5 Instant Takeaways from Miami Dolphins loss to New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints cornerback Ken Crawley, right, intercepts a pass intended for Miami Dolphins tight end Julius Thomas in an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON — The Dolphins came a long way to not go very far at all.

What a miserable offensive disaster on a cold, raw, afternoon in England.

Here are 5 instant takeaways:

  1. This is a tired team. Head coach Adam Gase is unlikely to make excuses, but we can. These players are exhausted. And how could they not be? It’s hard to imagine Miami will be playing like this in three or four weeks. I’m going to say that a 1-2 start is not as disastrous as it seems at the moment. These players need a home game. They need a full week of home practice. They need rest.
  2. Jay Cutler’s still a bit rusty. Cutler looked pretty good on Miami’s first drive. But then he threw a pass to Julius Thomas – that may have been his first mistake — that wasn’t very good. And Thomas didn’t help him out. And it was intercepted in the end zone. Cutler also fumbled on a sack though Miami recovered. It is fair to wonder if Ryan Tannehill would have been steering a more effective offense. Of course he would have.
  3. Gase tried to be creative. On the first drive, Gase pulled out all the stops. Read zone. Wildcat. In the first two drives we saw Jakeem Grant and Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake and even Leonte Carroo. Surely Gase wanted to keep players fresh and mix it up and get his and his team’s creative juices flowing. It just didn’t pay the dividends he had hoped. Gase may blow a gasket in this post-game.
  4. Cordrea Tankersley isn’t prime Darrelle Revis yet. Tankersley has some potential. He’s athletic. He’s strong. He’s determined. He can be physical. But he’s raw, in the same way Tony Lippett was when he took over for a benched Byron Maxwell last season. It was a bold move by Gase and defensive coordinator Matt Burke, for sure, even if perhaps Alterraun Verner could have or would have or might have started had he been healthier. It will be fascinating to see where Maxwell’s season goes from here.
  5. Miami’s guard play needs to be better. Yes, overall, the offensive line play needs to better. But in particular guards Anthony Steen, Jesse Davis and Jermon Bushrod need to be better. There aren’t enough running lanes for Jay Ajayi. There is too much pressure on Cutler. It comes from the edge, yes. But too much has been coming through the middle of Miami’s offense, blowing up plays before they begin.

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