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Miami Dolphins

The Aftermath: Dolphins 10, Chargers 30

Travis Wingfield

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Snap counts, grades, draft order update, quarter-poll checkpoint, all things fallout from another lopsided loss

Foreword:

As we develop a weekly content schedule for the season, I wanted something to bridge the gap between the Sunday night game breakdown column and the Tuesday film review. So, here we are with a smorgasbord of information, statistics, snap counts, and whatever is prudent to the Dolphins game from the Sunday prior.

We’ll dive into the game data from Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, grab some quotes from the player’s and coach’s pressers, and continue to provide the most comprehensive coverage on the Miami Dolphins you can find.

Dolphins-Chargers

Team Stats

In a season where the first half of games is for evaluation, and the second half for tanking, the numbers are a bit skewed. That’s not meant to be some head-in-the-sand comment, this team is really bad, but a lot of the historic stat compilation is coming at the end of games.

The Dolphins held the Chargers to just 2.6 yards per carry on Sunday, bringing the season average down to 4.8 — 25th in the NFL.

Passing defense, while not great, is also free from the cellar. Allowing 10.3 yards per pass is bad, but there are three teams that allow more (Miami ranks 29th). The Dolphins do, however, rank dead last in quarterback hits with 11.

Miami are still significantly beyond the pack in scoring defense. Miami’s 40.8 points per game is 11 points worse than the 31st ranked team (Washington). Miami’s third down defense is better, however. The Dolphins are allowing 57.8% conversions on the money down. Washington is at 63% conversion allowed rate on third down.

Miami’s passing offense is better than Adam Gase’s Jets and the Kirk Cousin-led Vikings. Collectively, nobody has thrown more interceptions than the Dolphins (7) and only the Cardinals have surrendered more sacks (18 for Miami).

The Dolphins team passer rating is 12.6 points lower than the 31st-ranked Bills (52.5 for Miami).

With 207 rushing yards, four teams have had less working in the ground game — though two of those teams play tonight. Miami’s three yards per carry average is 30th in the league.

Miami’s six points per game are dead last, five points lower than the next worst team (the Jets) in football. The Dolphins are averaging less than a touchdown per game (6.5 points). Third down and red zone woes are a major contributor.

The Dolphins are converting only 26% of its third down attempts, and have scored just one touchdown on six trips inside the opposition’s 20-yard-line.

Dolphins Offense:

Snap Counts:

 

Player Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)
QB Josh Rosen 52 (100%)
RB Kenyan Drake 28 (54%)
RB Mark Walton 13 (25%)
RB Kalen Ballage 8 (15%)
FB Chandler Cox 1 (2%)
WR Preston Williams 43 (83%)
WR Devante Parker 43 (83%)
WR Jakeem Grant 22 (42%)
WR Isaiah Ford 15 (29%)
LT J’Marcus Webb 52 (100%)
LG Michael Deiter 52 (100%)
C Daniel Kilgore 52 (100%)
RG Evan Boehm 52 (100%)
RT Isaiah Prince 52 (100%)
TE Durham Smythe 37 (71%)
TE Mike Gesicki 26 (50%)
TE Nick O’Leary 24 (46%)

 

 

It’s important to note the shift in running back workload. It appears as though Mark Walton has supplanted Kalen Ballage as the primary backup to Kenyan Drake, and rightfully so. Ballage’s 2.9 yards per target in the passing game (which features as many drops as receptions, 3) is a determent to what this team wants to be offensively.

Ballage’s rushing prowess hasn’t been any better. His 29 yards on 19 carries leave him bottom of the NFL in average (1.53). Walton is at 3.9 yards per carry and 5.8 yards per target.

Kenyan Drake is in the neighborhood of Walton, with a significantly greater workload, both in rushing and receiving average. Drake is averaging a full yard below his career average at 3.6 yards per carry, but perhaps the improved offensive line can change that trend.

For the third game this season, the Dolphins starting five went wire-to-wire. Daniel Kilgore received the best pass blocking grade of any Dolphin this season. With zero pressures surrendered, Kilgore’s 82.6 PFF grade measures in the above average category (plus-starter).

