Home > Game Tape, NFL > Tale of the Tape: NFL Week 2 — Dolphins at Vikings

Tale of the Tape: NFL Week 2 — Dolphins at Vikings

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A LiveBall Sports Game Tape Review.

  • This game was dominated by both defense.  Ultimately, the Vikings defense had more weaknesses exposed than the Dolphins did.
  • Both offenses had one catastrophic turnover each that directly led to seven points for the opposition.  In a 14-10 game, that means that most of the scoring in the game was due entirely to offensive gaffes (read: fumbles inside own five).
  • I greatly enjoyed Jared Allen looking to find the line of scrimmage after tackling Chad Henne before he decides whether to do his sack dance.  Allen was only a factor in this game when Henne stepped up in the pocket.  Big time MVP performance by Jake Long.
  • The Dolphins started Paul Soliai at nose tackle in this game.  He’s no great shakes.  The Vikings were able to create running lanes when and only when C John Sullivan handled Soliai one on one.  Sullivan is an average center at best.
  • What the Dolphins did in run defense in this game was very impressive.  They sealed all gaps and won at the line of scrimmage.
  • The Vikings had success pulling their guards when Sullivan was able to control the middle.  At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Vikings finally got something going on the ground.  When they got into Dolphin territory on the back of the running game, they threw two out of three plays for nine yards.
  • The Dolphins defense is a strength, but there are two main issues with it.  First, very limited team speed outside of Vontae Davis.  You need to make the Dolphins D run and run and run.  Secondly, they rotate their ILBs pretty liberally, but only Karlos Dansby and Channing Crowder can play in this defensive scheme.  Tim Dobbins is a notably bad defensive player.
  • Bobby Carpenter was part of that problem, but he had a big stop on the goal line stand at the end of the game.  I feel like every defense needs a fourth LB who specializes in goal line play, and if Carpenter can be that guy, he can survive in this league.
  • Dolphins DL Randy Starks, who started at nose in Week 1, is the best defensive player you’ve never heard of.  He was unblockable in this game, although neither Steve Hutchinson or Bryant McKinnie is a premier lineman at this point.
  • Phil Loadholt might be the best tackle on the Vikings, but he’s going to be seeing Cameron Wake in his sleep for weeks.  This was a notable mismatch.
  • Adrian Peterson looks as good as I’ve ever seen him.  He’s patient, explosive, and though the Vikings OL really rose to the challenge posed by the Dolphins run defense in this game, I don’t think Toby Gerhart (for example) would have anywhere near the success Peterson had with the same 28 carries.  There is no chance the Vikings come back to make the playoffs without giving Peterson 350 or more carries this season.
  • Ultimately on a fourth and one run call that the Vikings needed to get, they neither put it in Favre’s hands on a quick sneak, nor did they get it to Peterson.  They handed to FB Tahi, who didn’t get back to the line of scrimmage.  Luckily, the Vikings benefitted from a make-up call on the spot, but the Brad Childress/Darrell Bevell playcalling duo is another liability the Vikings will have to overcome.
  • As good as I think Chad Henne can be in this league, the Dolphins are still a rush heavy offense.  But in this game, both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown lost fumbles.  Both of the fumbles came on the first play following Favre INTs.
  • On the drive at the end of the game where the Dolphins made the goal line stand: Favre, 0 pass attempts, Karlos Dansby, 2 defeats.  Whose FA money was more valuable when it counted, Dolphins or Vikings?
  • I didn’t like the 3rd and goal playcall from the Vikings.  You need four yards in two plays.  They actually got three yards, setting up fourth and goal at the one.  I think you have a better chance to score with two throws than two runs or a run and a pass.
  • The Dolphins OL was better than the Vikings DL in this game, however, the Dolphins offense was a non-factor in this game.  They scored on the opening drive, and never so much as a field goal the rest of the game.
  • A note about 2006 1st round former “bust” Jason Allen: a sufficient domination of Bernard Berrian all game long, freeing 2nd year corner Sean Smith to cover the bigger, less explosive players such as Vishanthe Shiancoe in the slot.  The Vikings needed Berrian to win that match-up and he simply did not. Last year with Rice, that’s not even a contest.
  • Vontae Davis had Percy Harvin blanketed most of the game.  Harvin had two false starts, inexcusable for a wide receiver, albeit one who is never able to practice.  Best throws for Favre in this game: seam routes vs. Dolphins LBs and safeties.  The most improved unit on the Dolphins is their corners.
  • Brandon Marshall went for 46 yards on the first play from scrimmage, setting up the eventual TD.  After that day, he had 3 catches for 25 yards, and the Dolphins had no running game to speak of all day to attribute to fear of Marshall in coverage.
  • Ultimately, the Dolphins are an execution-based offense who is going to struggle to create big plays.  They had two big plays in this game: the first play from scrimmage and Ronnie Brown’s 51 yard run.  That run was created by Kevin Williams being too aggressive on the one yard line hunting a safety, allowing Richie Incognito to wall him off and created a huge hole for LB Chad Greenway to fill.  Greenway was de-cleated by the fullback.
  • Marshall does not ever line up in the slot for the Dolphins like he did most of last year.  Dolphins a multiple pro-style offense, rarely with more than two WRs.  Davone Bess is the slot receiver when they spread it out.
  • Dolphins are going to be a force, if their RBs can execute and hold onto the football.
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