Remember all of that rain that's been following the Miami Dolphins around throughout the preseason? Well, they finally caught a break from Mother Nature for their third preseason game against the Falcons this past Friday night. And then they scored a whopping six points in a 16-6 loss
. It's always easier to blame things such as barometric pressure and precipitation on the Fins sucking. No such luck this week. Here's what we learned:
1. Vontae Davis is bringing the ruckus: Davis was clearly the best player and lone bright spot in the Dolphins' loss Friday night. Causing fumbles, knocking down passes, hitting dudes hard, and stuffing passing plays for negative yardage, Davis was all over the place. The same can't be said for Sean Smith, who is still falling for the slightest head fake from opposing receivers and then getting burned in the process. You know that look your dog gets when you pretend to throw a tennis ball but you hold onto it instead? Yeah, it's a lot like that.
2. The offensive line remains a problem: The Henne haters are back with a vengeance this week with their pitchforks and torches and ornery disposition. Their main point of contention this week: Henne's 10-for-22 123-yard, 0-TD, 1-INT performance. But the offensive line is doing the guy no favors. The running game was completely shut down by the Atlanta front seven, and Henne was sacked once, knocked down twice, and endlessly harassed by the Falcons defense. The entire Dolphins starting offensive line was constantly blown up and crushed all night as if the Falcons pass rushers were Godzilla. And Henne was a thousand fleeing Japanese.
3. Chad Henne needs to not stay on target: While Henne hasn't gotten much help from his o-line and receivers, he's not totally exempt from blame. He has shown a stubborn insistence on locking in on his targets as if he were playing two-on-two flag football. For some reason, he forgets to look off receivers before going to his other options. Henne's interception Friday night came when he tried to force a red-zone pass to tight end Anthony Fasano when the entire Falcons defense was covering him. Meanwhile, Brandon Marshall was basically all by himself in the corner of the end zone. Fortunately, this seems to be the one glitch in Henne's game right now. The Robot has a big arm and has proven to be pretty accurate, which is everything in the NFL. But even when you possess a laser-rocket arm and are constructed purely of metal alloy, wires, and binary code, you simply cannot force a pass when the entire defense knows where you'll throw the ball.
4. Seriously, wide receivers, enough already with all the damn dropped passes: It's been an epidemic the entire preseason, beginning with star receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall has dropped four passes so far this preseason, not to mention a crapload more during practices. And he isn't alone. Last week against Jacksonville, the receivers dropped four passes, and this week against the Falcons, they dropped three. Someone in the Dolphins equipment department must be dipping the footballs into buckets of syphilis before kickoff, because the Fins' receivers flat out refuse to catch any pass thrown to them.
The Dolphins visit the Dallas Cowboys this Thursday for their final preseason game.