The Cowboys picked up five sacks, but only two were attributed to the offensive line. Isaiah Prince was the guilty party for one, and he led Miami with 4 pressures on the quarterback, though the other three were hurries, not hits. Prince did register the highest run blocking grade on the team, however.

Next was Evan Boehm (pronounced like the famed Batman villain, only with an M). Pro Football Focus did not love his performance as much as I did, he allowed two hits and a hurry, but no sacks.

Michael Deiter didn’t receive glowing grades by any stretch, but his lone pressure allowed was a hit on Josh Rosen.

PFF tabbed Rosen with two of the five sacks, which jives with my film study. The Josh Rosen Charting Project will be up later this evening, but it was his best day statistically. For the first time, Rosen surpassed 50% completion (70.8%), and seven yards per attempt (7.5 YPA).

Rosen’s passer rating (57.5) is dead last among 33 qualifying quarterbacks. The same is true of completion percentage (51.2%). His yards-per-attempt ranks 32nd (5.7), his touchdown percentage ranks 31st (1.2), and interception rate is 29th (3.6%).

Preston Williams had another dropped pass Sunday. The Dolphins receiving corps as a whole has been massively disappointing. Miami pass catchers rank as follows in yards-per-route-run:

Preston Williams – 58th
Devante Parker – 86th
Jakeem Grant – 136th

Devante Parker caught all four of his targets for 70 yards — a 17.5 yard-per-target mark.

Durham Smythe had an excellent run-blocking day — he received the second best grade behind Prince on the offense.

Dolphins Defense:

Snap Counts:

 

Player Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)
DL Davon Godchaux 55 (82%)
DL Taco Charlton 48 (72%)
DL Avery Moss 47 (70%)
DL Christian Wilkins 41 (61%)
DL John Jenkins 13 (19%)
LB Jerome Baker 67 (100%)
LB Sam Eguavoen 49 (73%)
LB Raekwon McMillan 43 (64%)
LB Charles Harris 26 (39%)
LB Vince Biegel 11 (16%)
LB Trent Harris 11 (16%)
CB Xavien Howard 67 (100%)
CB Eric Rowe 67 (100%)
CB Ken Webster 29 (43%)
CB Johnson Bademosi 13 (19%)
S Steven Parker 66 (99%)
S Reshad Jones 66 (99%)
S Doug Middleton 16 (24%)
S Walt Aikens 2 (3%)

 

Raekwon McMillan is back after missing almost all of camp with an injury, and he’s playing at the same level he left off on in 2018. McMillan, PFF’s best overall run-defending linebacker from October onward last season is in the mix again. He’s the website’s third highest-graded run defender with the fifth-best run-stop percentage among linebackers.

Jerome Baker and Sam Eguavoen need to catch up. Baker, everyone’s pick for breakout star, has struggled through four games. After finishing last on the defense in PFF grade last week, Baker comes in 17th out of 19. He allowed all four passes in his coverage area to go complete for 61 yards. Three of his five tackles were run stops.

Eguavoen can’t defeat a block, and he’s getting steamrolled when he tries. He was the 18th-graded Dolphin on defense with all three of his targets going complete (34 yards), one hurry on 13 pass rush attempts and just two tackles (one run stop).

Christian Wilkins had his best game, according to PFF. He made only one run stop and had a hurry as a pass rusher.

Taco Charlton arrived in a big way. His sack this week was more about winning as a pass rusher than the one in Dallas where he cleaned up a good bit of coverage from the Dolphins secondary. Charlton made three run-stops and put an additional hit on Philip Rivers.

McMillan and Charlton’s increased workload comes at the expense of Charles Harris. Harris saw his workload cut in half, and his production was about the same. Zero pressures, zero run stops for the former first-round pick.

Ken Webster prevented all but one pass from being completed. He held Rivers to 1-for-3 passing with seven yards when testing his coverage.

Xavien Howard didn’t bounce back from his bad showing in Dallas. He allowed six of seven targets to go complete for 61 yards and was hit with a pass interference penalty.

The Plan Through Four Weeks

All offseason, we speculated about what the Miami operation would look like under a new coaching staff. We’ve seen a lot of the presumed influences from the Patriots defense traveling south to Miami, but the same 3-3-5 bear front look that Patrick Graham was supposed to bring from Green Bay has not been prevalent, at all.

