Three Observations From The Loss To Carolina

Posted Nov 24, 2013

Finsiders analyst John Congemi breaks down the Dolphins' loss to the Panthers.

The Dolphins lost a devastating game to the Carolina Panthers after dominating the first half, as they found themselves unable to close the game out in the second half of the contest. Now Miami finds itself at 5-6 along with the New York Jets, the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers. So, next week’s game will be a large game within the AFC East for the wild card.

Here are my three observations from today’s 20-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers:

1) Field Goals, Not Touchdowns: When you get chances in the red zone against a team that has won six straight, you have to convert your drives into touchdowns and not settle for field goals like the Miami Dolphins did on Sunday. Somehow, someway, you’ve got to be able to create movement on the offensive line and you need to be able to create space in 1-on-1 matchups in the red zone. The Dolphins didn’t do that today, and ultimately they left points on the board.

2) Tannehill to Wallace: It was Nice to see Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace connect over the couple of times, once for a 53-yard touchdown. Wallace had 10 targets on the afternoon, coming down with five catches for 127 yards and a 25.4 average—that’s what he’s being paid to do, and it was nice to see him create big plays. He could have had an even bigger day if Tannehill had connected with him on a few other deep balls, including the second to last play of the game. That connection will need to resurface over the next couple of weeks on the road at New York and at Pittsburgh.

3) Too Many Negative Plays In Run Game: It’s one thing to get hit at the line of scrimmage and maybe fall forward for a few yards, but there’s nothing that can stall a drive quicker than having tackles for loss of eight, nine or 10 yards in the running game. The Dolphins have been inconsistent when it comes to rushing the football, and when you take chunk yardage plays in a negative fashion, it takes away from your momentum offensively and doesn’t allow you to say ahead of the chain as an offense. I always say that U-turn runs rarely result in positive yardarge, and that was the case today as the Dolphins were constantly being wrapped up in the backfield after turning around from their original aiming point.
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