I thought about staying in bed this morning, curled up in the sheets, but with the federal government in partial shut-down mode, I figured someone had to actually show up and do his job.
What a beat-down! There's no other way of saying it, DolFans. The defense that looked so good for three games just broke down completely...giving up reception after reception to the running backs, receivers and tight ends on the New Orleans roster.
Keep in mind that the man throwing them the ball was Drew Brees, the man who is knocking off records from folks with names like Dan Marino. He's an elite quarterback...E-L-I-T-E! To think, Miami could have had him years ago, but I digress.
Someone told me before the game Monday night that "you'll find out about your team" in a game like this one. Back to the word "elite". Watching the Fins beat an injury-hobbled Atlanta and Andrew Luck's Indianapolis Colts told me that the Dolphins are improved over last season. They found a way to win those games. Cleveland, they beat because they're, well, Cleveland.
Watching QB Ryan Tannehill in those three games showed me that he has improved over last season...getting deep passes off despite defenders getting into his face due to a poor offensive line. Despite four turnovers in MNF, I am not calling for Tannehill's replacement, Matt Moore. I'm chalking off this game as "growing pains". Eli Manning threw 4 interceptions in one game this season...would you yank him from the lineup?
No, Tannehill, I believe will be just fine and is in fact the best quarterback Miami has had since Dan Marino, but he is not Marino. He is not Brees. Perhaps he could be someday as good as those guys. Those guys are/were elite. Tannehill is good and getting better, despite a poor performance against the Saints.
Chalk up much of the defense's problems on injuries as well. Cam Wake traveled with the team, but did not play. Paul Soliai played sparingly and there were other starters who did not even make the trip to New Orleans. When you are facing a QB as elite as Brees, you'd better be clicking on all cylinders and the Dolphins were not.
Next up: Baltimore Ravens at Sunlife Stadium on Sunday at 1pm. Wake, if he's cleared to play, should be well-rested and ready to get Joe Flacco.
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