Dolphins need to get better in a hurry

Thoughts and opinions after watching the Dolphins do very little right in
a season opening 21-11 loss to the Patriots.

• It was a concoction that never works. Three interceptions by
quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and a rushing defense that got pushed
around to the tune of 217 yards. Sure, there were other factors. But
none as significant as the turnovers on offense and an ineffective
rushing defense.

• Both areas come as a surprise. Fitzpatrick didn’t struggle like this at
any point last season and the rushing defense was supposed to be
vastly improved with some of the free agent additions. As they say,
though, the tape doesn’t lie.

• What we saw against the Patriots was concerning and disappointing,
but perspective is also important. This is a new Dolphins team in so
many areas, both on the coaching staff and in the locker room, and you
just can’t wave some magic wand to make it all mesh, certainly with as
little practice time as this team had. It takes time, obviously more than
one game.

• That rushing defense had better improve in a hurry. They faced a
pretty good rushing quarterback Sunday in Cam Newton; they’ll face a
younger and just-as-proficient version in Josh Allen next Sunday against
Buffalo. Whatever practice time they get this week needs to be
productive.

• Both rookie starters on the offensive line, left tackle Austin Jackson
and right guard Solomon Kindley, did not do anything negative to get
your attention and that shouts success right there.

• Linebacker Jerome Baker was the most impactful player on defense
with his team high 16 tackles, a sack and a key goal line strip. He has
gotten awfully good hasn’t he?

• In case you’re asking, this isn’t Tua Time. Certainly not yet.

• I know I predicted a Dolphins victory and I’ll be the first to own up to
it. But I also predicted a 9-7 finish and I haven’t lost any faith in that.
Having said that, they need to play a whole lot better against the Bills.

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