The first game is in the books folks, and our Dolphins are in the L column. I know there are a lot of folks who were disappointed to see us lose, but overall, I'm still cautiously optimistic about our season. Here are my quick thoughts: What I Liked Heart - Often times when watching last year's team, I felt that I was watching a team with no heart. I didn't get that impression watching today's game. The team never quit, and that says something about the coaching and attitude. Despite the fact that we seemed to do everything in our power to lose the game, our guys battled back. We didn't get a lot of breaks today, and that is going to happen. You measure a team by how they responded to adversity, and I think we learned a lot about this squad today. While we were on the wrong side of the score, our guys gave 100% out there, and we were literally in the game right up until the last horn sounded. That's a promising sign, and bodes well for contests throughout the rest of the season. Defensive Pressure - Much of the offseason was focused on rebuilding and retooling the front 7 into a 3-4, attacking defense. Based on today's game, I would say its working. We saw Porter make more plays today than he made all of last year. Ayodele was solid in the middle. We managed to sack the legendary Brett Favre 3 times - and we probably could have had a few, given the breaks of the game. I liked what I saw from the front seven. We still gave up a lot of rushing yards (112 yards, 3.6 ypc average), but this is a far cry from being gashed by teams in the running game last year. What I didn't Like Running Game - I was expecting to see a 2:1 run-pass ratio in this one, and that's really what we needed to do to keep it close. That said, we only ran the ball 17 times (once on a Ginn reverse) for a total of 49 yards, or 2.88 yards per carry. That's simply not going to get it done. Pennington chucked it a total of 43 times in the contest, which made our run-pass ratio end up at 1:2.53. Not good for a team whose weakness (across the board) is in the passing game. Neither Ronnie nor Ricky did anything of note; both came up with really poor games. Disappointing, considering this was supposed to be a strength going in. Offensive Line - The Jets managed to sack Pennington 4 times, and he was hurried throughout the game. One of my favorite players, Satele, was constantly blown up by Kris Jenkins and pushed backwards all day. Jenkins owned him throughout the game, which is disappointing because I had hoped working with Ferguson would help him improve against mammoth nose tackles (such as Jenkins). I was also surprised to see Jenkins play as well as he did, and for as long as he did, given that this is his first year in the 3-4. As for the #1 overall pick, Jake Long, he committed costly penalties on two potential first down scrambles by Pennington. I was expecting more from this unit, given the attention it received in the offseason, but 2.8 yards per carry and letting your QB take a pounding is a recipe for disaster. Standout Players Anthony Fasano - Anyone doubting the trade for Fasano in the offseason has to be pleased today. 8 catches, 84 yards, and a TD. Fasano came through today, time and time again, and it's clear that he has become Pennington’s safety valve. Great game for him. Really, both our TEs looked pretty good today, as Martin also contributed with 4 catches for 53 yards and a TD as well. Nice to see the Tight Ends step up in lieu of the Wide Receivers doing anything of note. With Fasano, it wasn't just the catches he made - it was the timing he had when making plays. They seemed to always come on third down, or when needed most. I don't want to harp on Henning's play calling too much - I think he's working to become familiar with the players, and that takes more than just a few games in preseason - but given Fasano's monster game up to that point, I am disappointed we didn't try to target him in the red zone on the last possession. Davone Bess - Bess had a nifty little 25 yard kick return that immediately reminded me of another former Dolphin. He also was drawing double coverage from the Jets in the red zone. That's a lot of respect for an undrafted rookie free agent. It's one game, but it's obvious that the play-making skill he was famous for in college can translate to the NFL. I'm excited we managed to steal this kid off of the free agent pile. Matt Roth / Phillip Merling / Kendall Langford - Roth and Langford both had sacks, while Merling came up with a huge play on third down that led to a Jets punt. Langford was also responsible for the third down stop that allowed the Miami offense to come back on the field with a chance to win the game. Matt Roth showed more heart in one game than we had seen in the previous 3 years. Standout Play: Roth whiffs on a chance to sack Favre, but comes back and makes a terrific strip of the ball. The move to OLB has been a revelation; we are finally seeing why he was a second round pick, and we're getting a chance to see the motor that everyone raved around in college. Invisible Players Wide Receivers (All) - Up until the final drive, our Wide Receiver core had managed a total of 2 catches for 25 yards. On the day, Camarillo led the WRs with a total of 3 catches for only 37 yards. Part of this may be due to play calling; I would have liked to see Ginn used more efficiently, with either some bubble screens or some underneath crossing routes. I thought our slot receivers would give the Jets linebackers some trouble in this game, but we didn't seem to attack the middle of the field at all. Revis made a great play on the final drive, but Ted Ginn has to do a better job reading the defense and adjusting accordingly. Revis had his way with him for pretty much the entire game, rendering him a non-factor. Chris Crocker/Andre Goodman - Favre really didn't test Will Allen or Yeremiah Bell all that often, but Chris Crocker and Andre Goodman both got burned to give up touchdowns. Goodman got absolutely toasted by Jerricho Cotchery (albeit Favre made a great fake), and Crocker allowed rookie WR Chris Stuckey to get behind him, which gave Favre the chance to chuck and pray on the fourth down TD throw. Granted, that was basically a sandlot hail mary, but the bottom line is our team allowed the Jets to score on it. It reminded me too much of Randy Moss against our secondary last year. Overall Thoughts Our team was down 20-7 going into the fourth quarter, and managed to play themselves back into the game, driving down to the Jets 2 yard line with a chance to win the game. For a team coming off a 1-15 season, the fact that they came back against a team like the Jets (current media darling and a possible playoff team) speaks volumes about the character and makeup of the team. I'm sorely disappointed we lost, but I felt like we learned a lot about this team today. Pennington was solid. Fasano stood out and made an impact. Our defense made some plays. Most importantly, this team never quit, and was in the game for all four quarters. Good effort, would have liked the win, but I'll take this as a starting point for the future.