Dolphins: Year Tua

Should Miami Trade for Deshaun Watson

  • Yes. Deshaun is a star. Take the known entity.

    Votes: 68 70.8%
  • No. Build around Tua and forge a stronger overall team.

    Votes: 28 29.2%

  • Total voters
    96
  • Poll closed .

dwainw

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I haven't ventured to the post-game Goat thread but I've got to imagine there is some discussion of penalties by the Patriots over there. Lots of new moving parts for Belichick to indoctrinate, so that will get cleaned up sooner than later, but that was as big a factor as any. That and a couple of timely turnovers (signature feature of last year's squad hopefully carried over) allowed Miami to overcome way too many 3rd down conversions by NE. But we'll take a divisional road win however we can get it.

Damn, that was a doozy. This division will be a dogfight.
 

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The O-line wasn’t as bad as this thread led me to believe it might be, but Eichenberg looked overmatched. Not sure if that was a function of his assignments in this game, or if he just sucks.
 

sodenj5

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The O-line wasn’t as bad as this thread led me to believe it might be, but Eichenberg looked overmatched. Not sure if that was a function of his assignments in this game, or if he just sucks.
Honestly, the line played better than I expected. Eichenberg has missed some camp with two separate injuries and found out he was starting this morning. Don’t think he exactly seized the LT job today.

The interior looked stout and Jesse Davis wasn’t mentioned once, which, when you’re the blindside protector, is a best case scenario. Dieter didn’t look out of place at center.

All things considered, the Patriots were supposed to have a decided advantage in the trenches, and Miami seemed to neutralize them on both sides.
 

rymflaherty

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Well, not exactly how I predicted, but I’m not going to complain.

In terms of Tua, pretty crazy that his performance wound up somewhere in the middle, where either side that wants to argue vehemently for, or against him, can continue to make those cases.

Despite my insistence that Miami would win the game, I do think New England is a good team (I’d have predicted them at 9 or 10 wins heading into the season), so I’ll probably focus more on the positives, working under the assumption that Miami just went on the road and survived against a good opponent.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Lots of credit should go to Flores and his staff. Miami won because they were the more disciplined, less error-prone team and because they had great play scripts for the first drive of each half, which the Patriots defense just wasn't ready to handle in either case.
 

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Regarding Tua’s INT, I do think he was trying to throw it away but was rolling to his right and got hammered and didn’t get enough on it. Either way, he should have probably eaten the sack and kicked the ball away with the lead in the road. He has a history of hero ball at Alabama and you want him to improvise when the play breaks down to an extent, but have to be better there.

That being said, there were some very bright spots for Tua. He was running the RPO with a ton of confidence and efficiency. It was nice to see him push the ball downfield to both Waddle and Parker. He looked mobile and quick. Obviously you can’t declare him a Pro Bowl QB based off that game, but that’s a difficult defense to go against on the road.

Excited to see what it all looks like with Will Fuller in another big game vs. Buffalo next week.
I'm not super surprised that you thought Tua looked awesome...but I didnt come away with that same view.

He ran the RPO pretty well. But his accuracy wasnt all that impressive - even less so when considering he had less air yards per pass than Mac Jones, who we all seem to agree was handled with kid gloves. It basically felt like he could hit the slants and flats, but everything else was a crapshoot.

Its only one game. But I dont feel like you can walk away from that game feeling like Tua made any forward momentum with proving himself as a quality starting QB.

Not trying to shit on him. Would like to hear a deeper perspective from you on his performance.
 

sodenj5

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I'm not super surprised that you thought Tua looked awesome...but I didnt come away with that same view.

He ran the RPO pretty well. But his accuracy wasnt all that impressive - even less so when considering he had less air yards per pass than Mac Jones, who we all seem to agree was handled with kid gloves. It basically felt like he could hit the slants and flats, but everything else was a crapshoot.

Its only one game. But I dont feel like you can walk away from that game feeling like Tua made any forward momentum with proving himself as a quality starting QB.

Not trying to shit on him. Would like to hear a deeper perspective from you on his performance.
He also hit two 30+ yard plays to Waddle and Parker. Waddle dropped a third and long conversion he put on the money. He wasn’t bombs away, but I feel like you might be discrediting his performance slightly.

Looking at some of the Next Gen Stats, Tua’s aggressiveness ranked 4th, his Average Intended Air Yards was 6th. His passing chart looked largely clustered inside 10 yards, but I can live with that when they’re playing a team with a plus defense, on the road, and still taking some calculated shots downfield.

I did say you can’t declare him a Pro Bowl QB based off that performance, but Tua was getting the ball out quickly, accurately, and still pushing the ball down the field, which he did not do with enough regularity last year. At his best, he’s going to be a point guard, getting the ball into the hands of his receivers with timing and location that will allow them to gain YAC. That’s why they got Waddle. That’s why they got Fuller. Thats why they kept Wilson. That’s why Parker looked surprisingly good on slant routes.

