Miami Dolphins Run Over By Denver Bronco's 39 - 36

The NFL's eighth ranked rushing defense Miami Dolphins went out west on 2014's week twelve to face Peyton Manning's Denver Bronco's. Miami's defense went into the game allowing 94.4 rush yards per game as the host Bronco's offense were twenty seventh in the league with an average rushing output of 89.9 yard per game.

Miami led the entirety of the game until only 5 minutes remained as they held the NFL all time greatest quarterback to just 249 yards passing. However. Denver's third string running back C.J. Anderson tallied 167 rushing yards on 27 carries as the Bronco's galloped for 201 on 35 attempts via the hoof.

The Dolphins with five rushes for 44 yards, along with two passes to (Dion Sims & Jarvis Landry) for an additional 36 yards opened the game with an 80 yard drive. Danial Thomas' 3 yard Touchdown run just 3:38 into the first quarter put Miami ahead early 7 - 0.

Aided with a Dolphin personal foul penalty of 15 yards. Denver answered with 8 rush attempts for 26 yards of 53 total to kick a 38 yard field goal, and a 7 - 3 Bronco deficit.

After an exchange of three and outs. Miami's Lamar Miller had another two carries for 20 yards (9, 11). Ryan Tannehill had a run for 7 yards on Miami's 47 total yard series that ended with one additional rushing yard on a Tannehill Touchdown run and 14 - 3 Dolphin lead two minutes into the second quarter.

Another 32 rush yards on four attempts were accrued on Denver's following possession of 77 yards that resulted in a Peyton Manning five yard touchdown pass to the NFL elite receiver Demaryius Thomas to pull within 14 - 10. This Bronco series was also aided by a Dolphin personal foul penalty via the same culprit, though this time it was accidental.

Miami ran four times for 17 yards on their very next series. The Dolphins drove 87 yards in ten plays, and took a 21 - 10 lead with a ten yard Tannehill to Mike Wallace Touchdown.

To this point, Miami had accrued 91 rush yards on 13 attempts for the game while scoring touchdowns on three of their four possessions. However. Ju'Waun James the backup left tackle to Brandon Albert went down to injury midway through the most recent drive, he was replaced by third string left tackle Jason Fox and the Dolphins ran just 8 more times for 7 more yards over the game's remaining entirety. Miami had an eleven point lead, but no longer seemed able to, or even willing to attempt running the ball from there on out. Does Jason Fox know only of pass blocking?

Denver replied with an 80 yard series of 8 Peyton passes, and a second Manning to Thomas touchdown for a 21 - 17 halftime deficit.

The Dolphins had 91 rush yards on 13 attempts while Denver ran 14 times for 64 yards.
Lamar Miller had 52 first half rushing yards on just 6 attempts.

Tannhill had completed 11 of 14 passes for 122 yards with a Touchdown run and pass.
Manning was 15 of 19 for 147 with two Touchdown passes.
Neither quarterback had been sacked.

Each team had 13 first downs while Denver held a two and a half minute time of possession advantage, Miami was ahead 21 - 17 on the scoreboard.

The home team Bronco's rushed for 137, and Peyton Manning passed for just 102 second half yards. Miami went the shootout route in rushing for a net seven yards on just eight questionable attempts while gathering just 106 second half passing yards. Though between Miami's final first quarter series and into the Dolphins first third quarter possession, Ryan Tannehill had a streak of 12 consecutive passes completed.

Denver's opening third quarter series covered 65 yards on 13 plays in 7 minutes to Miami's 15 where the Dolphins forced a 33 yard field goal that was missed. Miami followed with an eight & out for 13 yards which included Tannehills first sacking of the day, but the Dolphins recovered the fumbled punt at the Bronco 12 yard line. Five plays later Ryan Tannehill hit Jarvis Landry for a five yard Touchdown, and Miami Dolphin 28 - 17 adoration with 2:11 remaining in the third quarter.

Nine plays, 60 yards, and 3 minutes later the Bronco's scored one minute into the fourth quarter with a third Manning to Thomas short touchdown of five yards to pull back within 3 points at 28 - 25 with a successful two point conversion.

Miami's wheels started to falter on the first play of the drive with an injury to starting corner back Jamar Taylor who was playing in place of regular starter Courtland Finnegan who is also injured. The Dolphins are suddenly extremely thin at a position of previous strength, and are now forced to play first year rookies against the one and only Peyton Manning. Overall in the passing game (yardage-wise) the substitutions weren't of much consequence (102 pass yards in the second half), though the game took a sudden turn from a defensive scheme/responsibility point of view, and Denver's running game took over for 80 fourth quarter yards.

The Dolphins get the ball and go five and out for 17 yards. Denver obliges with an 11 play, 70 yard drive that running back C.J Anderson caps off on a ten yard touchdown run and first Bronco lead of the day at 28 - 32 with 5 game minutes remaining.

