Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints: Quarter by quarter

 

DNEAL@MIAMIHERALD.COM

First quarter

•  Impact player: New Orleans running back Darren Sproles caught four passes for 68 yards and scored the game’s first touchdown on his 5-yard draw up the middle.

•  Highlights: The Dolphins steamrolled to a field goal on their first drive of the game with Lamar Miller running four times for 33 yards, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill broke a 26-yarder off a read option. The defensive line crushed the Saints run game after the first possession of the game.

•  Lowlights: The Dolphins looked defensively helpless on the Saints’ first possession. And that zone-blocked run wide with Daniel Thomas on third-and-inches that turned a potential touchdown drive into a Caleb Sturgis’ field goal was just dumb.

Second quarter

•  Impact player: Tannehill’s two turnovers, a fumble and an interception, led to both Saints touchdowns of the quarter.

•  Highlights: Down 14-3 and on the ropes, the Dolphins got an 81-yard drive that started with a 10-yard Miller run. It also included a 50-yard catch, juke and run by Marcus Thigpen and ended with a 5-yard Miller run.

•  Lowlights: Tannehill got the ball punched out while he was scrambling and that led to a Saints’ touchdown catch by tight end Jimmy Graham. Sproles turned a screen into a third-and-20 conversion on the way to that score. Tannehill’s interception with 1:23 left in the half that led to Sproles’ 13-yard touchdown catch and a 21-10 Saints halftime lead.

Third quarter

•  Impact player: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees guided one touchdown drive and struck by going 5 for 5, then threw lightning with a touchdown pass to Graham, the entirety of a 43-yard drive.

•  Highlights: The lights stayed on. Hey, didn’t happen the last nationally televised night game in the Superdome. The drive to first-and-goal at the end of the quarter came with the score already 35-10.

•  Lowlights: Three-and-out to open the quarter for the offense followed by the systematic Saints drive to a 28-10 lead. Brees hit Graham up the seam for a 43-yard touchdown, a 35-10 deficit for the Dolphins and that was the ballgame.

Fourth quarter

•  Impact player: Tannehill again. He threw a touchdown pass, but he also threw a poor interception. Another bad quarter because of turnovers.

•  Highlights: Tannehill’s 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Charles Clay kept at least some fantasy football players happy. But at this point, the game had been pretty much over.

•  Lowlights: The final comment on the night for Tannehill-to- Mike Wallace was Tannehill missing Wallace over the middle, the ball bouncing off a Saints defender and being intercepted by Chris Carr. The Saints reduced the playbook to screens and flares and the Dolphins still had trouble stopping them.

Read more Miami Dolphins stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.

    IN MY OPINION

    Armando Salguero: Joe Philbin optimistic about Miami Dolphins despite skeptics

    Joe Philbin welcomes a visitor with a warm smile and firm handshake and for the next 30 minutes enthusiastically talks about his Dolphins with a confidence that belies the coach’s first two seasons in Miami.

  •  
St. Louis Rams seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam listens to a question during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    IN MY OPINION

    Greg Cote: Michael Sam is a distraction to embrace, not avoid

    It’s no surprise that Tony Dungy’s comments this week about Michael Sam — comments that on the surface seemed more benign than inflammatory — have created such a national tempest. Sports are a Petri dish for argument and debate under any circumstances, and when you add the politics of religion and gay issues to the mix, the chances of a quietly civil discussion have pretty much left the building.

  •  
<span class="cutline_leadin">building block:</span> Left tackle Branden Albert, above, 

will be the team’s replacement for Jonathan Martin.

    Miami Dolphins’ offensive line is new; time will tell if it’s improved

    The Dolphins’ offensive line, which allowed 58 sacks last season, will have four new starters – and center Mike Pouncey could be out until October. ‘We’ve got a lot of work,’ new left tackle Branden Albert said.

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category