I don’t want to overreact to the first preseason game because the preseason opener is what it is. In the first game, teams typically rest most of their starters and key players, so the backups play. It was an uneven game for the Miami Dolphins. There were some good things that happened, like the running backs I thought played well—led by Myles Gaskin, who always seems to get lost in the shuffle. One thing about Gaskin is you can never count him out, but it seems like he is getting phased out due to him not being one of head coach Mike McDaniel’s guys he inherited. He could very well be auditioned as a trade candidate. Devone Achane showed some glimpses of what he could become when he gets his hands on the ball, and Chris Brooks had a couple of good between-the-tackle runs. I also thought the defense played decently, considering they weren’t really showing anything, just playing basic. 

The quarterbacks were part of the game. I came away underwhelmed. Mike White got the start and led a promising opening drive but then threw a pass into double coverage, and it was intercepted. I didn’t like the play call because he was rolling out to his opposite side, but that’s another story. White could have run for the first down but instead tried to force it in. Then later in the game, on a 4th and two inside the 5, he had Braxton Barrios open in the end zone, and all he had to do was throw a pass to lead him, and it’s a touchdown, but instead, he threw it behind him, and it was incomplete. White can be very up and down. It certainly has shown in camp, and that’s the part that makes me nervous when he must play what you will get. 

Skylar Thompson didn’t fare much better. He turned the football over, including a pick 6. He didn’t play like a second-year quarterback. We hope to improve after a terrific preseason last year and get his feet wet in the regular season. He also got sacked a few times, but like White, he was underwhelming. It made me wonder if this will be another year where we had another good backup quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater last year or Jacoby Brissett the year before. Hopefully, this will improve before the season starts, as there is still time. 

The part that I was really disappointed in was every time the offense moved the ball; they had drive-killing penalties or turnovers. There were times they had decent runs by Brooks for 1st downs, only to get called back by a penalty or a sack. That happened quite a bit last year in certain games, especially the game against the Minnesota Vikings, where the Dolphins squandered scoring opportunities. This was supposed to be a point of emphasis this year, with the team being one of the worst in the league with penalties, and I didn’t see improvement there. Their red zone offense must improve as well. The Dolphins can move the ball as well as anyone from between the 20s, but when they get in the red zone and the field shrinks, so does the offense. The Dolphins have a big-play offense, no question about that, but they must show they can move the ball when the big plays aren’t there. It’s funny prior to last year; we were saying the opposite.  

The Dolphins offense hasn’t been playing well in camp the last week or so, and it showed in the preseason opener. I like how McDaniel decided to have the team practice on Sunday because they needed the work but struggled again. At some point, I would hope the Dolphins offense gets out of this rut they are in. Time is starting to run out before the opener, and we don’t want to see this carry over into the season. The good news is there is still time. The Dolphins also could look at moves by other teams to churn the roster because the depth at certain positions isn’t there. An injury or two will expose them to certain positions. 

It’s a new week, and they have joint practices with the Houston Texans this week before their game. Let’s hope the Dolphins will clean things up and play better on offense or show signs of getting out of their funk.