Looks like that field goal from 2012 finally haunted us in 2016 in a long-awaited rematch of Ryan Tannehill vs. Russell Wilson. We can't forget the advertised Dolphins vs. Seahawks, but many critics salivated to measure Tannehill's growth against Wilson's current level of performance. We couldn't be any prouder of our 'Phins, despite the 12-10 loss.
Let's review the takeaways and the possibilities that Week 1 revealed or exposed about our beloved 'Phins: -When Vegas Goes Wrong: The line on the game was Seahawks favored by 9.5 to 11 points. Throw in a few more points from our underestimating oddsmakers, and you're looking at a point spread almost standardly issued to college football. Kudos to all our 'Phins for proving the League, Vegas (and handicappers everywhere else) that 2016 is a year our 'Phins are to be reckoned with. We took the Seahawks to the last minute of the game. This was karmic repayment from the 2012 game, a victory we obtained in the last seconds from a field goal as time expired; -Ndamukong Suh & the 'Phin 7: OK, so we're not getting a movie deal off this title. However, Suh compromised a highly elusive Russell Wilson during a sack in the 3rd quarter.
We are finally starting to see a return on our investment regarding middle-field/short yardage defense. Game film analysts will take note of what we exposed today: in a post-Marshawn-Lynch era, those 'Hawks' ground game is troubling. It took 4 Seahawks runners to get all of 115 yards, or aprx. 29 yards per player. That would overcredit C.J. Prosise's 1 yard. Moreover, the same number proves that Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls is more hype than Beast Mode heir. Our red-zone defense improved from 21st to 17th, probably only because courtesy of our preseason, with room for improvement. A strong secondary, including an interception, didn't make for Wilson having an easy 1st game;
-Offensive potential: Where to begin? Tannehill looked liked an old rental car commercial, hurdling a bench after being pushed out of bounds.
He also had a 2-yard rushing TD. Could this be his breakout year, showcasing his ability to run and scramble, too? Our middle yardage game finally took steps forward, with Arian Foster showing off his old form. This should take pressure off Tannehill and give head coach Adam Gase more play-calling options if Foster continues to run like this. Kenny Stills, where art thou hands this week? That catch was practically the game. The offensive line still needs to build its chemistry and timing.
The blocked 27-yard-field goal attempt by Seahawks DE Cassius Marsh was another opportunity lost to win the game. This should have potentially been a victory of 10 points, that same margin of loss predicted by Vegas; Lost in the Clutch: After holding them to field goals all game long, our defense allowed a touchdown at the worst possible time. We won the battle, but lost the war. Again, we have another 16 weeks to improve. We can't have a red-zone collapse with games of 3 points or less on the line; Controversy: Joining 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick in protest were Dolphins Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, Arian Foster and Jelani Jenkins, as they kneeled during our national anthem. Thus far, the league has expressed no opposition to varying expressions around the NFL. As the season continues, players and fans of any sport will continue to monitor or take sides on the subject of protesting athletes. The DH Award this week goes to our QB, Ryan Tannehill, for showing growth in the position. 16/29 with 186 yards and no interceptions.
Next week: Dolphins vs. the Brady-less Patriots