IN MY OPINION

Grading the Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens

 

asalguero@MiamiHerald.com

•  Quarterback: When he wasn’t running for his life, Ryan Tannehill was able to threaten the Ravens soft defense well enough that he threw for 307 yards. He avoided the turnovers that hurt him the week before against New Orleans. And that impromptu roll out completion to Brandon Gibson that went 46 yards was a thing of beauty. Give this kid some protection and there’s no telling how good he might be. GRADE: B+

•  Receivers/tight ends: Mike Wallace had a couple of drops but he also had a nice 49-yard catching down the numbers in the first half and averaged a solid 15 yards per catch. Brandon Gibson’s discipline on the Tannehill scramble was excellent and threatened to get lost in the fact he made a very nice diving catch. Brian Hartline had a drop but his back shoulder catch was a thing of beauty and Charles Clay caught a touchdown and had a 45-yard reception, which showed off his explosive ability. GRADE: A.

•  Offensive line: LG Richie Incognito gave up at least one sack. RG John Jerry gave up one sack. LT Jonathan Martin gave up two sacks. RT Tyson Clabo gave up a sack. It was a variety pack of poor pass protection all around. Mike Pouncey was the only Miami lineman apparently not to give up a sack this day, but he had a wacky snap that flew over the quarterback’s head. By the way, the run blocking wasn’t very good, either. GRADE: F.

• Defensive line: Well, the Ravens could run inside. They couldn’t run outside. They also struggled to protect Joe Flacco as he was sacked twice — once by Olivier Vernon. Dion Jordan made a big play hitting Flacco’s arm on the pass that then floated harmlessly into the air before Reshad Jones picked it off for a touchdown. The Dolphins still nonetheless miss Cameron Wake, who only played on the first series of the game. The goal-line defense up front wasn’t great. GRADE: C.

•  Linebackers: Phillip Wheeler led the team with 10 tackles, was effective on a couple of blitzes and provided good coverage without missing tackles. Koa Misi was similarly excellent, with three tackles for loss, a sack and a quarterback hit. Dannell Ellerbe left the game early with a shoulder injury —although he was having a good day — and Jason Trusnik picked right up where Ellerbe left off, by contributing a couple of tackles, but more importantly not becoming a liability. GRADE: A.

•  Secondary: Brent Grimes flopped sides the entire game as he shadowed Baltimore receiver Torrey Smith. It was a dramatic battle, but although Grimes had close coverage all day, Smith still caught six passes for 121 yards. Nolan Carroll similarly offered mostly good coverage on the day, but like Grimes, he was flagged for a pass interference penalty. When Carroll left the game, rookie Jamar Taylor was exposed and gave up a couple of completions. Reshad Jones struggled early, including giving up a 43-yard pass. But his interception return touchdown was a huge play. GRADE: C+.

•  Special teams: Caleb Sturgis could’ve been a hero, but he was just wide left on a potential game-tying field goal from 57 yards out. That’s a lot to ask of any kicker. Sturgis connected on his other three attempts of 48, 37 and 25 yards. Brandon Fields consistently flipped the field against the Ravens in the first half and his 46.3 yard net was a full 14 yards better than Baltimore’s Sam Koch. GRADE: B.

•  Coaching: The Dolphins figured out a way to get the ball more to Mike Wallace and that’s good. They still haven’t figured out how to protect Ryan Tannehill and that’s bad. Joe Philbin said he considered calling a time out before the 2-minute warning but ultimately didn’t. Not the reason the team lost. The spike? That was curious. GRADE: C+.

•  Overall: The Dolphins weren’t able to stop the bleeding. They’ve lost two games in six days. GRADE: D

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