Three Observations From Loss To Baltimore

Posted Oct 6, 2013

John Congemi gives his thoughts on Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Ravens.

The Dolphins were hoping to bounce back at home after a loss in New Orleans, but unfortunately, Miami ended up losing a close contest to the Baltimore Ravens, 26-23.

The biggest takeaway from today was obviously the need for better pass protection, but there are several other areas where the Dolphins need to improve moving forward as a football team.

Here are my three observations from today's loss to the Ravens:

1) Need More Time: It’s quite obvious through the first five games of the season that quarterback Ryan Tannehill needs to operate from a much cleaner pocket than he’s been provided so far this season. The six sacks against the Ravens definitely disrupted the timing of the pass offense and some of the sacks were more critical than others. For example, the sack at the end of the football game that lost yardage and added to the 57-yard field goal that was missed to tie the football game. I’m sure everyone was screaming that you can’t take a sack in that situation and they’re correct. But sometimes you don’t want to make a bad play worse and throw the football down field and not give your kicker, who hasn’t missed this season, an opportunity. If the Dolphins want to compete for the AFC crown, they’re going to have to figure out how to keep Tannehill on his feet for the remainder of the season.

2) Third Down Efficiency: Not being able to find rhythm, especially on third down and keeping the offense on the field, was critical and added to the loss against the Baltimore Ravens. Miami was 3-of-16 on third down and that statistic alone would lead to believe that the Dolphins lost by more than three points on Sunday afternoon. And most of the time, those third downs weren’t third and short, although the one on the first drive of the game reminded us all of the fourth down attempt in the Superdome last week. The Dolphins have been pretty good at finding something throughout each and every game that was successful and those they felt like they had confidence in. And I’m not so sure over these last couple of games that they were able to find that confidence on third down in where they wanted to go with the football.

3) Too Many Drops: If there’s one thing that hasn’t plagued the Dolphins, or cost them field position or wins throughout the first four games, it was their ability to catch the football. But against the Ravens, it really hurt their productivity. The Dolphins were probably north of six drops in the football game and a couple of those plays could have been momentum changes, or at least big plays to keep the dolphins drive going down the field. Mike Wallace was targeted 16 times and only came away with seven receptions. I’m not saying that seven receptions for 105 yards is something that you should ignore, but the potential for Wallace against the Ravens was probably 11 catches for close to 200 yards. And if you change that around, Miami is probably not in a three-pont game late in the fourth quarter. Everybody had their turn at not completing catches on Sunday, but one of the critical times was in the red zone, where Wallace and Tannehill appeared to be on a different page. Wallace continued to drift through zone coverage, while Tannehill was thinking he was going to sit, resulting in an incompletion. Miami would end up settling for field goal and that ended up coming back to haunt the Dolphins.

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