The Dolphins took the field thursday in Orlando vs the Atlanta Falcons and showed off a sharp and high paced offense. The Dolphins beat the Falcons 17-6. Though the first team only scored 7 points in their stint, Ryan Tannehill was able to throw for 20 completion out of 29 attempts for 155 yards and an interception. The one Interception came off a batted ball that was tipped at the line and by the receiver before being picked. Tannehill looked impressive in the shotgun, calling audibles and moving the ball quickly. As the NBC broadcast crew pointed, Tannehill mirrored the great Peyton Manning in his procedures at the line. Even Tony Dungy, who was making a guest appearance was in agreement that Tannehill had clearly learned a few of Peyton’s tricks. The Dolphins can only hope that his play carries over to the regular season, as Ryan won’t suit up the final preseason game next week.
The Receivers looked solid as well, lead by Kenny Stills (4 for 46) and Jarvis Landry (4 for 40). DeVante Parker was not able to haul in a long ball and ended up with 2 catches for 8 yards on 4 targets. The “other” wides like Whalen, Cruz, and the 2 rookies failed to make any marks with limited snaps. That’s okay for the drafted rookies as they are probably safe. Whalen and Cruz, however, will have to impress in week 4 to have a chance at making the 53. TE has been an issue all offseason and it was not cleared up on thursday as Cameron and Sims were non-existent.
The running backs appear to be interested in the starting job less and less every week. Arian Foster was finally able to flash some moves and get into the end zone. But his numbers were ugly as were every other back’s on the team. So it did not help when Isiah Pead went down with a Hamstring injury. Hopefully Pead can recover in time to play next week as well as Kenyan Drake because there needs to be a spark in the running game. Pead was the only back who looked and played like a starter.
In terms of the Offensive line, it looks like Laremy Tunsil has earned the starting job at LG. It is not official but Tunsil has severely outplayed Dallas Thomas. The same can be said for Jermon Bushrod over Billy Turner. The coaching staff will probably play Tunsil in preseason game 4 and see if he can seal the deal on the job.
One last thing to note for the offense was the QB battle between Zach Dysert and rookie seventh round pick Brandon Doughty. It was a clear win for Dysert as he was able to get the Phins to the red zone a few times and score 10 more points to seal the game. Dysert was 6/7 for 57 yards and Doughty was 3/4 for 15 yards but lost a fumble because he held the ball too long. Moore did not play because of a concussion but he is assumed to be safe for the 53. At the end of the day neither Doughty or Dysert will end up on the 53 as the Dolphins prefer 2 QB’s and have holes to fill elsewhere but one can still end up on the practice squad.
I will talk about the neutral performance from the defense in the lead up to the preseason finale at Hard Rock stadium on September 1st. Follow me on twitter for more.