Miami Dolphins Start the Season With an Ugly Win
The good news seems to be that defensive coordinator Mike "The Matrix" Nolan was definitely not ready to release the Kraken during the pre-season, but decided to do so in this game. The defense constantly stacked the line of scrimmage, pulled back, stacked it again and then ran some sort of Chinese fire drill on the field all in an effort to confound and bedazzle Bills quarterback Trent Edwards. In just the third play of the game, linebacker Karlos Dansby blew across the line untouched and ravaged Edwards with a vicious spleen-dislodging blindside hit. The play set the tone for the game. The Matrix's defense was done being vanilla.
But it wasn't all double rainbows and happy unicorns. After starting off the game looking like they were going to lay the wood on the Bills, the offense soon reverted back to the bags full of suck that defined their pre-season. While he played mistake-free football, Chad Henne was also inconsistent throughout this game, still stubbornly making the same mistakes that have plagued his young career. He's still holding on to the ball too long, still locking in on targets, and has now added the kick-a-stranger-in-the-shins-inducing "check-down" maneuver to his repertoire. Of course, dropped passes didn't help The Robot's cause either. Brian Hartline was particularly abhorrent, dropping two passes at key moments and finishing the day with goose eggs across the board on his stat sheet. Hartline spent Saturday taunting Canes fans on his Twitter while watching the Canes receivers dropping passes left and right against his Buckeyes. Then he showed up Sunday and did likewise. Nice job!
The good news for the offense is that Ronnie Brown (65 yards, 1 touchdown) looks to be back and should have himself a solid season, until he inevitably breaks his ankle. And Brandon Marshall made his presence known with eight receptions for 53 yards. Ugly or not, a win is a win. And 1-0 is better than 0-1. So there's that.
Now it's on to Minnesota, where Miami will face a Super Bowl contender coming off a disappointing loss. Looking for a reason to get angry, frustrated and completely vexed next Sunday? Tune in and watch the Fins offense take on the Vikings defense. Problem solved.