In spite of the Browns starting 3rd-string QB Cody Kessler, missed field goals and an injured, depth-challenged roster, the Dolphins escaped with an overly dramatic win at the expense of the Dawg Pound, 30-24, in overtime at home in Hard Rock.
Going forward, I hope Hard Rock is just the name of the stadium. We shouldn’t have to scrape out wins at home vs. teams in constant rebuild mode. We were week 3’s only OT game. This was a pyrrhic victory. We made a third-round draft pick, WR Terrelle Pryor, look like a fantasy flex-player stud with his combined 200 yards BY HIMSELF against our defense.
At our own expense, we take away an ugly win while minting a new NFL triple-threat. Let’s review some mixed takeaways:
-When You Hate Being Right . . . Again: Billed as advertised. We watched up front, close and personal, as Browns offensive weapons Pryor and TE Gary Barnidge (not Browns WR Rashard Higgins) burn us on short and long yardage. Kessler was never the biggest threat; it was the yards after reception that exposed our secondary. Also, we were one of this week's Vegas traps, being favored at 10.5 points at game time;
-Rushing Issues: Brown RBs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. ran for a combined 150 yards between them. Meanwhile, we continue to struggle to come up with an average rushing concern for NFL defenses. 6 Miami runners during today’s game, totaling 115 yards. We need improvements on both sides of the line when it comes to rushing, defensive and offensive;
-Conservative Football: See a pic of the Oakland Raiders gamble and win vs. the Saints in this season’s first week. I despise good quotes from people other than us, but Raiders Coach Jack Del Rio made an accurate statement, if ever there was one: "I was thinking that we're here to win; let's win it right now." The last NFL tie was in November 2012, the then St. Louis Rams and the 49ers, 24-24. If we have a chance to win a game during a regular 4 quarters, let’s take it. Unless we’re facing a superior team with mounting momentum on our side, we shouldn’t hope for overtime to win.
-Special Teams’ Needs: Again, it’s small in the grand scheme of 60 minutes of play. An average of 17 yards per kick/punt return from the Browns continues to underscore our need for better kickoff coverage, to ease offensive pressures; -Tannehill aka “Mr. Audible 2.0?”: No, he’s not Peyton Manning 2.0. However, calling audibles shows improved abilities to read defenses and mastery of available offensive options in a pinch. However, the 2 interceptions vs. 3 touchdowns still leaves something to be desired. The DH Award for week 3, by far and away, goes to Jarvis Landryfor getting us an ugly win at home. Also, his combined 136 yards receiving and rushing definitely were great helps, especially in OT. We need more goal-post hugs. Next up, we have another short week, playing Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.