The philosophy to force the offense to play left handed is similar to what Brian Flores did in New England. Through four weeks, here’s how that plan has gone:

– Force Lamar Jackson to win with his arm (boy did he).
– Make the Pats offense go through any position besides the backs (183 yards by backs).
– Slow Zeke Elliot (139 yards from scrimmage).
– Make someone else besides Keenan Allen beat you (48 yards, 50% reduction in targets and yardage).

Progress is a slow burn this year, but Allen’s regression to the pack is a positive sign. Coming into Sunday, Allen had 29 catches on 42 targets. Miami cut his targets more than in half (14 per game down to 6) and almost did the same with his catches (9.67 down to 5).

Coupled with a rushing average of just 2.6 yards per carry, when the team was allowing more than five per pop, is a major improvement. Once again, lack of second half execution from the offense, turnovers, and a lopsided time-of-possession handcuffed the Dolphins defense.

When the offense can function at a professional level, and the necessary reinforcements are added next offseason, there will be a big jump in defensive production.

Tracking the offense’s tendencies is difficult because of the perpetual comeback mode from which they are playing. The ability to adapt the plan to max protect when injuries have depleted the line, to build-in safety shots by-way of vertical throws into the boundary against immediate pressure, and the willingness to alter workloads to fit the plan are all encouraging.

If the running game can show the same success it had in the first quarter of the game yesterday, then we can start to truly see Chad O’Shea’s influence.

It’s going to be a long year; we already knew that. One quarter of the way into the season and there are minimal silver linings, but enough so that you can see where this operation can get fixed over the offseason.

It’s a bye week for the Dolphins and then a massively important game in week-six. If Miami beats Washington, the race for Tua is officially on. I hate to ask you do this, Dol-fans, but the team must get to 0-5.

@WingfieldNFL

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Dan Estebanez

    September 30, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Hello Travis. I am 42. I absolutely categorically refuse to open a twitter account for a # of reasons. Mostly related to poor way people tend to treat eachother and all the other fun that anonymity makes possible. That being said? I would like to be able to submit questions to the podcast. Please don’t make me open a twitter account just for that!! Maybe you can have a space on this site where we can submit questions? An email address? Just don’t force me to deal with the mooks on twitter….please? 🙂 I gave you 5 x stars, bro!!! 🙂 Keep up the good work you are the man.

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Miami Dolphins

Local Residents Sue Miami Dolphins over F1 Race Track

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: MotorSportWeek.com

This may be the last thing on the mind of Miami Dolphins fans everywhere, but there seems to be a prominent legal battle taking place in South Florida.

A new Formula 1 race track was recently approved (by a 6-6 vote) to be “built” around Hard Rock Stadium, with races beginning in 2021.

While city officials press to approve the new track, local residents are up in arms about the potential race. F1 cars are notoriously loud, and as we mentioned above, these races aren’t contained within an arena or stadium.

City officials believe this will bring in additional revenue for Miami and the surrounding area, as annual races are expected to be held around Hard Rock Stadium for the next 10 years. The local populous is arguing that these races are too loud for local streets, and will cause an enormous amount of disturbance and will be detrimental to the environment. Overall, this will cause a “serious degrade to their quality of life.”

Just so you can have a reference, F1 engines tend to run between 130-145 decibels. If you go to a concert and stand relatively close to an amplifier, you’re only dealing with about 100-110 decibels. The average lawn mower is about 90 decibels. Needless to say, these engines are LOUD.

Unlike NASCAR, Formula 1 (F1) race tracks are essentially “created” using local roadways that are already in place. Though there is obviously a lot of preparation that goes into “creating” the course (to ensure the safety of racers and fans alike), no new venues need to be built.

With that said, the City of Miami Gardens and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross are attempting to host the race solely on Hard Rock Stadium grounds. Given Ross’ ownership in the land surrounding Hard Rock Stadium, it’s possible this race doesn’t officially occur on any public roads.

To give some background, Stephen Ross attempted to buy F1 a couple of years ago, but the sale ended up going to another group. Though he didn’t win the bid, he reached an agreement with the new owners and is now one step closer to making the Miami Grand Prix a reality.

