Miami Dolphins 2021 Report Card, Week 4

The Miami Dolphins suffered their third straight loss on Sunday when they lost a 27-17 decision to the Indianapolis Colts in a game that probably wasn’t as close as the final score might suggest.

Here is the weekly breakdown of the performance of each group of positions:

Quarterbacks

There were unfortunately too many similarities between Jacoby Brissett’s performance in that game and his outing the week before in Las Vegas. Specifically, there was a complete lack of big plays until the fourth quarter, and in this case all of those plays came with the Dolphins down 17 points (either 20-3 or 27-10). Brissett missed a few open receivers down the line and made a nasty fumble on the opening play of the fourth quarter when he refused to just take a sack on a first and ten. But, as was the case against Las Vegas, it wasn’t all up to him. Finally, don’t let his 107.5 passer rating in this game fool you. Grade: C-

Ball carriers

The Dolphins could have used help from their running game in this one, but that just didn’t happen. Malcolm Brown got his second straight start and led the team on the ground, but with just 23 yards on eight attempts. Myles Gaskin barely played and wasn’t a postman, and it was pretty much the same for Salvon Ahmed. A running back’s longest run was 6 yards and the longest landing was 8 yards. It is simply not enough. At least there doesn’t appear to have been a glaring incident in the blitz pickup. Rating: D +

Wide receivers

Jaylen Waddle looked like he was heading for a big day when he caught three passes for 33 yards in the first quarter, but that was it. He was only targeted once afterwards on a pass where Brissett seriously missed the mark. And Waddle loses points for going beyond the first-down scorer’s undisputed limits after his first reception. DeVante Parker ended up posting some pretty decent numbers with four catches for 77 yards and one touchdown, but his first catch came on the final play of the third quarter. Parker also had two drops. Jakeem Grant played an offensive snap and lost 7 yards on a reaction sweep, although that can’t be faulted. Will Fuller was a non-factor before leaving the game with a broken finger. Again, not good enough. Rating: D +

Tight ends

Mike Gesicki had the same kind of exit as Parker, except for the drops. He finished with five catches, a team high, but his first came on the penultimate play of the third quarter, just before Parker made his first catch. Durham Smythe was the only other tight end to catch a pass and it was inconsequential receptions. Considering the Dolphins’ running game averaged 2.2 yards per attempt, no one should get good blocking scores; on the contrary, reruns showed that both Gesicki and Adam Shaheen were beaten by defenders who then made the tackle on separate running plays. Grade: C-

Offensive line

Yeah, it’s always tough on the offensive line. We have already mentioned the low average on the ground and the absence of a single run of more than 10 meters. Brissett has been sacked three times and has come under pressure on a few other occasions. Austin Jackson was flagged for illegal hands to the face in the first quarter, a penalty that nullified Fuller’s 28-yard run in the game’s first practice. New center Greg Mancz fired a shot over Brissett’s head, whose only play was to pick up the bouncing ball and throw it out of bounds to avoid a big loss. Rating: D

Defensive line

Defense kept Indy in check for most of the first half, and the defensive line played a big part in that regard. Christian Wilkins made himself a postman and John Jenkins made a few plays in the racing game as well. Emmanuel Ogbah got his first full sack of the season when he rounded former Dolphins tackle Julien Davenport in the first quarter. The second half was not so impressive, however. Zach Sieler was a non-factor for a rare game and he bit hard on a fake RPO to allow Carson Wentz to rush in for a first down when the Colts were backed deep into their turf. Adam Butler was also very calm. Rating: C +

Linebackers

Andrew Van Ginkel (two tackles for one loss) may have had his best outing of the season, and so has rookie first-round pick Jaelan Phillips (three QB hits, half-sack). The only flaw on Phillips’ record for this game was a neutral zone offense when he got too impatient because we’re not going to count the false face mask penalty he incurred on what should have been a save. key on the third try when the score was 20 -10. Jerome Baker was credited with a hit and a defended pass, but he was overall pretty calm and he was cleared by wide receiver Zach Pascal to create a huge hole on the left side of the attack. on Jonathan Taylor’s 38 yards. run to start the second half. Elandon Roberts was active, but passed Taylor in a running blitz when Taylor scored his 23-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Rating: C +

Secondary

The Colts didn’t necessarily have big numbers in the passing game, but they did have a few key games against the high school Dolphins. The most glaring example was tight end Mo Alie-Cox who passed safety Eric Rowe on his second touchdown after scoring another touchdown when Rowe was picked just inside the end zone. Xavien Howard didn’t have a typical Howard game, giving up a few downstream assists, including a 41-yard gain by Pascal over a deep cross. Nik Needham had a good game except for the end of the third down which he gave up to tight end Jack Doyle on a game where he was flagged for DPI. Justin Coleman pulled off a nice tackle for loss on a sweep inside the Dolphins’ 5-yard line. But there just weren’t enough of these kinds of pieces that day. Rating: C

Special teams

The game started as well as special teams could be when snapper Blake Ferguson recovered a punt after the game’s first set, but it was mostly downhill from there with three major errors for the Dolphins. The first, and most painful, was Brennan Scarlett’s offside penalty in the fourth and third points which gave the Colts a first try near midfielder in a 3-0 game in the second quarter and took changed the momentum of the game. The second was Jakeem Grant’s punt, which allowed the Colts to score in the third quarter. And the last was Jason Sanders kick off bounds after the Dolphins reduced their deficit to 20-10, which saw Indy start at 40, a practice that would end in a decisive touchdown. Other positives for the Dolphins were a nice 14-yard punt return from Grant, Sanders making his only field goal attempt and a great punt day from Michael Palardy, one of whom was down at the 1-yard line. . But the three bad mistakes overshadowed it all. Rating: D +


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