Not every QB is Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson. You can win in the NFL with a QB making consistently positive plays, not committing back breaking turnovers, and playing plus defense and special teams. Miami out Patriots-ed the Patriots yesterday.
 

johnmd20

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Not every QB is Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson. You can win in the NFL with a QB making consistently positive plays, not committing back breaking turnovers, and playing plus defense and special teams. Miami out Patriots-ed the Patriots yesterday.
Can you really rely on this? The last few SB winners have been Tom Brady and Pat Mahomes and Tom Brady and Nick Foles (who sucks but, to be fair, he carried Philly in the SB) and Tom Brady.

Game managers don't win SBs anymore. Most don't even come close to the SB anymore. The QB position obviously matters. And Tua looked solid enough. He ain't no Justin Herbert, tho.
 

sodenj5

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Can you really rely on this? The last few SB winners have been Tom Brady and Pat Mahomes and Tom Brady and Nick Foles (who sucks but, to be fair, he carried Philly in the SB) and Tom Brady.

Game managers don't win SBs anymore. Most don't even come close to the SB anymore. The QB position obviously matters. And Tua looked solid enough. He ain't no Justin Herbert, tho.
The Patriots clearly believe in the formula. So there might need to be some hard staring into the mirror here because the Patriots and Dolphins are reading the same script.
 

johnmd20

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The Patriots clearly believe in the formula. So there might need to be some hard staring into the mirror here because the Patriots and Dolphins are reading the same script.
I don't think the Pats are super bowl contenders this year. They *might* make the playoffs, although yesterday makes it that much harder. But it would take multiple miracles for the Pats to win in 2021. I also would rather have Herbert than Mac Jones. But maybe Mac and Tua can turn into Herbert quality players. It's definitely in the cards.
 

luckiestman

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Can you really rely on this? The last few SB winners have been Tom Brady and Pat Mahomes and Tom Brady and Nick Foles (who sucks but, to be fair, he carried Philly in the SB) and Tom Brady.

Game managers don't win SBs anymore. Most don't even come close to the SB anymore. The QB position obviously matters. And Tua looked solid enough. He ain't no Justin Herbert, tho.
It’s such a small sample size. Brees could have won last year, Zombie Manning won recently, Jimmy G could have won, Matty Ice was right there. All things equal you want the superstar but you can still win with very good.
 

johnmd20

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It’s such a small sample size. Brees could have won last year, Zombie Manning won recently, Jimmy G could have won, Matty Ice was right there. All things equal you want the superstar but you can still win with very good.
Brees went 0-1 in the Playoffs last year,. What was he close to winning?

Zombie Manning is probably the best example to cite. He was awful. He knew he was awful. He also had a historically great defense.
 

sodenj5

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I don't think the Pats are super bowl contenders this year. They *might* make the playoffs, although yesterday makes it that much harder. But it would take multiple miracles for the Pats to win in 2021. I also would rather have Herbert than Mac Jones. But maybe Mac and Tua can turn into Herbert quality players. It's definitely in the cards.
You literally just described every NFL franchise with a young QB. Build the roster around them while they’re cheap, hope they pan out, if they’re Mahomes, you strike it rich. If they’re Tua or Mac or Baker or any number of non super human players, you might be a playoff team with a chance to win it all if everything goes right.
 

luckiestman

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Brees went 0-1 in the Playoffs last year,. What was he close to winning?
I think Saints could have won. Bucs barely got by them and took some good luck. I wanted Bucs to win but I thought that was a really close game and Saints could have had it.
 

johnmd20

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You literally just described every NFL franchise with a young QB. Build the roster around them while they’re cheap, hope they pan out, if they’re Mahomes, you strike it rich. If they’re Tua or Mac or Baker or any number of non super human players, you might be a playoff team with a chance to win it all if everything goes right.
No I didn't. What are you talking about? I said game managers can't win SBs. And then you were like, "WHAT ABOUT MAC, DOE. Look in the mirror, bro."

This is my fault for engaging in a good faith effort. Apologies.
 

sodenj5

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No I didn't. What are you talking about? I said game managers can't win SBs. And then you were like, "WHAT ABOUT MAC, DOE. Look in the mirror, bro."

This is my fault for engaging in a good faith effort. Apologies.
You’re the only one using all caps here, which probably suggests you’ve come to the startling realization that Mac and Tua and Miami and NE aren’t very dissimilar.

I’m fine with it if you are, but it sounds like you aren’t.
 

luckiestman

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No I didn't. What are you talking about? I said game managers can't win SBs. And then you were like, "WHAT ABOUT MAC, DOE. Look in the mirror, bro."

