The Good:

  1. Josh Rosen’s first half – The first half of Josh Rosen’s first start as a Miami Dolphin got off to as good of a start as could be expected, given the circumstances. Rosen looked sharp throwing the ball and maneuvered around in the pocket better than any quarterback we’ve seen wearing aqua and orange in over seven years. If it weren’t for some questionable play calling and his receivers forgetting how to catch the ball, Rosen’s first half stat line could have been one of the better stat lines in the NFL on Sunday.
  2. First half overall – While Miami made their share of mistakes in the first half, it was by far the best half of football they have played all year. The defense looked competent for the most part and even came up with an interception of Dak Prescott. Even more surprising, the much-maligned offensive line looked fairly competent in pass protection until left tackle Jesse Davis left the game with an injury. If not for a missed field goal, a dropped touchdown pass, a questionable offsides call on an onside kick, and a fumble in the red zone, Miami could have been leading at halftime. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop shooting themselves in the foot and trailed 10-6 at half.
  3. Pittsburgh lost – Draft pick watch! The Steelers dropped to 0-3 despite forcing 5 turnovers against the 49ers on Sunday. If Pittsburgh keeps dropping winnable games, Miami very well may have two top 5 picks in the upcoming draft.


The Bad:

  1. Red zone play calling – Miami had the ball inside the 6-yard line in the first half and opted to run the ball on 3 straight downs with Kalen Ballage, despite Rosen starting off hot and Ballage having the field vision of Trent Richardson. Not surprisingly, Ballage was stopped short of the goal line on each attempt. Rosen looked like he wanted to stay on the field and go for it on 4th down but Miami opted for a chip shot field goal instead. It would have been nice to show some confidence in the young signal caller and see if he could get Miami into the end zone.
  2. Running game – The duo of Ballage and Kenyon Drake accounted for 55 yards on the ground on 20 carries, with the latter back fumbling in the red zone at the end of the first half. This can’t be blamed entirely on the backs, as the offensive line wasn’t exactly creating gaping holes to run through, but if Miami wants to be competitive on Sundays, they are going to have to average more than 2.75 yards per carry.
  3. Saints and Texans won – Unfortunately, the news wasn’t all good for those of you keeping track of all the draft picks Miami has accumulated this offseason. While the Steelers lost, both the Texans and the Saints won to each move to 2-1.


The Ugly:

  1. Xavien Howard’s effort – It seems that Howard may have checked out of this season three games in. His day started with getting toasted by Amari Cooper on a double move, only to jog back to the play half-heartedly and it didn’t get better from there. He didn’t look interested in the game all afternoon and it showed. He was beaten by Cooper for two touchdowns and then ejected late in the game for shoving a Cowboy’s player. If Howard is going to put forth this type of effort all year, it may be worth just shutting him down until the Dolphins are more competitive next year and he can give full effort. You would think making him the highest paid corner in the game would be reason enough to play hard but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Hopefully this doesn’t develop into another Minkah Fitzpatrick situation where he asks for a trade, but it may be something to monitor moving forward.
  2. Drops – If you didn’t watch the game and only took a glance at the box score, it would appear that Rosen was in over his head in his first start with the Dolphins. While his play tailed off in the second half, he was hardly to blame for only completing 18 of his 39 passes and not throwing for a single touchdown. He could have very easily had two touchdown passes in the first half if not for Preston Williams dropping a perfect pass in the end zone and DeVante Parker dropping a wide-open pass inside the 10-yard line that he may have walked into the end zone with. And those were just the potential touchdowns. Miami receivers dropped at least 4 more passes from Rosen throughout the game. Dropped balls are part of the game that every quarterback has to suffer through, but not to the extent that Rosen has had to put up with since he took over at the end of the New England game. At some point this season, Miami’s receivers are going to have to help their young quarterback and hold onto the ball.
  3. Run defense – While Davon Godchaux took to Twitter after the game to gloat a bit about his play against the Cowboy’s vaunted offensive line, he may have been best to keep those tweets to himself. While his play was hardly the problem, the defense was gashed for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground, while allowing two separate 100+ yard rushers. Godchaux did have a few nice plays on the day, but in the grand scheme of things, it may be best to keep from boasting on Twitter after a 31-6 loss.