Upon gaining 15 yards in two plays and a first down on Miami's next possession, a Tannehill pass grazes a Bronco defensive lineman's shoulder, bounces off the glove like palm of Jarvis Landry, is intercepted and returned 37 yards to the Miami eight yard line. Two plays later Manning hits Wes Welker for a two yard touchdown and Bronco scoreboard advantage of 28 - 39 with 3:13 remaining.

Miami takes 1:39 to cover 84 yards in 9 plays. For a second time on the day Tannehill connects on one yard with Jarvis Landry for a Touchdown to narrow the margin to 36 - 39 after a successful Dolphin two point conversion with 94 ticks of the second hand to go.

The Miami Dolphins on-side kick attempt failed, The Denver Bronco's gathered a rushing first down, and took a knee twice to end the game 36 - 39.

Ryan Tannehill was 26 of 36 for 228 passing yards with a (not of his fault) interception while accounting for four Touchdowns, three through the air and one on the ground.

Peyton Manning went 28 of 35 for 257 with four passing touchdowns.

Each team had one turnover, and both quarterbacks were sacked one time.

Jarvis Landry led Miami with 7 receptions for 50 yards with two touchdowns, and Mike Wallace had a touchdown on 4 catches for 35 yards.
Demaryius Thomas had 10 catches for 87 yards with three touchdowns while Emmanuel Sanders had 9 receptions for 129 yards for Denver.

Lamar Miller had 49 rushing yards on Miami's first three possessions, and totaled 59 for the game as the Dolphins aborted the run game upon Ju'Waun James' second quarter injury.
C.J. Andersons 167 yards on 27 attempts, and Denver's 201 rushing yards (137 in the second half) led to an 8 plus minute time of possession advantage for the home team Bronco's with 29 first downs to Miami's 25.

The Dolphins are 6 - 5, just one game behind the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th seed as of this moment with five games to go.

Thank You for an Open Minded Read, and we look forward to your angle of view : )) !!

Beat the Jets!!!

Miami Dolphins at Broncos Week 12 Game Chat

Miami heads into Denver this week in what will be a difficult matchup for one of the NFL's best defenses.

The State of the Dolphins at the Halfway Mark

Okay. So technically it's two games past the mid point of the season. But I've already written a couple of blogs over the last few weeks and didn't want to appear too selfish in wanting to express my feelings about our beloved Dolphins. Besides, it's not my fault we had to play three games in an eleven day span. 

Anyway, I wanted to share some thoughts on what I perceive to be the best Dolphin team to hit the field since our last playoff berth in 2008.

Here we are, sitting at 6 and 4 and right in the thick of the playoff race. And I don't mean gaining entry as a wild card team, either. We still have a decent chance of getting into the post season as the division champion. But first, I want to point out a few things that have become apparent about today's Miami Dolphins before I get into play off scenarios..

Is it my imagination but does this team seem to have some depth in some uncharacteristic ways? It's been a while since we have had so many rookie and second year players, making such an impact on the field. And I'm talking on all sides of the ball, too. Our new GM Dennis Hickey has gone out and gotten some free agents that have actually produced at a high level and given the newer players some much needed leadership on this young roster.

And while we haven't been overly plagued with the injury bug, we have had some key players go down, only to have the next player step up and do an admirable job of filling in. Especially along the offensive line. We have adapted and tailored our game plans to compensate for our weaknesses. All while maximizing our strengths.

When was the last time you saw our Dolphin team winning games by double digit scores instead of by field goal margins? (I'm talking about an average of 13 points per victory). We are still settling into this new playbook that Bill Lazor has laid out for us, but already we are scoring almost a touch down more per game than last season. And this offense has so many play makers that it is hard for defenses to game plan against us. And isn't it nice to see our offense adjust and correct our first half struggles to become the best scoring third quarter team in the NFL?

Ryan Tannehill is really starting to play like a franchise QB. Four of his last seven games have produced QB ratings over 100. We have won all 4 of those contests. (5 of the last 7 games, as well). He is still getting knocked around a bit too much, but it's not rattling him like it did in his first two seasons. He's making better decisions and spreading the ball around. Our running game is in the top 10, (6th) which is helping our passing game make strides just as Tannehill is improving his play in this balanced attack.

Defense? What can you say about a top 5 defense? (Top 10 in most relevant categories). 2nd in overall defense and against the pass. 8th versus the run, with 10 interceptions and +3 in turn overs. This defense has gone up against the best QB's in the league and forced them to have mediocre performances. Coyle's squad is a playoff caliber unit that can keep  us in games regardless of who our opponent is!

I only wish we would score more points in the red zone and goal to go situations. I know we tend to stall late in games that we already have a substantial lead in, but as the saying goes, "size matters". Best Net Points, Best Combined Ranking  Among Conference Teams in Points For/Against and Strength of Victories are all important categories when it comes to tie breaker rules. (Should they become necessary). And we are having no trouble moving the ball and getting into the red zone, visiting it more than any team in the NFL. It seems inconceivable to be so close and not even be able to get a field goal for our efforts. Definitely something that needs to be fixed.