This is my fault for engaging in a good faith effort. Apologies.
Mac Dough is a good nickname, you are a creative sob
 

johnmd20

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You’re the only one using all caps here, which probably suggests you’ve come to the startling realization that Mac and Tua and Miami and NE aren’t very dissimilar.

I’m fine with it if you are, but it sounds like you aren’t.
You are having a conversation with yourself and are just completely ignoring everything I am saying. When you said look in the mirror, you were literally talking to yourself, in a mirror. Impressive.
 

sodenj5

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You are having a conversation with yourself and are just completely ignoring everything I am saying. When you said look in the mirror, you were literally talking to yourself, in a mirror. Impressive.
You said game managers don’t win championships. Multiple people said Manning did, Brees was close a few times the last 4-5 years. I said the Patriots are using the exact same formula as Miami.

So you either believe that the Patriots won’t win a Super Bowl with Mac Jones or you think that they will, invalidating your initial premise.
 

johnmd20

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You said game managers don’t win championships. Multiple people said Manning did, Brees was close a few times the last 4-5 years. I said the Patriots are using the exact same formula as Miami.

So you either believe that the Patriots won’t win a Super Bowl with Mac Jones or you think that they will, invalidating your initial premise.
Brees has made 0 Super Bowls since 2010. So a guy who has been to the Super Bowl once and hasn't been in 11 years was close? Heh. Close means something different to me. And Manning won with a historic defense and that was also 7 years ago. The NFL has changed dramatically since then.

And Mac is a rookie. He doesn't have to be a game manager forever. He certainly wasn't a game manager at Alabama. So you're inventing a premise that I have never said relating to him. Which is really poor message boarding and insulting.
 

sodenj5

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Brees has made 0 Super Bowls since 2010. So a guy who has been to the Super Bowl once and hasn't been in 11 years was close? Heh. Close means something different to me. And Manning won with a historic defense and that was also 7 years ago. The NFL has changed dramatically since then.

And Mac is a rookie. He doesn't have to be a game manager forever. He certainly wasn't a game manager at Alabama. So you're inventing a premise that I have never said relating to him. Which is really poor message boarding and insulting.
Tua was the most efficient passer in college football history. So you’re also insinuating that he will be a game manager forever because you were personally unimpressed with him and he “isn’t Justin Herbert.”

Tua is 2-0 versus New England. Imagine if he wasn’t mediocre.
 

johnmd20

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Tua was the most efficient passer in college football history. So you’re also insinuating that he will be a game manager forever because you were personally unimpressed with him and he “isn’t Justin Herbert.”

Tua is 2-0 versus New England. Imagine if he wasn’t mediocre.
You always act in good faith. It's really a solid trait. Thank you for the conversation.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm not at all convinced we've seen Tua's ceiling yet. And we certainly haven't seen Mac's ceiling.
 
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Miami is putting Tua in a good position to succeed. I think Waddle really opens things up. Guy seems to be uncoverable 1v1, particularly in those short area, horizontal routes. He’s pretty horrifying to watch from the opposing fan’s POV. Tua seems accurate and on time on those throws too.
 

mauf

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Brees went 0-1 in the Playoffs last year,. What was he close to winning?

Zombie Manning is probably the best example to cite. He was awful. He knew he was awful. He also had a historically great defense.
It’s obviously best to have a franchise QB, but you can win the Super Bowl with a game manager. In the past decade, we’ve had Flacco, Zombie Manning and Foles. You could argue Russell Wilson belongs too; he’s clearly a franchise QB now, but wasn’t on that level then. Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo came close to winning too.

What you can’t do is win with a game manager getting paid top dollar. Whoever is paying Tua in 5 years probably won’t be happy about it, but if he’s the average-ish guy he looked like on Sunday (my takeon his performance was closer to sodenj’s than yours), the Dolphins will be awfully good the next 3 years. (Obviously, their D needs to get off the field on 3rd down and generate more pressure on the QB, but I expect they’ll fix those things.)
 

johnmd20

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It’s obviously best to have a franchise QB, but you can win the Super Bowl with a game manager. In the past decade, we’ve had Flacco, Zombie Manning and Foles. You could argue Russell Wilson belongs too; he’s clearly a franchise QB now, but wasn’t on that level then. Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo came close to winning too.

What you can’t do is win with a game manager getting paid top dollar. Whoever is paying Tua in 5 years probably won’t be happy about it, but if he’s the average-ish guy he looked like on Sunday (my takeon his performance was closer to sodenj’s than yours), the Dolphins will be awfully good the next 3 years. (Obviously, their D needs to get off the field on 3rd down and generate more pressure on the QB, but I expect they’ll fix those things.)
I said Tua looked solid enough, just like Mac did. Which lands where you are.
 

rymflaherty

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The offense deserves more credit for killing the last 4+ minutes of the game. To me, that’s what’s most annoying about the, “Patriots should have won the game” narrative I’ve heard on virtually every national sports show I listen to.

