Well, that was a long drive back for yours truly as I was able to make it up to the game in Detroit. Toledo is basically a construction battlefield on I-75 South, and getting stuck behind a massive wreck meant while I left Detroit around 4:30pm, I didn't make it home until 11pm, so needless to say, I didn't write this last night. Ford Field, albeit surprisingly small, is now the loudest stadium I've been to (includes other domes such as Reliant, RCA Dome and Lucas Oil). It was loud. Very loud. The Dolphins were well represented in Ford Field and generally Lions fans were very amicable towards me. If you ever visit Detroit and/or are a hockey fan, check out the HockeyTown USA Bar. It's right across the street from Comerica Park (Tigers), which is right next to Ford Field. *Ronin's note - I was sitting in the endzone in which Calvin Johnson hauled in his TD pass - so opposite the endzone where Detroit scored the game winner - so if I've missed something or saw it weird, my apologies. That said, I did get a great view of the O-line play and plays as they developed down the field. I'm mixing up the categories today to Good, Bad and Oh No...Here we go. Good - I think Kevin Coyle did a good job of adjusting and using multiple defenders to mitigate Calvin Johnson AFTER the long TD. He's an absolute freakazoid. Detroit warmed up in the endzone closest to me...some things he does, well he's the only one who can. Simply amazing hands. The one-handed INT that Grimes had is pretty much a routine catch for Calvin Johnson in warm-ups, so keep that in mind. - Dion Jordan, for my money, played his best game as a Dolphin. No, he's not a good pass-rusher, and I'm starting to doubt he ever will be. He gets some push in the bull-rush just as he's big and strong with those long arms, but he has NO moves. None. That said he played the run well, snuffed out a screen, knocked the ball out of Calvin Johnson's hands on the last possession in the endzone and nearly had a TD on the blocked field goal. Miami utilized a formation with Odrick at DE, Mitchell at 1T, Starks at 3T and Wake at DE with Jordan playing SAM LB, a la what Denver does with Von Miller. I could get behind this formation as Philip Wheeler, while he's been better, doesn't cover the ground that Jordan does. I'd be a little concerned with him there with OV at DE when teams run power at Jordan as a SAM LB, but I think you have to look at moving him there where he can do things other than rush the passer. He's just not good at it. - Brent Grimes was really good today. There wasn't anything else he could have done on that Calvin Johnson TD. Johnson made a ridiculous re-route, mid-stride, to get under that and Brent Grimes was STILL in good position...too bad he's only like 5'8". Yes, I know they list him at 5'10". He's not. Unbelievable INT and he did a nice job of limiting CJ the rest of the game. He even matched him on both sides of the field once Finnegan went out. - Cameron Wake is a stud. Is every week. He wrecked Larry Warford and LaAdrian Waddle. He abused Cornelius Lucas. He played the run pretty well. - Run defense. They started out slow and were giving up over 6 ypc to both Bell and Bush in the first half. Miami shut down the run in the 2nd half and held Detroit to 63 yards after allowing 42 in the first half. It's improving, and that's going to be important down the stretch. - Ja'Wuan James. It sucks that Branden Albert is done, but Ja'Wuan James is a left tackle in waiting. He's pretty smooth athletically and didn't have as much trouble with Ziggy Ansah as Albert did, which was surprising. - Tannehill, minus the AWFUL throw on the INT, which there was clearly a miscommunication on as Gator Hoskins didn't see that ball coming (that happened right in front of me), but that was still a poorly thrown ball; I thought he moved in the pocket well and made good decisions. He played well enough for Miami to have won the game. - Damien Williams. How in the world is this kid not getting the ball more consistently than Daniel Thomas? He was about the only spark Miami had other than Jarvis Landry. - Jarvis Landry. "Juice". Anyone else catch him one-hand the kickoff that went out the back of the endzone? This kid just makes things happen. Bad - The first two in this category go hand-in-hand. First, Bill Lazor's gameplan was not very good. He was unable to get Detroit off balance by moving Tannehill around, and while Detroit's LBs are blazing fast, the didn't try to get Tannehill involved with his legs very well, especially early. - The redzone play-calling and execution is BAD. Say what you want about Mike Sherman, but Miami scored TDs in the redzone with his offense. They have trouble with Bill Lazor's. I'm not sure whether it's not having a big back with power. That's not Lamar Miller. Damien Williams, despite being big, is better on the outside, and Daniel Thomas is what he is. But, Miami couldn't get guys open against Detroit. They struggled against San Diego, and this is going to hurt them down the stretch if they don't get this fixed fast. - Charles Clay. Oh, if you could have just hung onto that 3rd down pass. Tannehill saw that a tad late but the ball was there, in your hands... - Dallas Thomas, Samson Satele and Mike Pouncey were ALL absolutely BEASTED by Ndamukong Suh one-on-one at least twice. Pouncey...I've never seen him get thrown around like he did in the first quarter. Ever. I think he's clearly BOTH better and more comfortable at center. I think when Shelley Smith came in at LG, Satele and Pouncey were able to double Suh as Smith held his own against Mosley better than Dallas Thomas did at LG. That said, Dallas Thomas was serviceable at right tackle. Not bad. Not good. Certainly