The final preseason game gave Dolphin fans one last look at the team before next week’s regular season game.
With much interest in seeing who will step up and replace Dustin Keller, the Dolphins displayed some great signs of finding other ways to replace the injured tight end.
At many times, the Dolphins were lined up with three receivers. Receiver Brandon Gibson caught 5 passes for 43 yards, including a four-yard touchdown. Brian Hartline caught 4 passes for 40 yards. Mike Wallace and Mike Gillislee both caught 3 passes. Wallace ended the game with 31 recieving yards, while Gillislee ended with 33.
While the stats were good, both Hartline and Gibson dropped key balls that staggered two drives. Consistency is one thing that the Dolphins will definitely have to work on, because if they want to be a serious contender, they will have to catch passes.
Ryan Tannehill was a solid 17 for 27 for 150 yards and 1 touchdown. Tannehill will be one of the most underrated fantasy draft picks this year. Tannehill had a decent rookie year last season, yet he was overshadowed by the mature play of Russell Wilson, the wildly-exciting beast known as RGIII, and the game-closing wonder in Andrew Luck. This year, Tannehill will have the deep threat of Mike Wallace, the great route runner in Brian Hartline, and others who will assist in making this a great year.
Lamar Miller led the way with 8 rushes for 35 yards, with one long gain of 20 yards. He will emerge as one of the better running backs in the AFC. While Daniel Thomas struggled , he will be due for some good running games throughout the season.
The Dolphins defense will be very good, although the secondary has to prove themselves this year. Brent Grimes, the recently signed cornerback has to show the Dolphins and to the rest of the league that he was worth the money. Nolan Carrol has been solid for the Dolphins over the past couple of years, but needs to assist in forcing more turnovers. The entire Miami Dolphins defense needs to force more turnovers. A lot of potential turnovers either turn into fumbles that aren’t recovered or dropped interceptions. The lack of forced turnovers for the Dolphins will be the difference between them being a good defense and a great one.
While the secondary will remain in question as of now, the pass rush should be even better than it has been in previous years. The Dolphins have added depth with 1st rounder Dion Jordan, and they already have Jared Ordiek, Cameron Wake, and Olivier Vernon. The rotation should provide constant pressure against opposing teams. Hopefully , this pressure will force quarterbacks to make bad decisions that will lead to turnovers.
The rush defense will be more solid than it has been in the past few years.
With the upcoming season at hand, the Dolphins have higher expectations than they have had in the past half-decade. With the newly improved offense, I believe that the Dolphins will finally be able to put points on the board. With the other teams in the AFC East struggling, I believe that the Dolphins will make the playoffs. Their regular season record will be: 10-6.