Because, let’s be honest, how many of us thought that was going to be the most likely scenario at that point? I hoped it would be, because I want this season to be different, but I would not have bet on it playing out the way it did.
I’d seen that movie car too many times the past decade plus, and it virtually always ends with a punt and the 19-17 loss, especially against a team like New England, on the road.
So, if I’m looking for positives, and how things may have seemed better or different, the last 4 minutes may have been the biggest to me.
 

catomatic

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The offense deserves more credit for killing the last 4+ minutes of the game. To me, that’s what’s most annoying about the, “Patriots should have won the game” narrative I’ve heard on virtually every national sports show I listen to.

Because, let’s be honest, how many of us thought that was going to be the most likely scenario at that point? I hoped it would be, because I want this season to be different, but I would not have bet on it playing out the way it did.
I’d seen that movie car too many times the past decade plus, and it virtually always ends with a punt and the 19-17 loss, especially against a team like New England, on the road.
So, if I’m looking for positives, and how things may have seemed better or different, the last 4 minutes may have been the biggest to me.
To be a nitpicker, the Red Zone fumble by Harris came at 3:30 remaining. Dolphins killed 90 or so seconds while getting a critical 1st down, but the story of QBs, their efficiency and Offensive ToP tells the story of where these two teams are. Pats won’t put the ball on the ground that frequently again, nor cost themselves so much with flags. Judon will get an earful about his PF, Turnstile Herron won’t play close to a full game, and Parker will face an adjustment on those wide open slants. Sue me but I feel real good about the skill-to-luck ratios coming out of this game.
 

rymflaherty

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^
You are correct. I misread the drive chart, the 4:36 I saw was the time of the drive, not the time remaining. Does not change my sentiment.
Disagree with the rest however. Although, you may be right, next time they play there may not be two fumbles, it will probably be two interceptions. Maybe a fumble and an interception…possibly three.
 

catomatic

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^
You are correct. I misread the drive chart, the 4:36 I saw was the time of the drive, not the time remaining. Does not change my sentiment.
Disagree with the rest however. Although, you may be right, next time they play there may not be two fumbles, it will probably be two interceptions. Maybe a fumble and an interception…possibly three.
Because of the time just spent in a different thread, I’m hearing your post with Norm MacDonald’s delivery and it fits startlingly well. In a good way, I assure.
 

sodenj5

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^
You are correct. I misread the drive chart, the 4:36 I saw was the time of the drive, not the time remaining. Does not change my sentiment.
Disagree with the rest however. Although, you may be right, next time they play there may not be two fumbles, it will probably be two interceptions. Maybe a fumble and an interception…possibly three.
New England also fumbled 4 times, Miami recovered twice. Mac Jones avoided Xavien Howard like he had a superstrain of Covid.

Everyone says Miami can’t rely on turnovers like they did last year, and yet, they keep producing them.

Also, on the final drive, Tua runs the naked boot, gets called back for holding. 1st and 14 from their own 5, New England with all three timeoutes and the two minute warning. That throw from Tua to Parker was huge. Sets up 2nd and 1.

FiveThirtyEight has Miami v Buffalo as the most important game of the week in terms of playoff implications. If Miami wins, they would go up two games on Buffalo and have a game in hand. I would love to see Miami exercise the Josh Allen boogeyman this week.
 

mauf

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New England also fumbled 4 times, Miami recovered twice. Mac Jones avoided Xavien Howard like he had a superstrain of Covid.

Everyone says Miami can’t rely on turnovers like they did last year, and yet, they keep producing them.
The Ravens led the league last season with 25 forced fumbles; no one else had more than 17. I’m chalking 4 fumbles Sunday up to statistical variance, not defensive excellence. (I do think the Dolphins’ D will be good, but I don’t think the forced fumbles Week 1 provide much support for that hypothesis.)

FiveThirtyEight has Miami v Buffalo as the most important game of the week in terms of playoff implications. If Miami wins, they would go up two games on Buffalo and have a game in hand. I would love to see Miami exercise the Josh Allen boogeyman this week.
I’m not familiar with 538’s methodology but this sounds right to me — it’s a matchup between two best teams in a division that isn’t assured of having two playoff representatives (though I expect it will). The Bills’ D looked good Week 1, only allowing one TD. We should get a good read on whether the Dolphins’ O-line woes are overblown or whether the Pats simply couldn’t exploit them (NE’s D-line was not expected to be a strength).
 
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sodenj5

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The Ravens led the league last season with 25 forced fumbles; no one else had more than 17. I’m chalking 4 fumbles Sunday up to statistical variance, not defensive excellence. (I do think the Dolphins’ D will be good, but I don’t think the forced fumbles Week 1 provide much support for that hypothesis.)



