Cordrea Tankersley was finally activated in Week 4 of his rookie season, and he was thrown right into a starting role. Considering this “trial by fire” approach, Tankersley played pretty well. He finished the day with five tackles and one pass defended that was almost a nice interception.
Brees went at the rookie cornerback seven times and only amassed 36 passing yards. However, Tankersely did allow one touchdown. Overall, PFF graded him as the 26th best cornerback with a 79.2, not bad for the rookies first start.
After an uncharacteristically average start to the season, Jones finally had his first good game of the season. He was the highest graded defensive player coming in at 81.2 (89.0 in run defense). A big reason that Miami’s run defense has seen such a dramatic improvement is Jones being back in the lineup after missing the majority of last year after injuring his shoulder against Pittsburgh.
He is currently the 5th ranked safety in run defense in the NFL. It should be fun to see what him and T.J. McDonald can do as a pair back there once McDonald is no longer under suspension.
Lawrence Timmons has had an, um, interesting couple of weeks. It was finally time to get back to business on Sunday and he made sure to make his presence felt. After New York and Los Angeles consistently capitalized on Mike Hull being in on passing downs, Timmons was finally available to come in and make sure the middle of the field isn’t the quarterbacks personal safety net.
Timmons allowed two of five passes to be completed against him for a total of 19 yards. He also recorded four stops and two quarterback hurries earning him a grade of 80.7, good for 13th among all linebackers in Week 4.
Jay Cutler followed up his forgettable Week 3 performance with an equally substandard Week 4 against a Saints secondary that ranked near the bottom in the league going into last week. It’s hard to tell if it is a product of the play calling, or the decision making from the quarterback. What is easy to tell is that the dink-and-dunk offense clearly isn’t working.
After having three completions of at least 20 yards against the Chargers in Week 2, Cutler has only one in the past two games combined. If this offense is going to get rolling, they need to start taking more shots down the field. He has the arm and Miami has multiple deep weapons in DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. It’s time to put the pieces together.
Getting benched in favor of a rookie is never good. Sure, he may have tweaked his hamstring during warm ups in London, but the writing was on the wall. Maxwell’s time is nearing an end in Miami. Unless he takes a huge paycut after this season, there is nothing justifying Maxwell being the fourth highest paid player on the team.
There is a chance that he turns his season around, as was the story last season. Maxwell played terrible in the first few games of the season, was subsequently benched, and then came back and played lights out the rest of the year. Even if that were to happen again, it still wouldn’t justify that kind of pay day.
Odds are that this is Maxwell’s last season as a Dolphin, he should try to end it on a high note so he can get a nice payday at his next stop.
The entire offensive line:
There is no dodging it, the offensive line has been bad this year. Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi hasn’t been able to find any holes in the run game, and Cutler hasn’t had any time to throw the ball. This has led to runs being blown up in the backfield, and Cutler constantly avoiding pressure and settling for short crossing routes and checkdowns instead of being able to go through his reads and let his routes develop.
The unit is ranked 25th in the league in pass blocking efficiency, and going into the week, only one of Miami’s offensive linemen graded above the level of “poor”, and that was Ja’wuan James. If this unit doesn’t get it’s act together soon, this will be a long and painful season for the Miami Dolphins.