Miami has a couple of statistics that will be helpful to us coming down the home stretch towards the playoffs. Now that Buffalo is in our rear view mirror, and San Diego lost the head to head competition against us, we still have some control of our destiny when the Ravens come to town. (And even where New England is concerned). 

Our Dolphins have only 3 winning opponents ahead of us. (I'm referring to Broncos, Ravens and Patriot games). The schedule looks like this: @Denver, @NYJ, Baltimore, @NE, Minnesota and NYJ. If we take care of business like we have been doing all season, it would not be unrealistic to win 4 of the last 6 contests, giving us a 10 and 6 record. And right now, Denver and Baltimore are looking like they are beatable, so who knows. Of course, Denver and New England have not lost a home game this year.(There is always a first time, though). 

New England is 2 games ahead of us but they have a difficult schedule going forward: (Detroit, @GB, @SD, Us, @NYJ and Buffalo). That's 5 teams with winning records. At 8 and 2, we would probably have to beat them again on their turf and hope they somehow lose another contests or two and wind up 11 and 5. Or.......

We need to win the games we are supposed to win, (like the Vikings and 2, verses the Jets). Then take 2 of the 3 against more difficult opponents, (Denver, NE and/or Baltimore) It will all come down to our head to head with the Patriots, and how each of us fare against conference teams. (Right now we are at 5 and 2 and they are sitting at 6 and 2 verses the conference). We both have 2 and 1 division marks. Depending on how we both reach 11 and 5 will determine who gets the division and who probably gets a wild card spot. There are too many permutations to consider right now for the division title.

Pittsburgh, (at 7 and 3) have taken over the 6th seed position, (bumping us down to the 7th spot) with their Monday Night win over the Titans. They do not have an easy road to plow: A BYE, NO, @Cincinnati, @Atlanta, KC and Cincinnati. (3 winners). And the Steelers may just do us a favor where the Bengals and/or Chiefs are concerned. I say the Bengals because that North division is crazy with all 4 teams having 6 wins at this point. Hard to say which one of these teams will take that division. Cleveland was on top last week, but now they are on the bottom.

As it stands, the Bengals lead the North division at 6 - 3 - 1, but they have: @Atlanta, @Buffalo, Indianapolis, Cleveland, @Carolina and @Baltimore. 4 winning clubs stand in the way of their taking the division or reaching the playoffs. They could benefit us with the Ravens and/or Browns games, too. 

The Browns, (6 and 4) play: @Atlanta, @Buffalo, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, @Carolina and @ Baltimore.They must contend with 4 winning opponents.  Here again, they may give us a little assist with Cincinnati and/or Baltimore.

Baltimore, (6 and 4) had a BYE last week and their future holds: @NO, SD, @ Our House, Jacksonville, @Houston and Cleveland. That is 3 winning teams and they will have no picnic with the 4 and 6 Saints and 5 and 5 Texans. They might keep the Chargers or Browns from challenging us.

Kansas City, the number 5 seed at 7 and 3, is a concern since they beat us in week three. But of all the playoff candidates, they have the most grueling schedule. 4 games against winning teams, which could help us out considerably: @Oakland, Denver, @Arizona, Oakland, @Pittsburgh and then SD. They could lose 2 or 3 of these match ups, quite easily. And even if they don't, there is still one seed left open for us to fill.

And then there is a the aforementioned Chargers. They have it rough too with: St. Louis, @Baltimore, NE, Denver, @49ers, and @KC. 5 winners and the 4 and 6 Rams just beat the Broncos, too. There is a chance they could take out any one of our  rival teams along the way like the Ravens, Patriots or Chiefs.

And here's another advantage in our favor. We have only 2 losses in the AFC, along with KC and NE. (Denver has 1). Everyone else has 3 or more losses. And we have just 1 loss in divisional play, like NE, Cincinnati and KC, Division leaders, Denver and Indianapolis are undefeated in their respective divisions. (Which doesn't matter where our divisional aspirations or wild card possibilities are concerned). Regardless of seeding, a division champ is a division champ.

If you'll notice, there are still a lot of divisional games left to be played between possible playoff contenders. (Especially in the North and West divisions). And several matches that will take place against teams that are currently tied with our won/loss record. Those teams will cancel each other out of playoff contention for us.

Technically, we have a record that is equal to two division leaders. The Colts, who are 5 and 3 in conference play and the Bengals,  6 - 3 - 1, (with their 4 and 3 conference standing). I'm liking where we are situated at this juncture. We have a better division and conference record than any of the teams, currently sporting 6 wins and one of the least difficult paths to the playoffs

Yes sir. This Dolphin team has become a completely different ball club compared to the one we fielded in 2008. We have a capable, higher scoring offense with more game changing players. The best, (first round) quarterback since the days of Dan Marino, and a top notch, solid defense. I'm real anxious to see how this thing plays out for our Miami Dolphins and that is a good state to be in.