I’m not familiar with 538’s methodology but this sounds right to me — it’s a matchup between two best teams in a division that isn’t assured of having two playoff representatives (though I expect it will). The Bills’ D looked good Week 1, only allowing one TD. We should get a good read on whether the Dolphins’ O-line woes are overblown or whether the Pats simply couldn’t exploit them (NE’s D-line was not expected to be a strength).
To be clear, I don’t think 4 forced fumbles is a remotely sustainable number, rather, Miami was excellent at generating turnovers last year. Even when they avoid Howard and he isn’t able to directly impact a game, they’re finding ways to generate takeaways and shift the balance of the game.

Weird to say, but it feels like a more important game for Buffalo. If they go down 2 games to Miami and they have a game in hand already, that’s an early hole to dig out of.

I’m hoping Miami has a bad taste in their mouth from the way last year ended and they have a big game this week.
 

rymflaherty

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I understand how forced turnovers are prone to regression, but it’s not been an expectation for me when it comes to this team, because when I watched them play last year it reminded me of watching Lovie Smith’s old Bears teams.

I happened to be around that Bears team some and was taken a back by how big of an emphasis they placed on creating turnovers, every practice, every drill. It was basically taught and it became an expectation, it was their culture. It wasn’t simply enough that someone was getting the stop, if you weren’t swarming and trying to get the strip as the third man in than you weren’t doing your job.
That’s always stuck with me, and I’ve gotten those vibes from this Miami defense, as many of the turnovers caused aren’t due to amazing individual players (outside of Howard) but because of the scheme and extra effort.

Those Bears teams forced 310 turnovers in 9 seasons. Top 10 or higher in most all of them.
Time will tell where Miami fits in the equation, but I point this out to simply show that turnovers forced isn’t always a fluke or luck.
 

mauf

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Weird to say, but it feels like a more important game for Buffalo. If they go down 2 games to Miami and they have a game in hand already, that’s an early hole to dig out of.
I don’t think that’s weird to say at all. Teams that start 0-2 usually miss the playoffs. The Bills would have a better chance than most teams of finishing 10-5 (assuming 10-7 is the cut-off), but that’s far from a sure thing. It’s a much bigger game for Buffalo than Miami.
 

Super Nomario

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I understand how forced turnovers are prone to regression, but it’s not been an expectation for me when it comes to this team, because when I watched them play last year it reminded me of watching Lovie Smith’s old Bears teams.

I happened to be around that Bears team some and was taken a back by how big of an emphasis they placed on creating turnovers, every practice, every drill. It was basically taught and it became an expectation, it was their culture. It wasn’t simply enough that someone was getting the stop, if you weren’t swarming and trying to get the strip as the third man in than you weren’t doing your job.
That’s always stuck with me, and I’ve gotten those vibes from this Miami defense, as many of the turnovers caused aren’t due to amazing individual players (outside of Howard) but because of the scheme and extra effort.

Those Bears teams forced 310 turnovers in 9 seasons. Top 10 or higher in most all of them.
Time will tell where Miami fits in the equation, but I point this out to simply show that turnovers forced isn’t always a fluke or luck.
I don't like the terms "fluke" or "luck" because people are trying to do it, but there's definitely a degree to which turnovers are not that repeatable. Pats fans will remember the year Kyle Arrington led the NFL with 7 INTs; he only had 2 others in an 8-year career.

There is a degree of repeatability in forcing fumbles but it's almost exclusively related to sacks. About 1.5% of runs or completed passes end in fumbles while sacks produce fumbles about 10 times that. Some defenses will consistently force more fumbles, but those are going to be the teams that sack a lot. Forcing three fumbles on non-sack plays probably won't happen again, and even the Mac Jones fumble was more of an oddball play than a classic strip sack. Last year the Dolphins had 16 forced fumbles; accordingly 10 / 16 were from Van Ginkel, Ogbah, Baker, and Van Noy, who produced 27.5 of the team's 41 sacks. If they get a lot of sacks again (Miami finished 9th in sack rate in 2020) they'll probably force a good amount of fumbles; if they don't, they probably won't.
 

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If the Harris fumble is to be credited to the MIA D, then I guess any tackle in the middle of the field - where guys routinely contact the arms of the runner and even the ball - that results in a fumble is gonna generate praise for a defense as being ‘opportunistic’.
 

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Miami is putting Tua in a good position to succeed. I think Waddle really opens things up. Guy seems to be uncoverable 1v1, particularly in those short area, horizontal routes. He’s pretty horrifying to watch from the opposing fan’s POV. Tua seems accurate and on time on those throws too.
Waddle looks great when given space. I wont pretend to know how good he is at getting separation, but that's my big question for him going forward. People have to give Tyreek space because of his speed, but also because hes built like such a chode (both physically and mentally) that hes actually able to fight off aggresive presses. Guys get fucking killed trying to press him, so they just decide to give him the 10 yard cushion. He really is unique.

