Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dolphins' offensive starters yet to find stride


At a quick glance of the box score, it looks like the Miami Dolphins clicked as a team during their second preseason game -- a 27-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars Friday night.

But a closer examination reveals a group of offensive first-stringers still struggling to get on the same page.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked indecisive in the pocket for a second straight game, often squandering the time his offensive line gave him by holding on to the ball or throwing it away. In Miami's first three drives, the second-year quarterback was 2-for-6 for 23 yards and took a sack, resulting in three punts.

Tannehill later engineered a scoring drive that was aided by two defensive penalties, capping it off with a 22-yard touchdown strike to Dustin Keller, the second time the quarterback found his new tight end for a long gain on the possession.

Dolphins fans got to see their team's vaunted new offensive weapons all together for the first time but watched a unit that desperately lacked chemistry and fluidity. Fortunately for Miami, it has another three preseason games to improve.

The same could not be said for the first-team defense, which allowed just 14 yards on Jacksonville's first three drives. But that that assessment comes with a caveat, as an already-woeful Jaguars offense was without it's three best players in Maurice Jones-Drew, Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon.

Miami did have a pair of rookies make a positive impact, with cornerback Will Davis punctuating a night of aggressive play with an impressive interception and kicker Caleb Sturgis going 2-2 on field goals, including a booming 58-yarder in the third quarter.

The Dolphins also finished with a +3 turnover margin, suggesting the coaching staff's emphasis on creating takeaways is starting to take hold.
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