1. I was looking forward to seeing Lamar Jackson have to pass the ball this game. Unfortunately there was little reason for him to have to do it early. The Dolphins run defense was extremely poor to start. The defensive linemen couldn’t keep the blockers off of the linebackers and they were not free to move to the ball. This is essential to the success of the Dolphins defense.
2. I was, perhaps, most disappointed with the defense up the middle which, coming out of the preseason, I had as a Dolphins strength. Needless to say, they have some roster building to do here.
3. Once the Dolphins started to concentrate on stopping the run, it opened up the passing game for Jackson. And he did not disappoint his defenders. He had a great game passing the football. He dropped some beautiful deep passes for touchdowns this game. A mobile quarterback who can really throw an accurate ball could change the game. Looking forward to watching him against a better defense.
4. Dolphins pass coverage was really poor. They gave up a deep ball in the first half rushing 3 men with the other 8 in coverage. And yet, the Baltimore receiver still go behind the defense. Everyone not named “Howard” was culpable. Jomal Wiltz, Eric Rowe, Walt Aikens, Bobby McCain. All had poor fundamentals in coverage at some point. This has to be cleaned up.
5. I’ll give this much to the Dolphins defense. They didn’t give up. They were still fighting for pride in the 3rd and 4th quarters despite the blowout. That’s encouraging.
1. Baltimore came out putting pressure on a suspect Dolphins offensive line. It was obvious that the plan was to hit Ryan Fitzpatrick as often as possible. No quarterback likes to be hit but the older quarterbacks really, really don’t like it and they tend to get gun shy. To a certain extent this strategy worked. Fitzpatrick’s interception in the first quarter came with no one really in the vicinity.
2. Having said that, Fitzpatrick didn’t really fall apart under pressure. once the Ravens built a big lead and backed off just a bit late in the second quarter, he was given more room to work and he took advantage. He was reasonably accurate under those conditions and the Dolphins started to move the ball just a bit.
3. I thought it was interesting that the Dolphins thought they could beat the Ravens defense by attacking the edges. They came out with some passes to the outside to Kalen Ballage and to Albert Wilson on the wide receiver screen. Baltimore quickly adjusted and shut it down. But I think it's an indication that the Dolphins, at least, think they might have a bit more speed to the outside than people think.
4. If you are going to have Albert Wilson in the wildcat, could you at least be more creative than a run right up the middle?
5. Kudos to DeVante Parker with a nice catch in the second quarter. The Dolphins need him to make more of those - indeed, have needed him to make more of those for years now.
1. Special teams were poor, Jakeem Grant had a flashback to the stone hands he had his rookie year as he fumbled away a punt return deep in Dolphin territory. A Ravens fake punt gave them the ball on the Ravens ten yard line. They converted that into a touchdown.
2. Preston Williams had an awful drop in the endzone that cost the Dolphins four points as they settled for a field goal. Allen Hurns had a big drop in the second quarter. That needs to be cleaned up.
3. Other than Grant's bobbled punt, we also had the Fitzpatrick interception. Baltimore had no turnovers. Poor start with Josh Rosen as he threw an interception on his first set of downs as a Dolphin. Marlon Humphrey made a good play on the ball.
4. What is the deal with the defensive holding calls on the Dolphins? Time after time these penalties killed them this game. Again, that needs to be cleaned up.
5. I understand that the Dolphins are out-manned on the field and I’m willing to cut them some slack because of that. But there is no excuse, no matter what the talent level, for poor fundamentals. Poor tackling, penalties, turnovers, poor technique in coverage. These things go beyond talent. The one thing that Dolphins fans have to look forward to is seeing the improvement in the play of their young players. And there’s a lot here to improve on.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
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