Ryan Tannehill overthrew a potential touchdown. Then he underthrew a potential touchdown. There were also a handful of other passes that were either behind or too high or not on time. Tannehill was under 50 percent completion percentage for the third time this season. He did, however, cause damage as a runner, scoring Miami’s only touchdown on a read option two yards out. He ran five times for 19 yards. GRADE: D.
Reggie Bush probably went home Sunday afternoon wishing he’d gotten more carries because he did solid work with his 15 opportunities, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. The Dolphins, however, believe in a platoon system and so they gave Daniel Thomas his five carries, which didn’t work out too well because he gained only 10 yards. Thomas also missed a free blitzer on a pass play, deciding instead to block a player left tackle Jonathan Martin already had engaged. The unblocked blitzer plowed Tannehill. Lamar Miller was active for the game but did not play. GRADE: C.
Davone Bess dropped as many passes as he caught with that number being one. Charles Clay made a nice snatching grab of a pass down the seam but he wasn’t the factor that he was last week. Anthony Fasano was not a factor. Brian Hartline, meanwhile, toasted Aqib Talib on numerous occasions. He was open for deep scores twice but Tannehill was unable to connect. And he drew a pass interference penalty. He was clearly the best offensive player for Miami. He did, however, have a false start. GRADE: C.
Mike Pouncey had a pancake of Brandon Spikes that belied the fact both were teammates at the University of Florida. The Miami center was solid as usual. The rest of the line? Not so much. Jake Long was pushed around on an first-quarter pass by Rob Ninkovich that spoke to his problems this year. Then he suffered a left triceps injury that speaks to his increasingly fragile durability. Jonathan Martin took over and made a couple of mistakes but played well considering he hasn’t played at left tackle since last year at Stanford. Nate Garner was choppy but did nothing to embarrass himself at right tackle. The guard play was not consistent. John Jerry did not have a good day. GRADE: C-minus.
Paul Soliai and Randy Starks had shining moments in the New England backfield but Starks also missed a tackle in goal-to-go situation. The run defense was solid until a nail-in-the-coffin drive by New England that lasted 7:18. Why Cameron Wake, Miami’s best lineman, wasn’t in the game at that time is a question for which Wake had no answer and Joe Philbin had a bad answer. Wake did have a sack. GRADE: C.
Karlos Dansby missed a couple of tackes and had a pass interference penalty. Not his best day. Kevin Burnett battled and led the team with 11 tackles. Koa Misi had a sack and generally did good work providing auxiliary pressure. GRADE: C.
Reshad Jones was excellent despite a pass interference penalty. He had an interception and would have been awarded a touchdown return if not for an illegal block penalty. He also had 10 tackles and a sack. R.J. Stanford is getting more significant playing time and he’s done nothing to suggest it is undeserved. The weak link in the secondary continues to be nickel back Jimmy Wilson, who is continually a bad matchup against slot receivers. GRADE: C-plus.
Long snapper John Denney delivered a rare bad snap on the first Miami punt of the game and punter Brandon Fields failed to scoop it. Instead he bobbled and then tried to run when he finally got the handle. He was tackled at Miami’s 12 yard line. It resulted in a touchdown. Jimmy Wilson also committed a grave error when he plowed into New England’s punter, allowing the Patriots to extend a drive that eventually ended with a Patriots touchdown. GRADE: D.
Joe Philbin’s staff didn’t help. In a game they were clearly outgunned, the Dolphins had no gimmicks, pushed no buttons, tried no gambles to turn the tide. The decision to remove Cameron Wake for the most pivotal New England drive of the game was also curious. GRADE: C-minus.
Ryan Tannehill failed to progress after taking a big step with a comeback victory last week. The defense, meanwhile, was good enough to disappoint in the most important moments. GRADE: D.