not great. But he was serviceable. More on this later. - Jimmy Wilson's jock strap is still somewhere in the middle of the Ford Field turf. He was abused by Golden Tate in the slot all day. - Jamar Taylor is tough to get a read on. He doesn't get beat deep or get fooled by double-moves the way Will Davis does, but I don't think he's able to process everything quickly enough right now. His technique is fine, and he's the most physical corner by a long shot, even more so than Finnegan, but he just can't see-and-go yet the way Grimes and Finnegan can. - I can't fault Reshad Jones too much on that final TD. He took a bad initial angle to cover Theo Riddick but got himself back into position. Matthew Stafford was essentially Brett Favre for one play throwing it against the grain, side-armed, falling away, and it was perfectly spiraled strike to where Riddick could make that catch. - I don't really have any issue with the timeouts on the last drive. If Miami had held them to a FG, they still would have had a chance to get into range for Sturgis to try a long, game-winner. Detroit simply made a good play and got lucky on that final drive. Calvin Johnson makes a catch not many receivers are big and tall enough to even reach for first down. Golden Tate's elbow was "golden" on that first down, and the refs missed Olivier Vernon darn near getting gang-raped on the final TD pass; how they don't call holding there is beyond me. - Joe Philbin may have the worst/most awkward running form I've ever seen. I'm being serious. Two-legged elephants move better. Holy cow. - To me, this game is more about poor offensive execution and personnel not meshing with the scheme on offense. I can't fault the defense too much, other than Miami needs better players in the secondary moving forward. The front seven is Super Bowl quality. I'd say Grimes and Jones are as well. Finnegan is good, but Delmas, Taylor, Wilson, Davis...they drag that unit down. Oh No... - While Miami may have discovered they have a left tackle in waiting in Ja'Wuan James, you're forced to put Dallas Thomas, presumably, at right tackle. He held his own against the likes of Jason Jones, George Johnson and Darryl Tapp. I don't know if you all noticed, but the next two games he'll be squaring off against Mario Williams and Von Miller. Yikes. - Anyone know what happened to Cortland Finnegan? I can't pinpoint when he was injured. - Of all the weeks to have a Thursday Night game, a massive, massive game, loaded with playoff implications - let's face it, a loss probably shuts Miami out of the playoffs all things considered - the Thursday game comes on the week Miami's the most beat up they've been all year. Crap. - I think Miami's got 3 main areas they're really going to have to dump resources into this offseason and two of them are areas which most on here seemed to think Miami was loaded at talent with. 1) Secondary. Grimes and Jones are fine. You certainly shouldn't have a reason to bring back Louis Delmas as a starter. Cortland Finnegan seems like low hanging fruit in terms of being a cap casualty. Will Davis is no good. Jamar Taylor is...I don't know...hopefully he can develop but that's an area of need. 2) O-line. Moving Pouncey back to C will help things. Getting Branden Albert back healthy is a key, but you really have to figure out what to do at guard. I think Billy Turner gets one spot, but until he's seeing game action, that's a question mark. You're delusional if your plan is to trot Daryn Colledge or Dallas Thomas out there, and Shelley Smith is just a guy. 3) Wide Receiver. That's more of a mess than it should be. Mike Wallace is overpaid and does not run good routes - that was plainly evident from my vantage point yesterday. Brian Hartline is overpaid and really seems checked out. Brandon Gibson is more low hanging fruit. Moving forward I think you're stuck with Wallace another year, but aside from that only having Landry and Matthews isn't enough; you're going to have to invest here. - The latter of these is a real eye-opener for me, as I'm starting to feel like this offense *can* be really good, but the personnel just doesn't matchup as best it should with respect to the receiver position. And, for what it's worth, if Melvin Gordon is on the board in round 1 when Miami's on the clock. Take him. Take him without question as he would fit PERFECTLY into this scheme and, while Lamar Miller is improving, Melvin Gordon is the prototype for this offense with a nose for the endzone. Overall, yesterday was a rough loss though not necessarily damaging in and of itself in terms of the playoffs and/or division. However, it's going to be rough moving forward without Branden Albert in the lineup because it means you're going to end up with Dallas Thomas or Nate Garner playing RT and the next two, CRUCIAL, games, that RT is going to draw Mario Williams and Von Miller. Brutal. Same if Finnegan is out for a lengthy chunk of time. The only solace I take from this is that I think the team will be pissed off when the review the tape of yesterday and see the missed opportunities they had - the overthrow to Wallace, Charles Clay not being able to hang onto a ball, poor play-calling, poor personnel groupings (Gator Hoskins as a hot route option? Really?), and missed tackles in the secondary (WILSON, Taylor, Delmas). This is a week that you're going to want to get back out there early from a players' standpoint (from a team standpoint, I'm anxious due to injuries with a Thursday-nighter looming) and essentially, like it or not, this game is probably a playoff eliminator if you lose. I'll be interested to see how the team responds. Good luck to us all on Thursday night, this is THE big one.