Positives * The defensive line controlled the Panthers for most of the day. They got good pressure on Cam Newton. They only came away with two sacks, but they pressured Newton into some bad decisions. * Credit has to Kevin Coyle for his defense scheme vs. the Panthers. The way he spied Newton and rushed Dion Jordan more was outstanding. The defense missed in some areas, but they did enough to win the game. * Nolan Carroll had a great game. Many people were discussing the fact that he and Ted Ginn were squaring off. Carroll got the most of the battle with 4 PD's and an interception. * Olivier Vernon was active. He had sack. He just missed another. He also ran down Newton and stopped him just short of a 1st down. * Cam Wake was tough today as was Randy Starks with his initial penetration. * Props to the defense after the offense turned the ball over on the first series. They forced the offense to a FG attempt that was blocked. * Ryan Tannehill was up against a strong defense. He did well considering. 310 yards, 1 TD and 1 Int. The Cover 2 could have gave him issues, but he looked off of receivers and made some plays. He also created with his legs...he was the team's leading rusher. * Mike Wallace. While some plays might have been left on the field, Wallace was pretty much the offense. He had 127 yards on 5 catches and a TD. 25.4 yards per catch. * Brian Hartline was solid with his route running. 78 yards on 5 catches. * Lamar Miller was solid as a pass receiver today. Turned out to be a good outlet. * Overall the pass protection was good. It helped that Carolina's best pass rusher was out, but so was Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito. They gave up three sacks and one coming at the end of the game. Pleasantly surprised. * It was good to see Mike Sherman moving the pocket and allowing some action to develop down field. * Dion Jordan got credit for a blocked FG attempt in the 1st quarter. * Caleb Sturgis returned to his preseason form on his kickoffs. He boomed them routinely out of the back of the end zone. * Punter Brandon Fields was able to keep the Panthers off of a short field. * Joe Philbin was outstanding with his challenges today. The challenge stating that Newton was shy of a first down forced a punt. A second half challenge kept a drive alive for the offense in attempt to run out the clock. Negatives * No points in the 2nd half * 7 straight games and no TD's in the 4th quarter * FG's in the Red Zone. 0-2 in the red area. * The defense did a terrible job finishing the 1st half. They allowed the Panthers to get into FG range and steal 3 points. * Right out of the half, Carolina drives for a TD, cutting the lead to 3. * The 4 minute drill to try to ice the game ended up failing. Incomplete passes, penalties and bad running led to the Fins having to punt the ball with enough time for the Panthers to come back * 4th and 10, Carolina goes for it and Newton hits Steve Smith for a first down. The Panthers drove for the game winning TD later on. * Poor tackling on the Mike Tolbert run. * Reshad Jones personal foul on Newton on the final drive. * Turnover differential was 1 to 1. Not good enough against a team with supposed better talent. For the Fins to win, they must win the TO battle. * Ryan Tannehill had a tipped interception on the first drive of the game. * RT was inaccurate on balls to Wallace (overthrow) and a loft to Charles Clay over the top of the Panthers D. * RT took as sack (on a drive near the end of the 3rd/beginning of 4th) that got the team off schedule. It was a 3 step drop. The ball needed to come out. * Mike Wallace dropping a desperation heavy on the next to last play of the game that would have won the game for the Fins. * Rishard Matthews was bad today. Albeit he got leveled in the end zone, he did not hold on to perfect pass that would have been a TD. He was not alert on a pass that whizzed by his head in the Red Zone. Tough game for Matthews. * Negative runs in the run game. They took the team off of schedule. * Miami's top two RB's had a grand total of 16 yards. * The offense was 4-16 on 3rd down. * Ted Ginn long punt return. * Brandon Fields sailed his last punt in the end zone setting up the Panthers at the 20. * Terrible clock management by Joe Philbin. I sincerely believe that he though the Panthers were going to settle for 3 and wanted time on offense to win it. All it did was give the Panthers more time, organization and reason to score a TD. Miami ended up having no timeouts with just over 40 seconds remaining. Philbin should have kept his timeouts unless they got in close to the end zone. Perhaps they would have been forced to kick a field goal based on the time of the game if he had let the clock run. * I disliked the call of attempting a 52 yarder in the 4th quarter. The kick was not close. I would have gone for it and not yielded the field position. It was very questionable decision and brutal miss. * The flag pick up on Luke Kuechly's hit on Matthews at the end of the half was awful. It would have set up a goal to go situation and a possible TD. The Panthers probably do not get a chance to tack on 3 points if the Miami drive was extended. Terrible job by the referees. * Fox was very late with replays for the viewer that ended up being changed on the field. Shabby broadcast. Overall Assessment * The Miami Dolphins under Joe Philbin are mentally weak and lack a killer instinct. Whether it was finishing in the Red Zone, finishing the half, trying to end the game on a 4 minute drill or trying to stop the Panthers from converting a 4th and 10, Miami consistently does not come through. Teams reflect their head coach on the field. Joe Philbin is not getting it done as the HC. * What goes on at half time to have the Dolphins come out and be bad for the 2nd half? That is squarely on the coaching staff and the HC. * No points in the 2nd half and no TD's in the 4th quarter for 7 straight games. Who is responsible for that? * With that said, I was impressed that the team did not seem to be affected by the Ted Wells investigation. The team seemed focused and that is a credit to the staff and players. * Even though the defense let up 3 right before the half and the eventual game winning TD late, I cannot blame them for the loss. The offense needed to do just a bit more and could not. * I feel for Sam Brenner. He was doing okay and looks like he got hurt bad. Tough break. * Danny Watkins was inactive today? What is happening with him? * Getting Mike Pouncey back is a must for the month of December * Marcus Thigpen is really becoming ineffective as a kick and punt returner. * The Panthers got a gutsy win after two huge wins versus the 49ers and Patriots. That was an example of being mentally tough, people. * Cam Newton did not have his best stuff today, but found a way to win. * Kuechly is one lucky MLB. That was a penalty last week on Monday Night and should have been penalized again on the hit on Matthews. * With all of this being said...and I am so frustrated, this game does not mean as much as the next two, starting next week in New York. EVERYTHING Miami wants to accomplish is still ahead of them. With gobs of 5-6 teams kicking around, it is about surviving and advancing. It is about garnering tie breakers versus teams around them. Obviously, a win would have helped the overall record today. However, it does not change the fact that Miami is still in the wild card hunt with the other teams. It is time for the Joe Philbin to give proper direction of this team and for the leaders of the team to start making game altering plays. It is STILL in front of the Dolphins...and it starts next week versus the New York Jets.