Just when it looks like things are starting to turn around for the Miami Dolphins, they find another way to turn progression into regression.  For most of the second half in Miami’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, it appeared that the Dolphins were in control and on their way to a big win at home.  Unfortunately for the 70,875 fans in attendance at Sun Life Stadium, that changed in a hurry as the Dolphins lost a heartbreaker in (quite literally) the final seconds of the game.

Despite the loss, and the tragic nature in which it was bestowed upon Miami fans, there were still some positives to take away from the game.  In the hopes of taking some of the sting away from how the game went down, here are a few good things to focus on as the Dolphins continue on their quest to end the team’s 6-year playoff drought.

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Tannehill looked great…after halftime

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s Jekyll and Hyde ways continued on Sunday against Green Bay.  After his strong showing against the Raiders in London, Tannehill seemed to regress during the first half against the Packers.  He went 8-of-16 for 54 yards and threw two second quarter interceptions, prompting many fans to start clamoring for a halftime quarterback change.  The second half was a completely different story though, as Tannehill suddenly began looking like a top-tier QB again. He completed 12 of his 15 passes during the second half, throwing for 190 yards and adding a pair of touchdowns.  Until he can start playing that way game in and game out, Tannehill will continue facing the same scrutiny that he has been for most of his young career.

Cam Wake’s strong day

(Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Dolphins defense did a much better job against the Packers potent offense than most had anticipated. Miami’s defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage for most of the game, keeping Green Bay’s running backs in check while getting consistent pressure on Aaron Rodgers.  Wake, who hadn’t recorded a sack since Week 1 against the Patriots, finished the day with three tackles and 1.5 sacks.  He was also credited with three quarterback hits.

Jarvis Landry’s breakout game

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Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry has shown flashes of why he was considered a steal when he was selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but Sunday’s game against the Packers was the first time he put a complete game together.  Landry was a major contributor in both the return game and the passing game.  After Green Bay scored a touchdown on their opening drive, Landry returned the following kickoff 54 yards to steal some of the momentum away from the Packers.   He returned a second kick for an additional 37 yards, prompting Packers kicker Mason Crosby to kick away from Landry the rest of the game.  As a receiver, Landry led the Dolphins in both receptions and yards, finishing the game with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown, his first in the NFL.

Olivier Vernon has his best game of the season

While Cameron Wake was giving one side of the Packers’ offensive line problems, Olivier Vernon was doing just as much damage on the other side. Vernon finished the game with a season-high seven tackles, two of which went for a loss, and like Wake, came away with 1.5 sacks.  Vernon has been quietly playing well all season, recording sacks in three of the Dolphins five games.  He’s also making progress on a weekly basis when it comes to setting the edge and stopping the run, further proof that he’s developing into a Pro Bowl caliber defensive end.

Koa Misi and Reshad Jones play well in return

(Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

(Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Koa Misi hadn’t played since getting injured during the Dolphins Week 1 win over the New England Patriots.  Reshad Jones had to serve a four-game suspension and hadn’t played since Week 17 of the 2013 season.  Both returned to Miami’s defense and made big contributions, each recording nine tackles to lead the team.  Misi played extremely tough, showing no signs of being hampered by injury and looking like the defender that Dolphins fans were hoping to see when he was moved to middle linebacker during the offseason.  Jones was very active, sliding back into his role as Miami’s free safety, but there were a few blunders in coverage that will need to be ironed out as he get re-acclimated to his secondary teammates.

Watch Miami take on the Chicago Bears this Sunday on CBS4, your official Dolphins station! 

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