Armando Salguero

Critique of Brock Osweiler: Miami Dolphins quarterback played like Tom Brady. No, really

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase on the best thing QB Brock Osweiler did in the victory over the Chicago Bears.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase on the best thing QB Brock Osweiler did in the victory over the Chicago Bears.
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Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase on the best thing QB Brock Osweiler did in the victory over the Chicago Bears.

This space does not suffer fools or foolishness well. So when the Miami Dolphins’ spin on what is happening is unrealistic this space calls them out. When the team tells you one thing and does another, this space calls them out.

This space is not messing around, folks.

Don’t invite this space to a social mixer.

But this space appreciates football played smartly. And with a plan.

And this space mostly loves winning.

The Miami Dolphins won on Sunday and it wasn’t just any win but an improbable one in that the team scored 31 points and churned out 541 yards against a Chicago Bears defense that was No. 2 in the NFL when the game began and now finds itself at No. 10.

The Dolphins did this with backup quarterback Brock Osweiler at the helm as Ryan Tannehill’s shoulder is jacked up (medical term).

But days after the Dolphins gain the fifth most yards in a game in team history and most since 1988, this space is hearing complaints from fans. This space is hearing yeah-buts.

Yeah but, the Bears scored too fast and their defense was gassed.

Yeah but, the Bears turned the football over a bunch and basically beat themselves.

Yeah but, Osweiler wasn’t as good as his statistics. He’s not that good.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase gets upset when asked about QB Ryan Tannehill's injury.

So let’s explore that last one. Because this space is peeved at that last one.

This space recognizes Brock Osweiler washed out in multiple NFL cities prior to landing in Miami. And no one is claiming he’s a star. No one is claiming he’s Tom Brady.

But guess what?

On Sunday he played like, well, Tom Brady.

So much like Tom Brady, in fact, it’s eerie.

One of the actual criticisms this space is hearing about Osweiler’s work is that he didn’t really throw the football down the field. He kind of just tossed a few bubble screens (which this space despises like squash) and benefited from the play of other guys.

And that is generally true.

But you know who else did that on Sunday? Tom Brady.

You know who else has been doing that for most of the past 17 years? Tom Brady.

This space considers Brady the GOAT among NFL quarterbacks. His career -- from late-round draft pick to five-time Super Bowl champion -- is the stuff of legend. He really is awesome, particularly now because he’s still performing at age 41.

But please recognize that Brady, with some rare exceptions, is a dink and dunk passer. He destroys NFL defenses throwing short, quick passes and letting his playmakers go make plays.

That has been happening for a long time under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. And it happened on Sunday as the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 43-40.

And it happened with Osweiler in Miami under Josh McDaniels student Adam Gase.

People forget Gase was once McDaniels’s roommate at Michigan State and his right-hand man in Denver in 2009-10. And the Dolphins offense uses many principles and strategies the New England Patriots employ under McDaniels.

And the result is Brock Osweiler for one week was asked to do in Miami what Tom Brady was asked to do in New England. And he got similar results.

The criticism that Osweiler didn’t do anything spectacular in attacking the deep portion of the field falls on this space’s deaf ears. You know why? Because that’s how Brady also typically plays.

Consider:

Osweiler completed 28 passes against Chicago. Brady completed 24 passes against Kansas City.

Osweiler completed 11 passes thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage. Brady completed 9 passes thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage.

Osweiler completed 10 passes thrown five yards or less beyond the line of scrimmage, including two of his touchdown throws. Brady completed three passes thrown five yards or less beyond the line of scrimmage.

Osweiler completed two passes thrown between 5 and 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Brady completed six passes between 5 and 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Osweiler completed three passes thrown between 10 and 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Brady completed three passes thrown between 10 and 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Are you getting this, yet?

Brady had one completion thrown between 15 and 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Osweiler had one completion thrown between 15 and 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Osweiler had one completion thrown more than 30 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Brady had one completion thrown more than 30 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Brady also had one completion thrown between 20 and 25 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Brady finished his day with 340 yards.

Osweiler finished his day with 380 yards.

Yes, Osweiler threw the picks. This space understands that’s a key difference in that Brady didn’t make any such errors.

But the greater point here is that a factual breakdown of where the Dolphins went with their passes on Sunday pretty much mirrors where the Patriots went with their passes. The Dolphins asked Osweiler to do what the Patriots asked Brady to do.

And he did it.

This space is not saying Osweiler is Brady. Obviously not.

But criticism of what Osweiler did without similar criticism of Brady is disingenuous. It’s foolish. And this space spits out foolishness like it was disgusting, unsalted, pukey squash.

NOTE: The tape study of the Dolphins 31-28 victory over the Bears will post Wednesday morning. Be certain to come back for that.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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