass in the 2nd quarter with 0:39 seconds left. This may seem like a great highlight, but Hazel was only targeted 1 time. It was more a demonstration of luck and being in the right place at the right time than his actual involvement in the offense.
Leonte Carroo had 3 targets and caught all of them for 18 yards. Although his draft position and talent should make him the 4th reciever on the team, it seems he has much to learn as Griff Whalen has been filling in for starter Devante Parker.
Dion Sims caught 1 pass for 3 yards. His athleticism leaves him remaining as the teams number 2 TE.
Dominique Jones continues to be involved as the teams 3rd string TE. He had 3 targets and caught 2. One of which was a 19-yard pass by QB Matt Moore.