Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints: Live Grades and Analysis for Miami

Thomas GaliciaContributor IISeptember 30, 2013

Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) fumbles the ball as he is tackled by New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

The Miami Dolphins were taken to the woodshed at the Superdome by the New Orleans Saints, losing by the final score of 38-17. 

New Orleans moves on to 4-0, while the Dolphins have lost their first game of the season. 

Here's a look at the final grades and analysis of a game that the Dolphins and their fans would like to forget. 

Game Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: Ryan Tannehill started off the game fairly well, but as the turnovers piled up, it seemed like his confidence started to waiver. Thus far, it's his worst game of the season, but based off of how he bounced back on the beautiful touchdown pass to Charles Clay in the fourth quarter, I'm confident when I say this: He will bounce back against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. 

I must also mention that his last interception is on the offensive line, for it was Tannehill getting hit that caused the interception. 

Run Offense: The Dolphins running game worked well when in use and would've been more effective had they had a lead at any point in the game. Lamar Miller ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and he should get double the amount of carries against Baltimore. 

Run Defense: The Dolphins run defense was the best part of the game, holding New Orleans to only 68 yards on the ground. 

Pass Defense: They did play the Saints, and the Saints were able to turn in a vintage Drew Brees performance. Yes, it deserves a low grade, but please remember the opponent. 

Special Teams: The best overall positional unit of the game. 

Coaching: I liked a lot of what Miami's coaching staff was trying to do in this game. They took risks in play-calling, and when they did, it tended to work. The problem was with the players and their execution of the plans, especially Tannehill. 

Despite how bad this game was, I'm still feeling good about the Dolphins so far this season. This game will be a learning moment for the team and the coaching staff. 

Now onto focusing on Baltimore, a game Miami should (and will) win. I'll explain why and how come Thursday. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Lamar Miller #26 of the Miami Dolphins runs for yards against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 30, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: Up until the final offensive drive of the half, it was going well for Tannehill when it comes to passing the ball, as he's gone 9-of-13 for 128 yards and an interception. But that interception was a killer. Save for a dropped pass by Mike Wallace, Miami's receivers have played well throughout the game, giving Tannehill plenty of yards after the catch. 

Run Offense: This is what the Dolphins run offense is capable of. Lamar Miller already has 55 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, while Tannehill's only blemish as a runner was a fumble (next time, Ryan, slide). The blocking up front has been excellent as well. 

Run Defense: The only running back who's burning the Dolphins has been Darren Sproles, but that's mostly been from the passing game. Running-wise, the Dolphins are dominating at the line of scrimmage, only allowing the Saints to run for 10 yards on eight attempts. 

Pass Defense: Drew Brees has done Drew Brees things, but the only player who has really gashed the Dolphins has been Sproles. Outside of him, the Saints offense has been awfully quiet. 

Special Teams: Brandon Fields has gotten off some good punts, and Caleb Sturgis hit his field goal and has kicked the ball off well so far. 

Coaching: I can only complain about one play call here, and that is the one on 3rd-and-inches in the red zone on the first offensive drive of the game. Other than that, offensively I've liked Mike Sherman's game plan. 

As for Kevin Coyle's game plan, it looked bad on the first drive, but he has made the necessary adjustments. Other than Sproles, the defense has been very effective.