Playing against the Patriots backup Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who had an impressive Week 1 win against the Cardinals, it didn’t take long for the Dolphins to fall behind 21-0 early in the game. Jimmy G was reading the field, making quick throws, and picking apart the Dolphins Defense since the Patriots 1st possession of the game with 2 TD passes to Amaendola, and 1 to Martellus Bennett.
While Jimmy G threw 3 Touchdown passes on his first 3 possessions to put the Patriots up 21-0, Ryan T went 3-and-out 3 times, and 4-and-out on his 4th time (how fitting).
An Amendola fumble with 6:02 left in the 2nd quarter brought some life into the Dolphins hopes. But these hopes were quickly crushed when Jarvis Landry fumbled the ball 2 plays later (on a play where he should’ve ran out of bounds instead of fighting for extra yards against 3 Patriots defenders).
With 5 minutes left to go in the 2nd quarter, it seemed like it was all but over for the Dolphins, until Garoppolo went down with a shoulder injury (compliments of LB Kiko Alonso) making Patriots 3rd stringer Jacoby Brissett step into the game which slowed the Patriots offensive attack and caused them to punt for most of the game.
After a Ryan Tannehill interception and a Patriots punt, the Dolphins got the ball back with 58 seconds on the clock. Tannehill led a 9-play 77-yd drive which was capped off by an Andrew Franks 27-yard Field Goal. This gave the Dolphins something to feel good about heading into halftime. 24-3 Patriots.
Entering the 3rd quarter, the Patriots had a 3rd stringer at quarterback and the Dolphins had plenty of time on the clock to get back into the game. Unfortunately, Jay Ajayi fumbled the ball ending a 6-play 41-yard opening drive which led to another Patriots Touchdown. 31-3 Patriots.
But the Dolphins came back scoring 3 Touchdowns on their next 3 possessions. Ryan Tannehill engineered 7-play 75-yd, 5-play 88-yd, and 9-play 74-yd drives capped off by TD passes to Stills and Jordan Cameron (who brought their hands), and a Kenyan Drake TD run in the 4th quarter. These drives only ate up a total of 9:55 and allowed the Dolphins to close the deficit by 7 points. 31-24 Patriots.
6:06 remained in regulation, and the Dolphin D just needed 1 more stop to give the Miami offense 1 more chance to tie the game. They got the stop and Gostkowski missed the 39-yd FG, but only after the Fins used all their time-outs and 5:02 was eaten.
In 1 minute and 2 secs Ryan Tannehill quickly led a drive all the way down to the Patriots 29 with 2 seconds remaining, and on 4th and 5 Tannehill threw a beautiful jump ball to Parker in the back left corner of the endzone. However, Parker had trouble tracking the ball and did not end up in the right position to make the catch. The Patriots intercepted and took a knee to end the game—defeating the Dolphins 31-24.
Reasons for Loss:
Although Ryan Tannehill played a beautiful game in the 2nd half, it took him and the offense 5 possessions to finally get the ball moving. Slow starts have plagued Tannehill throughout his tenure as a Dolphin. This was especially apparent last year when the Dolphins were being blown out in multiple games, causing the games to be all but over for the Dolphins by the end of the 1st half.
The Dolphin defense was expected to be below average and give up points this year. That’s something that they can’t control due to their lack of talent, but the Dolphins offense contains so much talent and can control the way they play. They can win games for this team. However, they cannot do this by playing catch-up. Tanny needs to match the opponents scoring in order for games to stay competitive. And because the offense contains so much talent, its inexcusable to have such slow starts.
Jarvis Landry’s fumble and Ryan Tannehill’s interception in the 2nd quarter was a killer for this game. On both these possessions, the fins seemed to be moving the ball and finding their groove until the costly turnovers.
Landry’s fumble was a fault of him trying to do too much when not necessary. No doubt he should have stepped out of bounds instead of fighting for more yards. There are times when Landry feels like its his job to take over a game or make a play when the team is not doing well. Bless his heart for being that way and that’s why we love him. The man has so much pride, but sometimes his ego causes trouble on the field. This instance being one of them.
Jay Ajayi fumbled in the 3rd quarter. His ball security and hands seem to be a problem dating back to preseason. I’m not sure if its because it’s his first real year carrying the ball, and he needs to make adjustments, or if he truly does have bad hands. In either case, that’s why he lost his starting job to Arian Foster. Foster will be out the next game or 2, this is his chance to take over again. If he keeps putting the ball on the ground, he’ll end up on the bench.