Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tannehill perfect, defense shaky in preseason debut


The Miami Dolphins got a strong preseason debut from their new offense and, in particular, the third-year quarterback running the show.

Ryan Tannehill led the Dolphins' starting offense on an impressive opening scoring drive in his only action Friday, as Miami lost to the Atlanta Falcons by a 16-10 margin.

Tannehill was a perfect 6-for-6 on a 10-play drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Gibson. A long connection to fellow receiver Rishard Matthews two plays earlier set up the score.
Matthews and Gibson each collected two receptions for a first-team offense that was without starting wideouts Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. Projected starting tailback Lamar Miller had four carries for 11 yards.

The Dolphins opened up some of new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's playbook in the exhibition, utilizing motions and running a couple of unorthodox option plays. It was a sample of the type of creativity that many hope will unleash the potential of Tannehill and the offense as a whole this season.

The offense's encouraging preseason debut was somewhat offset by that of the defense, which conceded a countering 15-play, 77-yard touchdown drive from the Falcons' first teamers. The Dolphins' linebackers failed to quell concerns about their run and screen pass defending abilities.

Miami continues its preseason next Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Follow Sean @seanldonovan
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily