Monday, August 5, 2013

Shaky start to preseason for Dolphins


The Miami Dolphins hope their 2013 season is the beginning of a successful era of football in South Florida, but Sunday night's preseason opener proved the team has some kinks to work out before that can become a reality.

Turnovers, as well as quarterback and offensive line play, were the main nuisances for Miami as it dropped a 24-20 decision against the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, the first preseason game of the year.

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin spent the offseason dedicating his efforts to winning the turnover margin -- which his team responded to by losing a fumble on a botched handoff on the very first offensive play of the game.

Hopefully, for the Dolphins' sake, that's not an omen for the rest of the season.

Ryan Tannehill, who was without primary receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, was off-target on a pair of throws and finished the short day 2 of 5 for 11 yards. Second-stringer Matt Moore struggled in the first half, throwing a interception on a tipped pass that was returned for a touchdown.

One of the biggest areas of concern for the roster is the offensive line and starting left tackle Jonathan Martin, who did nothing to settle that uncertainty by giving up a couple of pressures in limited action. Even his projected backup, Dallas Thomas, was a consistent problem in pass blocking and was the victim of a brutal bull rush by Cowboys reserve defensive end George Selvie.

Among the bright spots for Miami was receiver Keenan Davis, who caught three passes for 48 yards and a score, and defensive end Derrick Shelby, who tightened his hold on a roster spot with two sacks.

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