The Patriots pressed very little week 1. I'm sure a lot of that had to do with faith in their corners and wanting to force Tua to execute. In fact, I'm positive of it, because Miami ran the RPO so often and effectively that youd think the Patriots would have countered by pressing the corners to (A) confuse Tuas ability to read the option, (B) provide support closer to the line of scrimmage against the run, and (C) dictate the flow of individual plays. It's why I'm less concerned about the Patriots defense long term than others (*cough* @Super Nomario *cough*).

As the weeks progress and Miami continues to lean on the RPO, teams are going to get more aggressive with the secondary. Waddles going to have to prove - sooner rather than later - that he has the ability to consistently beat the press. If he does, the offense will continue to grow as teams will have to continue to give space against the RPO. If he cant, the offense will have to pivot and lean on Tua more.

And, for what it's worth, that's my concern for the Dolphins offense. I'm sure the Dolphins are leaning into the RPO for a few reasons, but I worry one of the major ones is to minimize the amount of reads Tua has to make in the passing game. He was accurate in college, but only to his first read. His drop in accuracy from first read to second read was historically bad (paging @SMU_Sox ). It remained a problem last year, and it feels like Flores is constructing an offense around that weakness. Its smart, but also concerning to build an offensive philosophy around a players weakness and not a players strength. In fact, I'm not sure what Tuas strength actually is. But I'm not trying to turn this into a Tua bashing session. I've made my opinion about him clear, so the chips can fall where they fall.

The offense deserves more credit for killing the last 4+ minutes of the game. To me, that’s what’s most annoying about the, “Patriots should have won the game” narrative I’ve heard on virtually every national sports show I listen to.

Because, let’s be honest, how many of us thought that was going to be the most likely scenario at that point? I hoped it would be, because I want this season to be different, but I would not have bet on it playing out the way it did.
I’d seen that movie car too many times the past decade plus, and it virtually always ends with a punt and the 19-17 loss, especially against a team like New England, on the road.
So, if I’m looking for positives, and how things may have seemed better or different, the last 4 minutes may have been the biggest to me.
It's frustrating when your team doesnt get respect after a win. Patriots fans - all fans, I suppose - know that feeling. But the Dolphins won. And they did enough to win. After watching the game, I feel really good about the Patriots going forward. Hell, they're 0-1, and after the loss I put money on the over for their win total as well as to win the division. Browns injury hurt the offensive flow, they'll open up the playbook for Mac more, turnovers wont keep happening, Gilmore can dynamically change the face of the defense, etc. etc etc.

But no matter the silver linings, the team is still 0-1. Because the Dolphins beat them. And they deserved to beat them. "What if Harris didnt fumble?" What if Tua doesnt throw that pick? "Patriots had too many penalties!" Dolphins got a questionable (although fair, IMO) roughing the passer call in a really tough spot, too.

Theres a million what ifs, and none of them matter. The Dolphins played well enough to win and, as you said, they ran the clock out - even with boneheaded penalties of their own on the final drive - and earned it.

New England also fumbled 4 times, Miami recovered twice. Mac Jones avoided Xavien Howard like he had a superstrain of Covid.

Everyone says Miami can’t rely on turnovers like they did last year, and yet, they keep producing them.

Also, on the final drive, Tua runs the naked boot, gets called back for holding. 1st and 14 from their own 5, New England with all three timeoutes and the two minute warning. That throw from Tua to Parker was huge. Sets up 2nd and 1.

FiveThirtyEight has Miami v Buffalo as the most important game of the week in terms of playoff implications. If Miami wins, they would go up two games on Buffalo and have a game in hand. I would love to see Miami exercise the Josh Allen boogeyman this week.
It was smart to avoid Howard like the plague. The secondary for this team is legit. If they were able to figure out how to get pressure without so much blitzing, theyd be a top 3 defense.

But, as of last week, they kind of couldnt, even when Brown went down. Players are becoming so use to blitz schemes, that even rookies are able to diagnose it under pressure (Mac did just that).

What Miami DOES do well, though, and is so often overlooked - tackling. Especially in the back seven. To counteract all the blitzes, Mac made the smart play and went with quick passes and dump offs. I dont know what the numbers were, but there were very few broken tackles by Patriots offensive players. If a team is forced to blitz to get pressure, like Miami, you better be able to make open field and 1on1 tackles. They were FANTASTIC at that last week. And that's a clear indicator of solid fundamental coaching. Another feather in the hat for Flores.

All that said - yeah. You cant rely on fumbles. I know anecdotally it feels like they can create more of them, but I know that you know it isnt a sustainable model for success. Every team tries to punch out balls, theres nothing special about Miami doing it. The Jonnu fumble was because he tried to hurdle. The Mac Jones "fumble"? The Stevenson fumble and the Harris fumble were standard tackles with poor ball control. That has nothing to do with the Dolphins, its poor control by Patriot players and variance.
 
