When folks reward the Dolphins offensive system beneath Mike McDaniel this 12 months, there’s a brief reply to understanding why. It’s that first play on Sunday in opposition to San Francisco. It underlines how technique meshes with personnel in a great way.
For starters, it confirmed good considering throughout the week and the way the coaches discovered methods to maneuver their chess items after watching San Francisco’s top-rated protection. There have been three prime parts:
A. Tyreek Hill is the participant each protection fears for good purpose and that’s apparent as he went in movement on this play and have become the shiny brilliant object for the 49ers to observe. Cornerback Chavarious Ward, who was urgent slot receiver Trent Sherfield, moved off him on the snap to cowl Hill. Just as importantly, security Talanoa Hufanga instantly moved to Hill and Sherfield had some open discipline earlier than him all because of Hill.
B. At the identical time, there was some hocus-pocus taking place within the backfield. Running backs Raheem Mostert and Alec Ingold criss-crossed in entrance of Tua Tagovailoa after he acquired the shotgun snapped. Tagovailoa supplied a faux hand-off to both one. That froze linebacker Fred Warner the required half-beat to maintain him out of the passing lane Tagovailoia would throw.
C. Sherfield ran a easy slant and Tua made a easy, 9-yard go over the center. An straightforward pitch-and-catch. The 49ers different security, Tashaun Gipson, made a mis-step in reacting and Sherfield beat the one participant he needed to beat for the landing.
That’s how good teaching works with good personnel for an incredible end result. The Dolphins had receivers operating open Sunday within the method the No. 1 protection not often yields. Hill had 9 catches for 146 yards, confirming once more why he’s the prime curiosity of defenses. This first play additionally underlines why he’s my vote because the MVP of the staff. Even when he’s not catching passes, he’s altering how defenses play and open house for teammates to search out.
2. Speaking of fixing defenses, San Francisco linebackers appeared to drop a yard or two deeper than most defenses in opposition to the Dolphins on common events. I don’t watch them sufficient to know if it’s their regular drops, however maybe that is the refined change that affected Tagovailoa’s passing angles? If so, will probably be fascinating to see if different defenses change issues.
3. There have been some good front-office selections to construct this roster. The verdict stays out on left deal with Terron Armstead. It’s not his expertise. He’s elite. But do you have to spend large cash on a participant who hasn’t performed a full season in 10 years? Who performed 18 video games whole the earlier two years? You need to win in January – and need your finest gamers enjoying at that time. The best prediction to make is Armstead was going to overlook video games this 12 months and, thus, an important determination was who the back-up left deal with can be.
4. The operating recreation? It’s clear the Dolphins didn’t assume they might run on the 49ers’ No. 1-rated rush protection (75 yards a recreation) and reasonably went at their Twelfth-rated go protection. They ran simply eight occasions for 33 yards. The nuambers are skewed, as a result of the Dolphins solely ran 45 performs because of turnovers, their 0-for-7 on third downs – and San Francisco’s protection is top-rated for a purpose. Now comes the Los Angeles Chargers protection and it’s usually terrible as its thirtieth in factors allowed (25.8 factors per recreation) and twenty fifth in yards allowed (371.7). This recreation ought to led the Dolphins offense get again to being the assured bunch it was in November to arrange for the showdown in opposition to Buffalo. Speaking of which …
5. The NFL did the Dolphins no favors by transferring Sunday’s recreation to the evening (8 p.m. Eastern) and the next Buffalo recreation to Saturday evening. It has a number of the really feel of the 1999 season’s playoff schedule when the Dolphins gained in Seattle in a late-afternoon recreation on Sunday and kicked off Saturday at midday in Jacksonville. Veteran NFL author Peter King has known as that the worst scheduling job for the playoffs that the NFL has ever executed. It didn’t clarify shedding 62-7 to Jacksonville. But it didn’t assist. This schedule isn’t any higher.