Five Positives From the Dolphins' Opener That Predict a Win This Week
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
The Dolphins 12-10 loss in Seattle this past weekend was certainly a kick to the junk for Dolphins fans hoping to see their team get off to a fast start. But believe it or not, there were actually some positives that came out of the defeat. Plus, it's too early to have a defeatist attitude about the Dolphins' chances. (Don't worry, there will be plenty of time for that.)
Here are five things we saw this past Sunday that should have you keeping your head up and thinking the Fins can beat the New England Patriots this weekend.
Miami RB offensive snaps vs. Seattle: Arian Foster (46), Damien Williams (6), Kenyan Drake (1).— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) September 12, 2016
5. Arian Foster has something left in the tank.
Arian Foster's days of winning you a fantasy football championship may be over, but this past Sunday, he certainly appeared to still be a starting-caliber back on which the Dolphins can rely. Foster carried the ball 13 times for just 38 yards (2.9 yards per attempt), but he added three catches for 62 yards, including a 50-yarder that made him look a whole lot like the four-time Pro Bowl running back fans we're accustomed to seeing throughout his career.
With Jay Ajayi falling off the map, having a healthy and still-explosive Foster in the backfield was a nice revelation to come out of Sunday's game. Veteran leadership was expected from him, but his abilities between the lines thus far
Top Performers: Dolphins @PFF Grades thru Week 1 (Pos Rk)— Rillie Weed (@cch1125) September 12, 2016
Abdul-Quddus 86.1 (1st)
Jones 83.9 (4th)
Suh 82.4 (5th)
Tannehill 76.9 (14th)
4. Newcomer safety Isa Abdul-Quddus looks like a keeper.
Who? Exactly. When Isa Abdul-Quddus signed a three-year contract totaling $12.75 million with the Dolphins this past March, not many Dolphins fans knew what he would bring to the team. But after one game, it seems as if he will do just fine, thank you.
Abdul-Quddus was flying around the field against the Seahawks. It wasn't just your mind playing tricks on you, though. Pro Football Focus graded him out as the Dolphins' best player against Seattle. Second-best on that Pro Football Focus list was Rashad Jones. If the Dolphins continue to get that sort of production out of their safeties all season, their defense should continue to look as strong as it did this past week.
On film, the Dolphins looked great offensively. The best all preseason. Tannehill really commanded that offense. I liked the wrinkles.— Mick (@DolphinMick) August 27, 2016
3. Ryan Tannehill looked poised and noticeably different in the pocket.
You wouldn't know it just by looking at Sunday's stats (16-29 for 186 yards), but Ryan Tannehill had himself one of the more solid games of his career. It wasn't so much about the stats, though. It was more about how he looked and the go-ahead drive he maneuvered at the end of the game.
Tannehill should have had a long touchdown pass to add to his stats, but Kenny Stills straight-up dropped the would-be score. With the Dolphins needing points at the end of the game, Tannehill took the team 87 yards for what could have been the winning score. If the defense had held Seattle on the ensuing drive, we would be having different conversations this week. That's football, though.
Steen (76.4) was highest graded Fins OL. While Albert, Tunsil, and James were quite good on run plays, all of them STRUGGLED pass blocking.— Rillie Weed (@cch1125) September 12, 2016
2. Adam Steen didn't suck? Adam Steen didn't suck!
With news coming out that Mike Pouncey might have the hip from hell and miss a few more weeks than initially thought, seeing Adam Steen play nicely was a huge boost to an offensive line that needs to get its act together this year. There are no more excuses, Pouncey or not. So Steen being Pro Football Focus' highest-rated Fins lineman Sunday was pretty huge.
If Steen is capable of being a solid center on the fly, the Dolphins will have themselves a versatile
The Dolphins biggest problem on defense last year was their coaching staff nuking their secondary by design. Polar opposite so far.— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) September 11, 2016
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1. The Dolphins' secondary looked competent.
With Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Byron Maxwell, and Rashad Jones, the Dolphins had themselves a good day in the passing game. Russell Wilson was 27-43 for 258 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Those are pedestrian numbers. The attempts were a career high for Wilson, yet the Seahawks scored only 12 points and overall had zero plays that would be considered huge.
The Dolphins defense held up its side of the bargain, including the secondary. They just faced a better team Sunday.
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