Tom Garfinkel, President and CEO of the Miami Dolphins, issued the following statement on behalf of the approved 6-6 decision:

This recent vote was the biggest hurdle potentially preventing the Miami Grand Prix from happening. Though the legal battles aren’t over, it seems unlikely that the decision to host F1 races will be reversed.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Sign Tight End Michael Roberts

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are beginning to bulk up the depth of their roster as they head into free agency.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Dolphins have signed tight end Michael Roberts. The exact terms of the contract are currently unknown.

Originally a 4th-round pick by the Detroit Lions, Roberts has served mostly as a backup tight end; accumulating 146 yards on 13 receptions in 23 active games between 2017-2018.

Roberts was placed on injured-reserve towards the end of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury, and was traded to the New England Patriots for a conditional 2020 7th-round pick prior to the 2019 season. Due to medical reasons, the trade was voided a couple of days later.

The Green Bay Packers claimed Roberts off of waivers, but he was subsequently released by the Packers two days later for failing a physical. Roberts was not active for any games in 2019.

Signing Roberts doesn’t necessarily mean the Dolphins aren’t going to pursue tight ends in free agency or in the draft. Mike Gesicki is the only “lock” to make the 2020 roster, as Durham Smythe‘s blocking ability might not survive if the Dolphins find themselves in an advantageous situation at the position.

Look at this as a way for Miami to get ahead of evaluations.

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Miami Dolphins

A second Dolphins mock draft from someone who doesn’t watch football

Shawn Digity

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J.K. Dobbins 2020 NFL Draft
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

(Locked On Dolphins) – Last week, Person A dazzled us with their blind mock draft, and now we’re back with the next entry in the series.

Person B is ready to go with their mock.

Keep in mind that all the blind mock draft contributors have little to no knowledge of the NFL.

I had all the contributors standardize their boards and the process so that everyone was on an even playing field.

They all used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator with seven rounds, the predictive board, and had to choose the players manually.

Without further ado, here’s Person B’s mock draft.

(1) 5. Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama
(1) 18. J.K. Dobbins – RB, Ohio State
(1) 26. Terrell Lewis – Edge, Alabama
(2) 39. Lloyd Cushenberry III – iOL, LSU
(2) 56. Xavier McKinney – S, Alabama
(3) 70. Rashard Lawrence – iDL, LSU
(5) 135. Chase Claypool – WR, Notre Dame
(5) 144. Justin Herron – OT, Wake Forest
(5) 147. Terrell Burgess – S, Utah
(6) 165. Lamar Jackson – CB, Nebraska
(6) 177. Jacob Breeland – TE, Oregon
(7) 223. David Reese II – LB, Florida

As I did with Person A, I reached out to Person B to get their reasoning behind the selections.

Me: “I noticed that you took Tua [Tagovailoa]. What led you to that decision with the fifth pick?”

Person B: “I knew the Dolphins wanted to get a QB, and Tua has been talked about so much that I just went with him.”

Me: “Which of your other selections did you feel particularly good about?”

Person B: “I need you to send me the link to my draft. I forgot who I picked since it took five attempts.”

[resends mock draft to Person B]

“I like my J.K. Dobbins pick. O-H-. And Rashard Lawrence. Because I figure he’s pretty good since LSU was really good this year.”

Me: “Your picks are really good. I’d put yours ahead of Person A. But it’s almost suspiciously good. Did you put your thumb on the scale somewhere along the line?”

Person B: “Well, by my 5th attempt (1 and 2: I didn’t select manual mode, 3: I didn’t pick 7 rounds from the drop-down menu, 4: I completed, but the site froze, and I lost everything), I figured out that I should probably pick from the top of the list first because if you don’t then those players just go like hotcakes.

So, I just matched up the positions the Dolphins needed to fill with the players highest on the list, and if I recognized a name or team, I would select them over someone I had never heard of.”

Me: “OK, well, we’re all out of time. Do you have any parting messages for Dolphins fans?”

Person B: “Well, I think the Dolphins are on the right track, and I hope that all of the true blue fans who have hung in with them for all these years will get to see another Super Bowl in the near future. GO FINS!”

And that wraps things up with Person B.

What are your thoughts on Person B’s mock draft? Leave a comment or tweet your thoughts at me directly on Twitter (@DIGITYnodoubt).

Tune in next time for Person C’s mock…

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