Wallace is the game-breaker, though, the guy with the speed to score touchdown fast. He is being paid, big, to be that explosive force, and they need to use him as such every week.
That isn’t all that must change and improve.
Miami’s offensive line seemed a shambles at times, giving up four sacks and being dominated in the run-blocking phase. The Dolphins had 23 carries for 20 yards. You read that right.
“Yeah, I think we averaged under 1 yard a carry,” coach Joe Philbin said afterward. “It’s not a good way to live in the National Football League.”
If it seems as if I am emphasizing shortcomings here despite the win, that is because the Browns are so woeful that the victory is tougher to weigh and judge.
Plenty went right, sure.
Miami’s defense dominated. Cameron Wake had 2 1/2 sacks and six quarterback hits, crushing whoever tried to block him and making Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden all but scream like a baby. Rookie top draft pick Dion Jordan had his first career sack.
And the secondary had three interceptions, a pair by Dimitri Patterson. Miami had 16 takeaways all last season, so three in the opener is a welcome number.
Tannehill’s performance, after a slow start, also was encouraging. Philbin had mentioned he sought three areas of improvement in his second-year quarterback: Better decision-making, better accuracy and more clutch play late in games.
Well, Tannehill made pretty strong decisions; his only interception was on a tipped ball. He was pretty accurate (24 for 38). And he led the second-half comeback, including a deftly engineered, game-securing 85-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter.
Enough went right to handily dispatch a bad opponent, in a game Miami felt it had to have to set in motion realistic playoff hopes.
The Dolphins had lost eight of the previous nine road openers, so no style points were necessary. Only the win was.
Now a much tougher stretch of schedule comes, and of all the improvement Miami must make, fast, maybe the most needed and also the simplest to achieve is the one voiced by a certain receiver as he huffed to the team bus Sunday.
Sometimes the diva can be off-putting and ill-timed with his selfishness, but it doesn’t mean what he’s saying isn’t worth hearing.
More Mike Wallace, please.