Preseason game three went the same way as the previous two. A loss by the Miami Dolphins at the hands of a team that continues to hold a physical and mental edge, the Ravens. 27-10 was the final score of this one. Even as the loss was depressing, the Dolphins were only able to muster 10 points against a majority of the second unit of Baltimore’s defense. Most of their vets took the night off. Here is how each position group grades out:
The only reason this grade is where it is, is due to Ryan Tannehill’s performance. After a slippery and sloppy beginning, including 2 fumbled snaps, Tannehill composed himself and finished 11-16, 115 yards and a TD. The halftime score was 10-3, and as I mentioned above, the points were only against the 2nd unit of the Ravens. When the second half started, it was off to a promising start as David Fales started off well. The drive ended on downs. Fales finished 5-10, 63 yards and an INT (30.4 rating). Brock Osweiler was even worse, 5-7, 23 yards and an INT (35.7 rating). With no Bryce Petty available, both backups really showed nothing. I don’t know if it is just me, but it is time to move on from these 2 and find someone else. I see NOTHING good outside of Tannehill from this group.
Running Backs: B-
The running backs didn’t get much of an opportunity to shine. Drake finished 4 carries for 32 yards, Perry finished 3 carries for 27 yards. Overall, it was a night that was seen as a backup QB opportunity and who could be considered as the back up to Tannehill. The backs did play well overall. Providing protection and doing well out of the backfield as well. We will likely see a ton of passes in next week’s game against the Falcons. Be rest assured, we will not see Drake or Gore play in that game.
Wide Receivers: B
Amendola had his first TD with Tannehill, Stills hauled in 3 catches and Wilson showed flashes of YAC ability. The grade is here due to the first half performance. With the backup QBs awful, not many chances were available for guys like Isiah Ford, who in my opinion, needs another run to supplant Carroo on this roster. Jakeem Grant is in concussion protocol but should be good to go for the Titans game.
Tight Ends: B-
Welcome to the NFL Mike Gesicki. With his first preseason catch, I believe it will be his last for this season. I believe that scheme also is a factor, not to tip any plays that they have designed for him when the season begins. Galvin Escobar hauled in 2 catches, Derby with 1. With Gray sitting out and not seeing much other than blocking from Smythe, this unit continues to be a mystery but had a decent night overall.
Offensive line: C-
The starters gave up 2 sacks for a negative 14 yards, albeit 1 was on a botched throw from Tannehill. The second unit left something to be desired. We still have more questions than answers with this group as they continue to struggle. Will the Dolphins look to add some additional depth behind the starters? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Defensive line: B+
Man, this group could be special. Robert Quinn added his 3rd sack in 2 games, Wake was a presence and the DT (Phillips, Godchaux, Taylor, Langford) all made plays last night. The run defense is still an issue that needs to get addressed, but teams will be wise to pass quick against this pass rush.
This could’ve been at least a D if Kiko Alonso knew what sideline to run to after making a stop on 3rd down. I have never seen that happen. Ever! Kiko did play fast and made some plays, McMillan wasn’t out of position as much as he was in Carolina. The issue still remains, one on one, they cannot tackle a running back. 2 straight weeks giving up 200 yards, and Baltimore didn’t play a single starting running back. Chase Allen has been a breath of fresh air and seems to be the first LB off the bench with his play in the preseason.
Minkah Fitzpatrick looks like a stud. I can’t say it enough on the podcast or on the computer. This kid is going to be a game changer for this defense. TJ McDonald played well, Reshad Jones also made some hard hits. I still am baffled of how awful the second unit continues to be. Lippett unfortunately has not reverted back to his 2016 self, Tankersley still looks lost and McTyer was picked on. I still am a fan of Jalen Davis, who may supplant one of these guys since he is providing some special teams play as well.
Special teams: A+
Another week, another strong kicking game from Jason Sanders who continues to lead Greg Joseph. Good returns from Jalen Davis and forcing one of the greatest kickers in NFL History to miss 2 kicks, one wide, one blocked by Vincent Taylor has Darren Rizzi giddy to help the Dolphins get better field position. Matt Haack, as much as I disliked him last year for the most part, looks every bit as a long-term investment in the punting game.
Adam Gase had an unbalanced play calling sheet in this game, but I completely understand why. I would’ve liked to seen more from the running backs, but also get it. Where he needs to get things straightened out is the backup QB situation as well as the run defense. It all falls on him why this is STILL an issue. Next week’s game is meaningless, other than back filling the roster. But he needs to address the problem areas, or this may end up being a very very long season.
What grade do you give the team last night? Hit us up on twitter @DolphinsTalk and make sure you keep heading to dolphinstalk.com for all your latest Miami Dolphins news. Be sure to check out DolphinsTalk.com daily for all things Miami Dolphins and be sure to head to the Athletic. We have 40% off through today. Be sure to sign up with the link on the main page! #FinsUp
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