Don’t look now, but Miami is on a 2 game win streak. Not that it matters anymore after Pittsburgh lost to Cincinnati, effectively eliminating any chance the Dolphins had at a post-season berth. Even still, the Dolphins took of control of what they could and the offense continued it new-found momentum, while the defense finally forced some turnovers. Overall all three phases of the game were dominated by Miami, read on for a more detailed look.
Reggie Bush took advantage of the opportunity, and made a statement of the day. He was involved in all 3 of Miami’s touchdowns , which included 2 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing. Reggie didn’t get the opportunity to surpass 1,000 yards on this day, but he needs only 40 to do so. Reggie’s rushing numbers may be pedestrian (65 yards on 19 attempts, 3.4 ypc, 1 TD), but Bush really stepped up and helped out in the passing game. Bush was able to gain serious yards after the catch on a dump off from Tannehill to put Miami on the board early in the 2nd quarter. He also was able to beat 2 defenders on a wheel route and demonstrate his dynamic body control to look in a beautiful touchdown pass in the 2nd half. All together, Bush brought Down 4 passes for 42 yards and 2 TD’s. Rookie RB Lamar Miller also made a statement on Sunday showing the world that he can produce large chunk plays at the position. He attributed 73 yards on just 10 carries, for a 7.3 yard per carry average.
Miami’s offensive line completely dominated the bills front 7 while blocking for Reggie Bush and Lamar Miller. It was single handedly the best day the unit had while blocking for the run, combing for a +14.5 grade-out by ProFootballFocus.com. Every lineman had a positive grade above 2.0, except John Jerry earning a 0.7 in run blocking. The O-Line’s performance pertaining to protecting the QB was relatively good, but still one of the worst performances of the week. The unit had a PBE (pass blocking efficiency) rating of 72.3 due to an allowed sack, hit, and 8 hurries. All that equated to Tannehill being under pressure on 42.9% of his drop-backs, earning the 6th highest percentage of the week.
Ryan Tannehill continued to show progress, regardless of his 52% completion rate. Tannehill had 25 attempts, of which 2 passes were dropped (both on Marlon Moore), 2 were thrown away to avoid a sack, 2 were batted, and 1 was thrown as hit. Essentially, Tannehill was accurate on 75% of his aimed passes. Tannehill attempted 2 passes over 20 yards, of which he was accurate on 1. Tannehill did take an unnecessary sack, but was able to avoid 9 other potential sacks. While under pressure, Tannehill again demonstrated accurate tendencies, as he was so on 66.7%.
Overall Offensive Grade: A-
The Dolphins defense showed, as usual, its ability to limit offensive success. Lead by Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills were only able to put 10 points on the board. To be fair, Stevie Johnson had a TD reception that was called back by the controversial “megatron rule” and certainly looked like a TD to me. The Dolphins defense, for the second time this year was unable to stop RB C.J. Spiller. Spiller ran for 138 yards (22 attempts, 6.3 ypc) and made 6 defenders miss their tackles. The Dolphins defensive line went up against the 4th best pass blocking O-Line in the NFL and beat them for 2 sacks, 1 hit and 5 hurries. Cameron Wake put together another strong performance to pad his resume. Wake attributed 1 sack, 3 hurries, 2 tackles, an assisted tackle, and 3 run stops. Rookie Olivier Vernon was able to get a sack on Fitzpatrick to increase his year total to 3.
Dimitri Patterson played well in his first start as a Dolphin. His coverage was targeted 8 times and only allowed 2 to be completed, though a catch-able pass was dropped in his coverage. Patterson allowed a passer rating of 79.2 in his coverage. Sean Smith unfortunately suffered an injury, later to be revealed as a knee bruise. Before the injury, Smith was utterly shutting down Steve Johnson. Smith’s coverage was targeted 3 times and only 1 was completed for 8 yards and a passer rating of 42.4. Rashad Jones really should have earned himself a pro-bowl appearance with the type of performance he had. Jones forced 2 fumbles and sealed the win with a INT on Fitzpatrick deep in the red-zone. Jones also had 3 tackles and a QB hit.
Overall Defensive Grade: B.