Let’s take a look at the stats first:
Stats in Dolphins favor:
- Dolphins were better on 3rd down efficiency 4-12 vs Rams 3 for 13
- Dolphins had zero turnovers vs Rams 1 (although it seemed they turned it over frequently)
- Dolphins had 3 sacks to the Rams 2 (only a 3 yard difference in yards lost)
- Dolphins were only called for 5 penalties vs 12 called on the Rams (significant)
- Lengthen of punts. 54 vs Rams 45 (hurt Rams in field position)
- QB Rating (Tanehill was more accurate than Bradford)
Stats in Rams favor
- Rushing yards (Ram held Dolphins to 18 yards)
- Yards gained per rush
- Passing yards
- Yards gained per pass
- Total Yards gained
- Average gain per play
- Time of possession
- First Downs
The Rams out performed the Dolphins, but at times were sloppy, made penalties and mistakes at crucial moments, and were unproductive when it counted (mostly in the first half). In spite of this, had the Rams star field goal kicker (Zuerlein) made his missed attempts (52 yards and 37 yards out) in the first half, the Rams would have been in a position to win the game at the end.
The Dolphins’ first drive of the third quarter was unimpressive, but effective. The drive consisted of mostly short yardage passes and ended with a 1 yard TD pass to Fasano. The TD brought the score to 17-6 Dolphins. The Rams defense did their job for the rest of the 3rd quarter holding the Dolphins to 2 very short possessions. The Rams offense moved the ball to mid field on their 2 possessions, but had to kick it away.
Moving to the 4th quarter, the Rams take possession on their own 38 yard line with only about a minute eaten into the 4th quarter clock. It’s on this possession the Rams put together their best drive of the day. Except for Bradford completing a 26 yard pass to Richardson to the left; they really had to grind it out. A few rushing plays to Jackson, a pass to Gibson, and a short pass to Muligan and the Rams reach the Dolphins goal line. A one yard pass to Quick looks like a TD, but after review no score is given. Its 4th and 1 on the 1 yard line. Bradford takes matters into his own hands and runs a QB sneak. Sam stretches the ball across the goal line and is hit by an airborne freight train. He is bent over completely backwards, but pops to his feet knowing he got the TD. After a successful 2 point conversion (pass to SJ) it’s a 3 point game. Rams 14, Dolphins 17.
The defense managed to keep the Dolphins from scoring again, but the offense got the ball back with only 1:41 remaining in the game (Fisher made a big mistake here. Originally, the Rams had the ball around their own 5 yard line with 1:52 left on the clock. A flag had been called on Miami during the return and Fisher elected to rekick. 10 crucial seconds ran off the clock and a Rams penalty landed them on their own 3 yard line to start the drive). As the Rams had done all day long, they easily drove to the middle of the field. It seemed like there was time for another play, but Fisher let the clock run leaving only enough time for a possible game tying field goal. Problem is it would be a 66 yard attempt via a scattered rookie kicker. Well, I don’t need to tell you how this ended. Final score Rams 14, Dolphins 17.
This game was very frustrating at times and even though the Rams finished strong, it was too little too late. Hope is given due to the emerging talent of the Rams, but a strong reason for concern was evidenced due to a serious lack of discipline. The Rams go to 3-3 on the season and will begin to prepare for next week’s home contest against the Packers.