The good news for the Dolphins was that rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill got through his starting debut without a turnover, and actually got them into the end zone.
The bad news is that he was nearly the extent of the good news.
The Dolphins had some serious issues last night at Carolina, primarily on the side of the ball they thought they’d be able to lean on.
Playing without Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett, the Dolphins defense allowed 295 yards in the first half to the Panthers starters.
“Our first defense hasn’t got off the field in preseason yet,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said at halftime, via Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
As concerning is the fact the Dolphins didn’t give Tannehill nearly enough help.
There may not be a starting receiver on the roster, although they’ll have to roll out a pair of them. Legedu Naanee has been said to have had a good camp, but he showed no evidence of appearing in the stadium in which he played for the Panthers last year. Likewise, Roberto Wallace failed to assert himself, and there were several drops.
As they begin to actually game plan, both should stabilize. The defense isn’t going to get strafed like last night when Wake returns, and occasionally running the ball when not trying to evaluate a rookie quarterback will open some things up.
But at the moment, playing said rookie quarterback appears to be the least of their problems.