Ready or not. Believe it or don’t.
One word to describe the Miami Dolphins defense is sick.
The Dolphins defense is one of the prime reasons why they made it to the playoffs last year. This year if the fish want to continue to repeat their regular season success, they need to continue to focus on their defense. The Dolphins starting defense looks great and Thursday’s game was no different. Although, Miami lost the exhibition game to the Baltimore Ravens 31-7 inside of Sun Life Stadium.
The starting defense did a phenomenal job stopping the Ravens and a large credit goes to the pressure of the defensive line. Due to the continuous pressure, Ravens starting quarterback Ryan Mallett never looked comfortable. On one of the rare plays where he did have a few seconds to throw, Mallett threw up a beautiful football in the air, only to fall into the hands of Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard.
“I guess they were trying to see if their receiver could make a play and I ended up making a play. I just saw the ball in the air and I took it” said Howard.
Mallett also missed out on a few red zone opportunities including an errant pass which almost lead to his second interception. Nevertheless, the Ravens had to settle for a field goal even with their next to perfect field position. Mallett shortly later would redeem himself accounting for a one-yard touchdown pass from a Dolphins gaffe on offense which gave Baltimore another red zone possession.
Still, Mallett finished the game going a very tough 13-for-22 for 113 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. However, Mallett wasn’t the only problem for Baltimore’s offense. Miami’s defense also forced two fumbles during the night which were drive killers for the Ravens.
“It was great to see the sudden change, guys stepping up and holding them to the field goal. The turnover was great and getting balls on the ground, that’s what we’ve been talking about. Let’s get it out and see if we can get it back” said head coach Adam Gase.
For as great as the defense did play, the only thing that’s still missing for the Dolphins is a quarterback. People didn’t know how to respond to the signing of Jay Cutler. There was a lot of anticipation in the building for how Cutler would play after being out for so long. Regardless of your belief or disbelief, the Cutler era in Miami has officially started and it wasn’t terrible.
Although we only got to see a little glimpse, how much did we expect someone who prepared for retirement little less than two months ago?
Going into Thursday’s preseason game Dolphins head coach Adam Gase seemed confident in his hand picked quarterback.
“He’s pretty much got the offense down, it’s just more about timing,” said Gase. “It’s more mental, just kind of that feel of when to turn the ball loose, getting used to the receivers, the D-line rushing.”
Cutler, this game was under fire from the Ravens, stood in the pocket and still made throws. It might be discouraging a bit for the offensive line to allow pressure. The good news is for Cutler who hasn’t played in some time it served as a refresher. Cutler finished the contest going for 3-for-6 for 24 yards.
“He was good. We kind of got the tempo going and got comfortable. He had a couple really nice moves in the pocket, pushing up and making a couple guys miss. We had penalties on the play, so it was negated; but he felt good. He took a hit there on the screen. He’s having fun” said Gase.
Miami will continue to play their hearts this preseason on the road as they play the Philadelphia Eagles on August 24, 2017, inside of the Lincoln Financial Field. The Dolphins will return back to Miami when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10, 2017, for their home opener.