By Byler Henry
After a shaky start against the Raiders, the Dolphins pulled out a 28 to 20 win. Currently at 3-0 the Dolphins lead the AFC East division, with the Bills, Jets, and Patriots all tied at 1-2. “I hope it’s something that builds confidence in the guys. If you look at our team the way it’s built and games like the first home game, the longest game in history, and games like the past game where it could have gone either way and we had to fight and scratch and claw and do whatever it took to get that W,” Cameron Wake said about starting 3-0. “I hope … I mean it builds character, regardless of what else goes on. It wasn’t pretty but whatever it took to win, guys did it. And 3-0 feels good. It definitely feels good, but at the same time, you’ve got to wipe the slate clean. Enjoy it for the next 24 hours or so, pat yourself on the back and get in there tomorrow and fix the things that we didn’t do so well and erase the board and let’s move on. We’ve got to be 1-0 after next week.” So far, they are off to a good start, but it’s still 13 more games to go.
The Raiders struck first scoring on the first drive going 75 yards in just four plays, which ended with a touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson. It looked like from there it was going to be a long day for the defense, and the offense got off to a slow start punting on three straight drives and scoring their first touchdown in the second quarter. There was a scary moment early in the second quarter where William Hayes tore his ACL trying to follow the NFL’s new rule after sacking Derek Carr. The NFL is starting to protect the quarter-back even more by penalizing defenders for roughing the passer by landing their weight on the
quarterback. This rule came about because Aaron Rodgers was sacked and suffered a broken collarbone last season. This season Clay Matthews was penalized more than once for roughing the passer. In the postgame defensive tackle Davon Godchaux had some words about Hayes’ injury. “It was big because Hayes is my guy. I kind of wanted to shed a tear on that, no lie; but at the end of the day we had to get up and keep fighting. I got nicked up on my ankle, Branch got nicked up, but we had to keep fighting through. There was no way I was coming out of the game with two minutes left and leaving two d-tackles. There was no way. I couldn’t look myself in the eye the next day. There was no way I was coming out. “After that first drive the defense started to come alive only allowing 3 more points in the first half, they were out scored 10 to 7.
In the second half, it was a different story. The Dolphins outscored the Raiders 21 to 10. Overall Ryan Tannehill had a good game,completing 17 of 23 passes for 289 yards with 3 touchdowns.He also added 26 rushing yards which was the most rushing yards for the Dolphins. They won this game through the air, because the rushing game was nonexistent. Frank Gore had 12 total yards rushing while Kenyan Drake had 3 yards. Dolphins receiver Albert Wilson also had a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jakeem Grant. “We were working at it the whole time and finally got to run it in the game. Coach was telling us this whole time it’s going to be there; just use your speed and run. I trusted my boy Albert every single time in practice it was always on the money.” Jakeem says about the trick pass play. He had 2 receiving touchdown passes with 70 receiving yards. Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills also had a receiving touchdown.
The offense started to really click after the four stalling drives. The offensive line was also able to protect Tannehill, only allowing one sack. The Dolphins have receivers who can really fly and Jakeem Grant also has faith in the receiving team. “Coach always says go out there and just run. A lot of defenders are going to be terrified of the speed. It’s very hot here we’re used to the heat and humidity and so we are just going to go out there and run so let’s see if they can run for four quarters.” Their next game will be a tough rivalry game on the road against the Patriots. The Patriots defense has given up 77 points in the first three combined games while the Dolphins defense have given up 52 combined points in their three games. The Dolphins have scored 75 combined points while the Patriots have scored 57 combined points. IT seems as if Miami is on a mission to release the strangle hold on the AFC East that the Patriots have had. If they can put pressure on the quarterback and if the receivers can fly and make catches they can be 4-0. Sunday September 30 at 1:00 the rivalry game begins.