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tims4wins

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Yeah the 2010-2014 Pats recovered 13, 11, 21, 12, and 9 (opposition) fumbles. One of those things is not like the others. Only one other team since 2012 has recovered more than 16 (opposition) fumbles in a season - the 2019 Steelers recovered 19.
 

sodenj5

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What Miami DOES do well, though, and is so often overlooked - tackling. Especially in the back seven. To counteract all the blitzes, Mac made the smart play and went with quick passes and dump offs. I dont know what the numbers were, but there were very few broken tackles by Patriots offensive players. If a team is forced.to blitz to get pressure, like Miami, you better be able to make open field and 1on1 tackles. They were FANTASTIC at that last week. And that's a clear indicator of solid fundamental coaching. Another feather in the hat for Flores.
Very valid point, and it’s something Flores mentions whenever he is in front of a microphone. Pad level, hand placement, effort, etc. He preaches fundamentals constantly.

Like you said, if you dial up a Cover 0 blitz, one missed tackle is a long gain or a TD.
 

SMU_Sox

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Sam Eguavoen stood out to me on the rewatch at least early on. He blew up a White run - recognized the pull, waited for the OL to clear and sliced in to tackle White. The big surprise to me which is good for the Fins is that their OL won in 1:1 matchups when it came to short yardage situations. Small sample size but they routinely converted those short runs.

@Kenny F'ing Powers yeah but hey don’t take my word for it on Tua and second reads:

[media]

View: https://twitter.com/gunnerhal/status/1437778869218594816

[/media]

Fins themselves know what’s up with Tua and are working on it (smart move).

As for Waddle… he was open a ton man. A ton. When Fuller comes back and you have Parker/Fuller/Waddle that’s going to be a killer trio. You have 2 blazing speedsters but Waddle can actually break at nearly full speed which is… like kind of defies physics you know? If it weren’t for pressure getting to Tua I think Waddle would have had 2-3 more catches and come close to 100+ yards easy.

I think the Fins are vulnerable to between the tackles runs but if you had to pick a weakness for a defense that’s not a bad one to have. I’m still skeptical about the OL and Tua but after week 1 they look like a well coached squad that executes well. Should at least be a competitive team fwiw.
 

rymflaherty

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Front page of ESPN is ranking how each QB looked in Week 1.
Rankings by Mike Tannenbaum.
Tua is ranked 30th. Only starter he’s listed ahead of is Andy Dalton.
Cool.
 

sodenj5

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Front page of ESPN is ranking how each QB looked in Week 1.
Rankings by Mike Tannenbaum.
Tua is ranked 30th. Only starter he’s listed ahead of is Andy Dalton.
Cool.
Lol Tannenbaum has been pretty vocal about the fact that he scouted Herbert for 2 years for Miami before they canned him. This is very much him banging his own drum. Tua is fine.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Lol Tannenbaum has been pretty vocal about the fact that he scouted Herbert for 2 years for Miami before they canned him. This is very much him banging his own drum. Tua is fine.
Im on a text group with a Dolphins fan. He was very much on the "keep Tua, no Watson" train like you guys here (before the sexual assault shit). Over the last handful of weeks, it seems hes soured on him. I asked him how he felt about Tua after the game last week. He responded, "I hate Tua".

Hes usually pretty level headed about this stuff. And he has some experience, as he did play college football for four years (D2, but still). Its really interesting to see the polar extremes on how Dolphins fans view Tua.
 

dwainw

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Im on a text group with a Dolphins fan. He was very much on the "keep Tua, no Watson" train like you guys here (before the sexual assault shit). Over the last handful of weeks, it seems hes soured on him. I asked him how he felt about Tua after the game last week. He responded, "I hate Tua".

Hes usually pretty level headed about this stuff. And he has some experience, as he did play college football for four years (D2, but still). Its really interesting to see the polar extremes on how Dolphins fans view Tua.
Are you able to shed light on why he's done that about-face? Seems irrational on its face. Not that he's off the Tua bandwagon, just the drastic swing in his opinion.

Will Fuller didn't practice today due to personal reasons. Doesn't bode well for his involvement in Sunday's game plan, whether he suits up or not.
 

AlNipper49

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Front page of ESPN is ranking how each QB looked in Week 1.
Rankings by Mike Tannenbaum.
Tua is ranked 30th. Only starter he’s listed ahead of is Andy Dalton.
Cool.
And Daniel Jones, but I’m assuming that mentioning him as the worst QB is more or less redundant at this point!
 

rymflaherty

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And Daniel Jones, but I’m assuming that mentioning him as the worst QB is more or less redundant at this point!
You’d think, but Tannenbaum has him at #22.
If the Giants pull this one out tonight, no way Tua will ever catch him.
In hindsight, my fault for clicking an ESPN ranking link.



