The score does not matter, it is preseason, but the Carolina Panthers won their second preseason game hosting the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins lost their second.
Fantasy Football is as important as the players who are looking to make a roster spot for either team. Fantasy owners, I introduce you to Christian McCaffrey. The second-year back had 120 yards from scrimmage in the first half, including a 71-yard touchdown run as Carolina defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-20 Friday night in a preseason game. McCaffrey had 92 yards rushing on five carries and caught four passes for 28 yards for Carolina (2-0).
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton overcame an early interception and two sacks by Robert Quinn to finish 9 of 12 for 89 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to speedy rookie tight end Ian Thomas to give Carolina a 13-9 lead before exiting near the end of the first half.
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill was a useful 14 of 17 for 100 yards despite playing without wide receivers DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills, but the Dolphins (0-2) struggled to finish drives and settled for three field goals in the first half. And issues with penalties seem to carry on from last season. Running back Kenyan Drake had 54 yards rushing on eight carries.
“We’re moving the ball, but we’re getting field goals,” Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said. “We had a great opportunity after a turnover to put it in the end zone, and we didn’t do it; we had negative plays (and penalties). We have a lot of things to clean up.”
I feel like I have heard this narrative before from Gase. Dolphins need to clean it up. Tannehill is back, and the Dolphins are keeping him safe from injury by not having him out for many plays, something the Dolphins do not want to risk before the games even count, which is fair. Again, the “negative plays and penalties,” need to get cleaned up.
Better yet, fix it.
The team with two preseason games played have been shooting themselves in the foot; it is a common theme. The Dolphins are running basic plays from their playbook similar plan to other NFL teams in the preseason; it is essential to improve on those plays and take the momentum into the regular season when you run the plays well.
The Dolphins are not successful in that area. Other NFL teams are getting the basic plays correctly. It is the preseason, there is more work to do, but the problem is you are committing mistakes with the necessary things now. By the time you get the necessary things right, other NFL teams have moved on to the more complicated portion of the playbook. If it is fixable, why has it not been fixed? It has been a familiar quote heard all last season without their starting quarterback.
Miami’s only touchdown came with 29 seconds left when fourth-string quarterback Bryce Petty scored on a 15-yard run.
Lastly, Dolphins players continue to be part of the National Anthem narrative. Wide receiver Albert Wilson took a knee, and Quinn held up his right hand during the national anthem. Last week in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay, Wilson kneeled, and Quinn stood and raised his right fist.
The beat goes on; Dolphins host the Baltimore Ravens for their third preseason game.