Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Philbin says Dolphins still gained confidence in loss


The Ryan Tannehill-Joe Philbin era of Miami Dolphins football didn't get off to the best of starts, dropping a 30-10 road decision to the heavily-favored Houston Texans Sunday.

The Texans are a trendy Super Bowl pick and were expected to run the hapless Dolphins off the field. But Miami held its own for the majority of the game.

The Dolphins even held a 3-0 lead after one quarter and made it clear they weren't going to lay down. But Tannehill and the Miami offense came apart at the seams in the second period. The rookie quarterback threw three interceptions in a span of six pass attempts and tailback Daniel Thomas lost a fumble.

The four turnovers led to 24 Texans points, and the game was decided by halftime.

The Dolphins had six of their first seven drives stymied by an interception or fumble. Two other lost balls were recovered by Miami, but occurred on third down and killed otherwise productive offensive drives.

Any hope of a Miami upset was extinguished by the mental miscues that seemed to come in bunches.

Though it was a lopsided loss, it has be encouraging that the Dolphins were able to compete on both sides of the ball, save for the turnover-laden second quarter. That sentiment was not lost on Philbin.

"I felt like we hurt ourselves more than they really just stopped us," the rookie coach said Monday, according to CBSSports.com.

"That's a good defense. So being able to move the ball on a good defense like that gives us some confidence. Obviously, we have to fix a lot of things and eliminate those turnovers. But I think it gives us a look at what we could be if we played to our full potential."

Miami now must turn around and prepare for its home-opener against the Oakland Raiders.

Oakland is not quite as talented as Houston is on either offense or on defense, so it will become much more apparent if the Dolphins will be able to compete this season facing a more average team.

But for now, Tannehill and the rest of the Dolphins must focus on learning from the mistakes of the first game of the 2012 campaign.

“It’s something he’s going to have to work through,” offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “And he will this week.”

Follow Sean @seanldonovan
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily