ReFo: Dolphins @ Raiders, Week 4

The Dolphins won as the away team in the first of three games this season in Wembley. Michael Renner takes a look at the players who struggled and exceled in ...

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Dolphins @ Raiders, Week 4

2014-REFO-WK04-MIA@OAK5,362 miles from Oakland, the Raiders ‘hosted’ the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday. The Dolphins, however, were rude guests as they dominated from start to finish with a 38-14 cakewalk victory.

A trip across the pond was Miami’s perfect tonic to a tumultuous week which started with over-reactions to a couple of demoralizing defeats, as the offense took a huge step forward. For Oakland the rebuild continues, but the patience of all those involved is wearing thin.

Let’s take a look at the performances that made it so.

Miami Dolphins – Performances of Note

Jelani Jenkins, LB: +3.3

Breakdown: Jenkins didn’t stuff the stat sheet on Sunday like he has in past weeks, but he quietly managed his highest-graded game of his career. The second-year outside linebacker was assignment sure and played mistake-free football with no missed tackles. Jenkins was quick to react when the Raiders ran power and stacked the lead blocker in the hole on multiple occasions. It’s safe to say that he’s no fluke at this point with four straight games graded in the green.

Signature Stat: Jenkins’ +8.0 overall grade is the highest among all 4-3 outside linebackers this season.

The Starting Secondary: +6.8 combined

Breakdown: You can’t ask for much more from your starting secondary. Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan, Louis Delmas, and Jimmy Wilson would all grade positively against both the run and pass on Sunday. Maybe the best news is that the four combined for just one missed tackle on the day (Finnegan) after missing an absurd 10 against the Chiefs.

Signature Stat: Raiders quarterbacks had a passer rating of 55.3 when targeting these four.

Ryan Tannehill, QB: +4.8

Breakdown: It was a surgical performance for the Dolphins’ pass master. Chastised this week for his lack of accuracy against Kansas City, Tannhill went and had the most accurate game of his career. The Dolphins quarterback was on the mark for 26 of his 30 targeted passes including a ridiculous 9-of-11 on throws 10+ yards downfield.

Signature Play: With 1:56 left in the first quarter, Tannehill saw Brian Hartline get a step on a seam route with Chimdi Chekwa trailing in man coverage and the quarterback fired a strike 23 yards in stride for a first down.

Oakland Raiders – Performances of Note

Derek Carr, QB: -1.8

Breakdown: Considering the matchup, Carr’s overall performance could have been a lot worse. The Dolphins had our top-rated pass rush heading into the week and their pressure is enough to ruin the confidence of the most seasoned veteran. Carr counteracted the rush by getting the ball out of his hands very quickly with an average time to throw of 2.16 seconds; his quickest of the season. In his haste to avoid the rush, though, Carr forced a few throws into coverage and his grade suffered because of it.

Signature Play: At Q2-13:33 the protection scheme broke down and left a free blitzer off the edge. Carr recognized it quickly and immediately checked to Darren McFadden in the flat. Carr failed to recognize Jared Odrick upfield in the passing lane, though, and planted one right in Odrick’s chest. Odrick wouldn’t hang on, but that doesn’t change the extremely poor quality of the decision.

Chimdi Chekwa, CB: -2.5

Breakdown: There were negatives littered all over the Raiders secondary, but no one took it on the chin worse than Chekwa. In just 16 coverage snaps he managed to allow all four targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. On that touchdown, an early second quarter wide screen to Mike Wallace, it’s hard to fault Chekwa too much as the scheme put him in a position to fail. The Raiders lined up just two defensive backs over a trips bunch and expected them to defend the screen. The same thing would happen to the Raiders two more times at Q2-4:28 and at Q3-2:28.

Signature Stat: Chekwa’s 5.2 yards per coverage snap was the worst of any cornerback this week.

Khalil Mack, LB: +2.3

Breakdown: Mack has quickly put his name onto the list of the league’s premier edge defenders against the run. The rookie just doesn’t ever get locked in to a block and if he gets caught peaking in the wrong gap, he quickly maneuvers to win in the correct one. Even with two late missed tackles, Mack still made three run stops Sunday to add to his position high total of 11 for the season.

Signature Play: With 7:49 left in the first quarter, the Dolphins ran an outside zone play towards Mack’s side, bad idea. With a simple hesitation, Mack dove inside left tackle Branden Albert, blowing up the play and making the tackle for no gain.

PFF Game Ball

Not named the starter earlier in the week, Ryan Tannehill responded with his best game of the season and earned himself a PFF game ball.


Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Grave Walker

    Great game by the fins. While I’m not saying the Dolphins are great, people need to realize this is a new offense and as the season progresses everyone will continue to get more comfortable. That said, we cannot have repeat performances of KC and Buffalo as they were putrid.

    • corners

      Personally i think less contact practices has been bad overall for the NFL as a whole. More injuries, horrible play the firs few weeks for a lot of teams.

      One contact practice or less per week in a season is just not enough to get ready for 60 minutes of contact football.

      Kids in highschool practice harder.

      Go phins. Im still not sold after the last 2 losses. The raiders could be called the worst team in the NFL right now ,so im not hanging much on this blow out.

      • Aethelred

        Used to be, men were men and practiced more than teenage boys. Men know the only way to prevent injuries due to contact is more contact, especially for head injuries. No surprise, concussions back then a once-a-year thing, if that; nowadays, it seems like there’s between one and more than one per 30 minutes of each half. That is also why we are seeing many teams play poorly to start the season. That just did not happen in the past.

        You might say the Raiders are one of these teams. And certainly, after beating them, the Dolphins are possibly not.

        • Chris

          More hitting equals less concussions? LOL

          The reason there is more concussions now is we know more about them and we understand how bad they are so we actually sit players out when they have symptoms. Back then they just kept playing and doing more and more damage and that’s why they now have early onset dementia and nerve damage.

          I agree 100% that less contact practices leads to sloppier play come the start of the season, but come on man more hitting your head equals less injuries??

          • Aethelred

            Everything you said is absolutely correct. I was just trying to poke a little fun at the comment above mine. In all seriousness though, do you know if there’s any evidence for increasingly sloppy early-season play aside from the eyeball test? I’m not trying to argue, I’m genuinely curious.

          • Chris

            It’s the same with most any physical activity. The best way to prepare is by practicing full speed. Players need full speed reps to build muscle memory and consistency, and teams need full speed reps to build chemistry and cohesiveness.

            I agree 100% in that it teams need a few weeks to really get going because they don’t get enough full speed reps in the offseason. Especially so for those putting in new schemes on offense/defense.

  • davathon

    What a great surprise Jelani Jenkins has been. When all of your starting LBs go down with injuries, you figure it’s big trouble. It’s about time the Phins hit on a mid round draft pick.