It’s been a long off season for football fans but week one finally arrived last Sunday. The long wait was finally over and I know that many other Dolphin fans like myself were beyond excited to watch our Miami Dolphins take the field for the first official game of the 2019 season
However, that excitement unfortunately didn’t last long at all. In fact, I was deflated of happiness and joy after what was the very first play of the game. After a pretty nice special teams’ effort on the opening kickoff by Miami, the Ravens first play from scrimmage ended up being a huge 49-yard run from Ravens RB and former Saint Mark Ingram.
From that very moment, I knew it was trouble for Miami. My exact thoughts as soon as Ingram rumbled for 49 yards were, “here we go again, Miami Dolphin football has returned.” A couple plays later, Ingram capped the drive off with a touchdown run to put the Ravens up 7-0.
At this point in time, I was upset that Miami had given up such an easy opening drive touchdown to the Ravens, but I was still optimistic and excited to see how we’d answer. Little did I know that giving up an easy touchdown on the first drive of the game was just a mere foreshadowing of the horror that Dolphin fans would have to endure for the next three or so hours.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) September 10, 2019
For Miami on offense it simply seemed hopeless. We could not run the ball; we could not pass the ball, and the most glaring issue was the fact that we could not protect Ryan Fitzpatrick at all. Watching this offensive line play throughout this game gave me serious PTSD flashbacks to Tannehill playing with guys like Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas.
It seemed as if every time Fitzpatrick stepped back, he was under pressure. We all know that Fitz isn’t the answer at the QB position for our future, but you can’t put the blame for the offensive problems only on him. It doesn’t matter who your QB is, if they are getting pressured as soon as they step back in the pocket, there’s no hope.
Not only did the offensive line not provide protection for Fitz to throw, they also failed to open any holes for Ballage and company to work with. This went on the entire game.
Coming into this game, I knew the offensive line was going to be bad. As I’m sure we all did. Laremy Tunsil was the only true great lineman on this team. With him traded to Houston, expectations for this line were very low heading into Sunday’s game. Nothing though could have prepared me for the mess that line truly ended up being. I guess that’s what happens when you bring in two new lineman a week before the game. It certainly showed.
A couple bright spots did stand out a bit on offense though. Parker had a decent game and was at least able to play and make a couple of catches rather than being injured like he is way too often. Undrafted rookie and pre-season star Preston Williams also looked sharp, scoring the only touchdown of the day for Miami after breaking a defender’s ankles in the end zone. Hopefully Williams can continue to develop and only get better because we are all hoping that we ended up with an undrafted steal. The main thing with Williams is seeing if he can stay clean with off the field issues.
Many scouts had Williams as a second-round talent but his off the field issues is what made him go undrafted. Time will tell, and all seems to be ok with him so far, hope he can keep it up.
Overall, the Miami offense on Sunday was a mess. Bad throws, drops, no holes for the backs, no protection for the QB etc. all game long. To switch things over to the defensive side of the ball, it was not any better.
All day long, Miami fans sat through watching this defense bust on schemes, tackle horribly and get little to no pressure at all on Lamar Jackson. The Dolphins simply couldn’t stop the run and they couldn’t stop the pass. It seemed as if every time Jackson dropped back to pass, you knew a big play was coming. Lamar Jackson ended the day with 5 Touchdown passes, 324 yards through the air and a passer rating of 158.3. Simply an amazing performance by the second year QB.
Miami must now go back to the drawing board and figure out how to fix these issues heading into week 2 against coach Flores’s old team. More importantly though, Flores needs to find a way to keep his locker room behind him and continue to have players buy into what he’s selling after suffering one of the worst losses is franchise history.