What We Saw: Week 2 2018
Dolphins vs. Jets
Inconsistency – noun
the quality or condition of being inconsistent (lacking agreement, as one thing with another or two or more things in relation to each other; at variance).
To describe the Dolphins in Week 2, keep the word inconsistency in your mind. The Dolphins are now 2-0, and the win in the Meadowlands wasn’t in doubt throughout the afternoon, but it felt like they left a lot of opportunities on the field.
Ryan Tannehill was some good, some bad; A victor nonetheless. Throughout the game Tannehill was able to gain large chunks of yardage on the ground. In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, Tannehill had runs of 14 and 8 yards respectively, which helped the Dolphins get to the two-minute warning with a first down and no Jets timeouts left. In the air, Ryan Tannehill put up a modest 168 yards, but that included 2 touchdowns and a 73% completion percentage. The damage could have been worse, as there were at least two instances where Albert Wilson had plenty of separation (8:37 in the third, 9:19 in the fourth) and the ball was well overthrown. The overthrow in the fourth would have likely led to a 50+ yard touchdown. The worst moment of Ryan Tannehill’s day came in the third quarter, where he just dropped the ball when getting ready to pass, leading to a turnover deep in their own territory. In 2 QB leagues, Tannehill would have had a respectable day, but even then I might not start him.
One of the most maddening parts of the Dolphins day came courtesy of the Miami offensive line. Kenyan Drake had 11 carries for the Dolphins on Sunday, 3 of which had him met by a defender almost as soon as he touched the ball. In each instance of Drake losing yardage on the day, it was due to a blown block by the line. No single lineman was at fault, given that pressure was leaking all across the line. The second drive of the game for Miami saw Tannehill taking two sacks by seemingly unblocked defenders, which was the truest example of the problems seen throughout the day. One note in the line’s favor when Ryan Tannehill was sacked at 8:05 in the second quarter, the line afforded him a ton of time and he just held onto the ball too long.
Of the 11 carries Kenyan Drake had during the game, 3 of them went for 0-or-less yards, largely due to the aforementioned line woes. That also means that the nearly 5 yards-per-carry you see on Drake’s box score could have been a lot better. That makes me wonder why Drake wasn’t used more in the second half, especially given that Miami had a 20-0 lead at one point. Too often, the Miami offense was running no-back sets (or were wasting opportunities on Frank Gore who is now in sole possession of 4th place for the overall running back yardage ranks). Nursing a large lead, Miami should have allowed Kenyan Drake to shoulder some more of the load, though 70 all-purpose yards and a TD is nothing to scoff at.
On the receiver side of the offense, Miami was once again without DeVante Parker, even though it looked like he was trending to play. Kenny Stills was definitely on the field as though he were the WR1 in Parker’s absence, but Albert Wilson was the largest beneficiary. Wilson was the target leader for the Dolphins, catching 3 balls on 5 targets for 37 yards and a touchdown. The two missed catches were entirely on Ryan Tannehill, as Wilson had plenty of separation to make the play if the ball was not significantly overthrown. Three players were tied for second in targets, Kenyan Drake, Danny Amendola, and Jakeem Grant. Amendola caught everything thrown in his direction, but he also took a hard hit during the game and missed a couple of series as a result. Once DeVante Parker is on the field, I would not be surprised to see Amendola cede snaps to Wilson, who was utilized all over the formation yet again (Albert Wilson also had two carried for 8 yards while being lined up as the only man in the backfield). Jakeem Grant is the interesting name here, given that he was the target leader in Week 1 and was tied for second in Week 2. Grant was a 6th round pick in 2016 who appears to be getting more involved in the offense each week. If we continue seeing his name in the box score once the whole receiving corp is healthy, he could be a sneaky pickup in deeper leagues.
The Jets were hit with a reality check yesterday in their home opener against the Dolphins. Morale was high entering the game, coming off of an unexpected Week 1 beatdown of the Lions. However, and I spoke to it last week, the Jets could not have afforded to come out flat against Miami, and unfortunately they did just that.
Sam Darnold wasn’t given much time at all to make the throws we saw him make this past Monday. Two interceptions proved that. With a rookie quarterback, these things will happen the rest of the season, and as a Jet fan, you need to accept that fact. For what it’s worth, he still threw for 334 yards in the effort, but the offense as a unit did not do the defense any favors all game. A bad fumble by wide receiver Robby Anderson, a key drop by tight end Chris Herndon, and an inexcusable gaffe by WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. on a play that led to one of Darnold’s interceptions, all instances put the defense in short-field situations that they could not recover from. WR Quincy Enunwa had another solid day from a PPR-standpoint, racking up 7 catches on 11 targets for 92 yards. It’s clear he is becoming a favorite of Darnold’s.
The run game was fairly ineffective in comparison to how it faired in Detroit. Running back Bilal Powell scored, but wasn’t featured as often as he should have been. Fellow back Isaiah Crowell was a non-factor, only gaining 35 yards on 12 attempts.
Having pitched a second-half shutout, the Jets defense really did hold their own despite the 20 point letup. They picked up four sacks of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, though the downfall was on third downs. The Dolphins were able to convert 6 of 13 tries; notably a 3rd and 19 late in the 4th to ice the game. The Jets are notorious for poor defense on 3rd and longs, so to be honest, yesterday was no surprise to me. From such a high fantasy showing against the Lions, to yesterday’s down game, I wouldn’t bet on the Jets defense to be a streaming play on a short upcoming week.
Heading into a trip to Cleveland to face the 0-1-1 Browns on Thursday Night Football – a Browns team that could be 2-0 if it wasn’t for kicking woes – the Jets will need to dial back to the Detroit game and come out swinging. You would imagine the team does not want to be “the one” to give the Browns their first win in years. It won’t be an easy game by any means, and so the Jets need to take the next few days to better game plan for Darnold and company on the offensive side of the ball.