So far, the Miami Dolphins have shown that they are the same team they were last season. At first, the Dolphins on the opening drive took 7 minutes to get a mere three points. Even from the one yard line, they couldn't just punch it in with any type of running play. Following that effort, a special teams miscue occurred as Nolan Carroll doesn't have the wherewithal to notice how close he is to Marcus Thigpen who still attempts to make a fair catch and then gets blocked into him by the Tampa Bay gunner. For the Dolphins, that's a poor choice of positioning and for Tampa, that was a heads up football play.
In addition, on 3rd down inside the 30, Brent Grimes commits a costly pass interference penalty to give the ball to Tampa inside the 10 leading to a rushing touchdown by 7 year journey man Brian Leonard who dragged defenders to the one yard line. Where was that stout goal line defense? Sure Grimes was trying to prevent Mike Williams from catching the ball, but would he have caught it?
If you ask the average Dolphin fan, they are going to say the Dolphins looked good because Ryan Tannehill did. Tannehill was 17-27 with a touchdown and no interceptions, with two dropped touchdowns by his receivers and lead the team to a touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in the half. However, peel the layers of this onion and look deeper at this team, and this team is failing to show it can be a contender, but rather a sneaky version of last season.
The defense for one, is fast as ever with Dannell Ellerbe leading the charge against the run. The pass rush seems fine tuned inside and outside with Jared Odrick and Olivier "OV" Vernon collecting a pair of sacks. However, the corner back position still seems a bit shaky. Even though Grimes made a mistake, he played solidly. However, where was this ball hawking ability that both Patterson and Grimes possess? Why wasn't Will Davis given an opportunity to go after a shaky quarterback in Josh Freeman who was erratic and placing him in a Jet uniform might not make a difference. Is this the corner back tandem fans expect to be game-changers?
Ask yourself as a fan, if this were versus New England, would the first half have been so close?