Lol Tannenbaum has been pretty vocal about the fact that he scouted Herbert for 2 years for Miami before they canned him. This is very much him banging his own drum. Tua is fine.
That’s one of the main reasons I didn’t want Herbert. The only two people that I recall really loving him were Tannenbaum and Kiper and that’s not the group I’m going to side with, especially when the voices I trust most were skeptical.

At this point it’s obvious that raw talent won out. I’m resigned to the fact that Herbert’s been much better, and that’s likely to always be the case…though I do wonder what will happen if people start dropping into coverage. Again this past week he was unreal vs. the blitz and pressure, especially on third down. When that’s not the case he looks human.


I bring that up because that also seemed to be the case with Josh Allen this past week.
Ben Solak has an article on the Ringer detailing how Pittsburgh was able to slow the Buffalo offense by rushing four, dropping into coverage and forcing Allen to make correct reads and be patient.
Now the problem is Solak also explained this on Wednesdays Ringer Gambling Podcast, and then spoke in great detail in regards to how that correlates with Miami…and it doesn’t. Miami doesn’t get the same kind of pressure rushing 4 and what Miami does (playing mostly man. Bringing blitzes) is what Allen and the Bills offense has the most success against. After listening to that pod it’s not surprising that the Bills have shredded the Dolphins defense the past couple years.
it will be interesting to see if they try something new on Sunday. You have to imagine, stopping the Bills offense, must have been high on the list of priorities when it came to off-season game planning.
 

sodenj5

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You’d think, but Tannenbaum has him at #22.
If the Giants pull this one out tonight, no way Tua will ever catch him.
In hindsight, my fault for clicking an ESPN ranking link.





That’s one of the main reasons I didn’t want Herbert. The only two people that I recall really loving him were Tannenbaum and Kiper and that’s not the group I’m going to side with, especially when the voices I trust most were skeptical.

At this point it’s obvious that raw talent won out. I’m resigned to the fact that Herbert’s been much better, and that’s likely to always be the case…though I do wonder what will happen if people start dropping into coverage. Again this past week he was unreal vs. the blitz and pressure, especially on third down. When that’s not the case he looks human.


I bring that up because that also seemed to be the case with Josh Allen this past week.
Ben Solak has an article on the Ringer detailing how Pittsburgh was able to slow the Buffalo offense by rushing four, dropping into coverage and forcing Allen to make correct reads and be patient.
Now the problem is Solak also explained this on Wednesdays Ringer Gambling Podcast, and then spoke in great detail in regards to how that correlates with Miami…and it doesn’t. Miami doesn’t get the same kind of pressure rushing 4 and what Miami does (playing mostly man. Bringing blitzes) is what Allen and the Bills offense has the most success against. After listening to that pod it’s not surprising that the Bills have shredded the Dolphins defense the past couple years.
it will be interesting to see if they try something new on Sunday. You have to imagine, stopping the Bills offense, must have been high on the list of priorities when it came to off-season game planning.
Pittsburgh is one of the most blitz heavy teams in the league. What they did was adapt their defense to stop Buffalo, something Miami has yet to do.

Everyone has assumed if you blitz Allen, you can force him into bad throws or bad decisions. That’s partially true, but last year they had answers. They had guys that could get open versus man coverage, and asking anyone to cover Diggs for 5+ seconds on a Josh Allen scramble drill is near impossible.

Last year, I was pretty unhappy that Miami allowed themselves to continually get torched by deep crossing routes because they insisted on playing press man coverage, and it took they way too long to start finally playing some zone.

This game is a big litmus test because Flores has yet to defeat Josh Allen and the Bills. I want to see them come up with something to stop them. Playing at home, in September, Miami has the home field and heat advantage on their side. If they can’t find a way to get a win this week, I’m not sure where that leaves the team and the defense. If you can’t stop the best team in your own division, you have big problems.
 

dwainw

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Will Fuller is officially ruled out this week. His absence indefinite. Unfortunate, but at least the Dolphins are built with some interchangeable parts at the position. And now Waddle will have plenty of opportunity to establish himself as the undisputed #2 WR (#1B?) on this squad.
 

sodenj5

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Will Fuller is officially ruled out this week. His absence indefinite. Unfortunate, but at least the Dolphins are built with some interchangeable parts at the position. And now Waddle will have plenty of opportunity to establish himself as the undisputed #2 WR (#1B?) on this squad.
Fuller being out is unfortunate, but I’ve already taken the mindset that he may never play a snap for Miami. Between injuries, a one year deal, and Flores not even confirming if he would play this season for Miami, his outlook is dubious. Hope that everything is ok with him off the field.

The offense would certainly be better with him in it, but I’m all in on Waddle. If Miami can make it work with Parker, Waddle, Wilson, and Williams, I would be fine with that.