Welcome back to another installment of Stock Up Stock Down. In Week 2 of the NFL season, your Miami Dolphins lost a nail bitter to the Buffalo Bills 28-31 in a game where we had a lightning delay and truly felt like we were down more than we were. Let’s dive into what went well and not so well this week.
It’s hard to put into words how to quantify Solomon having a hell of a game due to us not cracking 100 yards rushing, but man, was he flashing all game. Him and Hunt is showing the tenacity to want to finish blocks consistently, which is a sight for sore eyes. Did you see him pulling on that Jordan Howard touchdownrun? I sure did.
A promising sign that a player is beginning to take the next step in his development is seeing them take advantage of favorable matchups. Going into this game, the Bills had ruled out their top 2 LB meaning Gesicki was going to be getting covered by 3rd and 4th string players consistently, and man did he take advantage. Gesicki was all over the field running crossers, digs, and even coming down with one hand catches. Gesicki finished his afternoon scoring a touchdown to bring it to within 3 points and totaling eight catches for 130 yards and the touchdown.
One of the position groups that I have been challenging the most to see more is the WR room. Sticking to the positive (that Preston drop on 4 th down was brutal) Isaiah took full advantage of the opportunities given to him and ended the day with seven catches for 76 yards. More importantly, than the stats was Isaiah being Fitz security blanket; anytime a 3rd down was needed to keep the game close, it was to either Mike Gesicki or Isaiah Ford.
After a dreadful Week 1 for Fitz, this was an excellent rebound game. In yet another week where we cannot crack 100 yards rushing, Fitzpatrick had to manufacture everything with a defense that had little to no respect (and rightfully so) for the run game. Fitz kept it close all game and willed us to within 3 points and onside kick from making this game go into potentially overtime. Fitzpatrick completed the afternoon with 328 yards throwing, two touchdowns with a 65% completion percentage. I threw all those numbers out to show that Fitz was not the problem , and Tua would make little to no change. It is frustrating to see the other rookies in Burrow and Herbert already playing, but Fitz has earned himself some breathing room this week.
Coming off a 16 tackle and impactful game, I was highly disappointed to feel Jerome becomes a ghost today. From 16 tackles to only five today, I am interested in the All 22 coming in to see if he was game planned to be taken away or if he didn’t bring the same intensity as Week 1. Overall a lackluster effort from the defense.
High Priced Free Agents:
I am really hoping the early indications are off, but man has every single high- priced free agent been a colossal waste of money. Byron will be excluded due to getting hurt early on in the game but everyone else has been terrible. KVN has missed multiple sacks in multiple games. Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah, Elandon Roberts were all signed to shore up the run defense and they have made no difference. Overall the defense has looked worse than the one that finished the year last season. Seems odd to come to that conclusion after all the money and draft capital that has been allocated to the defense.
A disturbing pattern in my Stock Up and Stock Down report has already shown itself in this young season, and that is the coaching staff making terrible decisions. Coming into the game, the coaching staff decided that Josh Allen was not going to beat us with his legs and made him a passer in the pocket. Josh took the challenge and torched the defense for a career-high 417 yards passing and four touchdowns.
The defense never adjusted to Josh throwing it all over the field until Stephon Diggs accumulated eight catches for 153 yards and a touchdown. After the game Xavien Howard was asked why Noah Igbinoghene was exclusively on Diggs getting torched for five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Xavien responded that the game plan called for Byron to shadow Diggs all game, and when he went down, they went next man up. The plan going into the game was not working, and just like the last game, there was no adjustment by the coaching staff. Eventually, the coaching staff is going to have to take responsibility for not only a terrible game plan but also not being willing to trash the plan and adjust to what is going on during the game.
This article was written by Juan Cardona. Follow him on Twitter at @exclusvty