Well, Dolphins fans, preseason game number one is in the books. The Dolphins came away with the victory over the Buccaneers 26-24. Outside of the team win, I thought there were some individual winners and a couple of losers from this week’s action.
I believe for anyone who watched the game, we all came away impressed with quarterback Skyler Thompson. The rookie seventh-rounder played the entire game and put up a stat line that consisted of going 20/28 for 218 yards and 1 TD, which was good for a QB rating of 106. He also added three carries for 25 yards on the ground. Outside of the box score, however, I thought he was very decisive going through his reads and getting the ball out quickly or tucking it and getting a positive play out of it. For his first time playing in a Dolphins uniform, I don’t think we could have dreamed up a better start for the rookie. If he keeps it up, we may have to pivot from talking about him as a third option at quarterback and start talking about him as QB2.
My second winner of the night was WR Lynn Bowden Jr. With Hill and Waddle sidelined and Cedrick Wilson only playing a couple of drives; the third-year receiver out of Kentucky showed out. He hauled in three receptions for 55 yards with a touchdown and had one kick return for 26 yards and one punt return for 18 yards. The argument could be made that he would have had even more if the deep shot from Thompson in the third quarter was thrown in stride. Either way, I believe he showed that he belongs on this roster. The way he can get open and the way he can make the first defender miss when he has the ball in his hands could make him a dangerous weapon in this offense.
Rather than go to the defensive side of the ball, I’m going to special teams for my third winner of the night. That third winner is Jason Sanders, who looked like the kicker we all saw two years ago. He made both of his extra points and was 4/4 on field goals with a long of 53 yards. Some believe that Morestead as the holder this year will make the difference, but if this version of Jason Sanders is back, he could be in for another pro bowl season.
It hurts me to say this as a die-hard Auburn fan who loved Noah Igbinoghene in college, but the guy simply isn’t good. He has the athleticism, but I don’t believe he has what it takes from a football IQ standpoint because he always seems lost, or his eyes are not looking for the football. If Noah is the first CB off the bench after Xavien/Byron/Needham, then we Dolphins fans need to have a group prayer session, so those three don’t get injured. Especially since it looks like Trill Williams (who I thought looked nice tonight) suffered a serious lower body injury towards the end of the game.
My second loser of the night is simply the offensive tackle depth. I thought Dieter/Hunt/Jackson from center to right tackle looked promising to open the game, but man, did it get rough after the first couple of drives. Ideally, for me personally, I’d love to see Dieter win the center job so Connor Williams could kick back out to left guard. Do this, and all of a sudden, Eichenberg becomes your swing/backup tackle, which would make us all breathe a little easier. Either way, GM Chris Grier may want to start making some calls (Teven Jenkins, anyone?) or get ready to scour the waiver wire for some offensive tackle depth because this team needs it.
There’s much more that could be said about individual performances from week one of the preseason, but these were the things that stuck out to me the most as soon as the clock reached 00:00. What are your thoughts? Did anyone else stick out to you? Let me know in the comments, and let’s talk about it. We got the dub now; let’s get ready for week 2.
🔥NEW🔥 https://t.co/jTLjtUE3tr Post Game Wrap-Up Show with Mike & @DolphinsTalkTom: We breakdown and recap Miami's 26-24 win over Tampa Bay. We talk about who played well and share our thoughts on the win! #FinsUP https://t.co/yp0RJiIVAS
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) August 14, 2022