Dolphin fans had to be shaking their head watching the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Friday night. There wasn’t many positive things to take from the Dolphins second preseason game against the Panthers. Here’s my take from Friday night’s game and yes there are some positives in there.
Ryan Tannehill will be as good as his offensive line: Tannehill didn’t have a terrible performance Friday Night. He played the entire first half and finished 11-for-23 for 100 yards and no touchdown. The bad news is, Tannehill was sacked three times by the Panther defensive line and was often pressured all night long. He also missed on passes, held onto the ball and didn’t look as good as he did against Tampa Bay in his first preseason game. There were clearly signs of his potential. I liked the fact that Tannehill didn’t get rattled after being pressured so much. Tannehill is the front-runner to start week 1 against Houston, but the Dolphin offensive line has to protect him better.
The Play of the Defense must improve: The Dolphins had no pass rush, nor could they cover players in the secondary. Cam Newton was like a surgeon against their defense. Newton was 8-for11 for 119 and threw for a touchdown. Not only was the secondary terrible for the Dolphins, the run defense was equally unimpressive. During the short time he was in the game, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams was effective. He had four carried for 25 yards and 6.3 yards per carry. Williams also caught 2 catches, one for a touchdown. Yes, the Dolphins played without three defensive starters in Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett, but they still have issues on that side of the ball.
Matt Moore is second in the quarterback race: Moore didn’t do anything to prove to Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin that he should be the starter week 1. Moore, who finished 5-of-15 for 57 yards simply looked like a backup Friday night. I know Moore played well the second half of the season, but he doesn’t have the upside that Tannehill does. The third preseason game against Atlanta is key for Moore if he wants to win the starting job.
Pat Devlin will be on a NFL Roster this season: Devlin looked good during the fourth quarter. I know it was against the 3rd team Panthers defense, but he was very confident and made some good throws. He finished 13-for-20 for 118 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Other than that terrible decision to end the game, I thought he played well. Devlin can be at least a good number 3 quarterback on someone’s roster opening day. Dolphins won’t be able to hide him on their practice squad for longer.
Miami Dolphins needs a new preseason announcing team: I don't know who put the broadcasting team of Dick Stockton, Bob Griese, and Nat Moore together, but they need to get rid of them. Never in my life have I seen three men so ill-informed in the booth. Stockton use to be a great announcer, but he is clearly past his prime. Griese and Moore are just clueless. When Stockton said that fans in the stadium will be able to see the same views as the officials this season, Griese's reponses, why did they do that? By the way, if you see these three men on the street, please tell them that Purdue's colors are still black and gold.
Overall, the Dolphins have a lot to work on before the season starts in a few weeks. The most pressing issue for me is the offensive line. I believe Tannehill will start at Houston, but you don’t want your first round pick to get killed against a very good Texans defense.
I’m not the biggest fan of preseason football, but it is the necessary evil for teams like the Dolphins. Better to have a problem in August as opposed to September.