MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne #7 attempts a pass during a game against the Houston Texans at Sun Life Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
This sucked. Big time.
A loss is always disheartening - somewhat. Starting a season 0-2 is WITH BOTH LOSSES AT HOME is almost a "reach for the Prozac and a shot of J.D." kind of depressing.
HOWEVER, it is not yet time to throw in the towel.
I am not going to get all Pollyanna on you and tell you that roses are growing where the sun don't shine - seriously, how many teams start 0-2 and make the playoffs? Not many.
But, even so, a team is as good as their record and the season is far from over. The Fins could still conceivably finish out the season at 10-6, and that might be good enough for a wildcard spot, so let's not over analyze the record at this point.
Here is the point - even though they lost, there was *some* progress... but there was a lot that needs to be fixed also.
Last time, I tried to be positive and tried to address the good stuff first - but I'm just not in the mood to look optimistically at the Miami Dulphins at the moment - as the Japanese chef said to the lawyer - "Sosumi".
Let's talk about the stuff that pisses me off first:
#1 - COACHING!!!!
huh? What? Coaching? But I like Tony Sparano! We are peas in a pod! I mean, he seems like such a nice guy, and after all - he wears his sunglasses at night; in the day time, in a dome, in the shower, and (so I have heard, but this is not confirmed) in bed!
YES! - The Coaching! Come on folks.... The team got down in the red zone TWICE and came away with ZEEERO points. I could blame Dan Carpenter, but he should only have been working on 2 points out of a possible 14! You don't get down inside the five yard line and come away with no points MULTIPLE times and say it is the fault of the kicker! Yes! Carpenter choked. But we should have been looking at a 27 - 23 WIN with two TDs inside the redzone, rather than two failed Field Goals! Really? REALLY?!! They get down to the Houston 9 yard line with a 1st and Goal and can't get it in? Anyone remember the 1 yd goal line shutouts from last week? And then they push it down to the Houston 16 and come away with NOTHING?
Look, I know coaches coach and players execute, or not. But am I the only one who is starting to see a trend here? The Dolphins actually look decent on Offense - right up until they enter the REEEEDDD ZOOONNE!!!!!!! (said with an ominous bass echo effect).
My feeling is that if you have a problem with execution once, it is an accident, twice it is a coincidence, BUT THREE TIMES or more is a coaching issue! (just my opinion - this is in no way affiliated with the official opinion of the Republican Party).
But I digress.... let me just say that with a little better performance in the red zone, the Dolphins would be winners AND my girlfriend would have a higher opinion of me - but the two are not necessarily related.
Two more bitches (complaints, not female canine companions) - Defense was BETTER than last week, but not GOOD. Better! but they still got gashed for more big plays than they should be able to stomach without throwing up.
And Vontae (Vontea? Vontoy? Fanta? - geez, I can't ever get this right!) anyway, that dude that is the best CB in the NFL? He has skills for sure! and several other Dolphins Defenders have skills - honorable mention: JT, Will Allen, Reashad Jones...Rashed ..... Rashed.... crap... JONES! You know the guy! #20! anyhow, the Defense has players, and they have skills, but where is the PASS RUSH???? You got guys with talent, and yet you can not find a way to pressure the QB??? COACHING!!!! (wait, I said that already, right?)
Yeah, and Offensive line... they were offensive so I guess the did their job - NOT! Whet the HECK Fin Fans? We have a TON of individual talent there! HOW CAN YOU NOT MELD THAT INTO AN AT LEAST AVERAGE LINE??? Would I be being redundant to say COACHING???? Yes? Okay, never mind.
But they ARE BRINGING IN AN EXTRA O-LINEMAN ON HALF THE OFFENSIVE PLAYS? (okay, maybe not half, but enough that the announcers felt the need to continuously point it out.) Chad Henne was doing a good job of getting rid of the ball, but the line was not doing a good job of giving him time in the passing game or creating space in the running game.
AN EXTRA O-LINEMAN.... ARE WE ON THE SAME PAGE HERE?????
(deep breaths - 1...2....3......4.........5........ okay, I'm back....)
Okay, moving on before I bust a blood vessel in my brain....
Now that I got THAT off of my chest, let me talk about some of the positives.... (quick, call Ripley's, because believe it or not, there ARE some...)
First, the O-line actually DID do some decent things in the run game. Don't mistake this for positive criticism of the line, because after all the high round draft picks and Free Agent investments in this line, forgive me if I expect more....
Daniel Thomas looked GOOOOOOODDD.....!
and that don't happen without SOME kind of decent line play.
Daniel Thomas has some skills.... and whether those might be nunchaku skills, or bow hunting skills, or ramming the ball right into the teeth of the opposing Defenses skills, I can not currently state with confidence.... BUT, I think he might be worthy of his draft pick, and more!
Forget the fumble... pigs gotta fly, turkeys gotta swim, and rookies gotta fumble..... but this kid ain't no Shonn Greene (geez, please get a friggin name that I don't have to look up every time I write it!! - Who spells Sean like that?) I like this kid... He one-cuts-and goes, and he knocks guys back! I think he should be carrying the ball every week! (I am picking him up off waivers this week in FFball).
ALSO, I *LO VE* the fact that Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne seem to be gelling on the same page, even as Brian Hartline seems to be on some page written by an editor as a later insert in a post published revision. I mean seriously, doesn't it seem like he is dropping more than he catches? I mean, Clyde Gates, with his alligator arms, non-stick-em hands and all has a better chance of being a significant storyline than Hartline (is it just me or does Clyde Gates remind you of Clifford Franklin?). C'mon dude, either you are not spending the time in the playbook with Henne, or you just suck - which is it?
So B-Marsh is rockin' with Henne and I love it! This is GREAT news!!! Because every great team has an Alpha WR and QB relationship that works - and I actually SEE developing this with my own little eyes.
Look - 0-2 is no little hole to dig out of.... but we are not (as DolFans) about the quick fix right? But neither are we about hiring a line coach to take 5 years to fix the freaking Offensive line! Tony..... TONY!!!..... FIX IT!!!!!! NOW!!!!!!
Oh yeah, while the Defense kind of sucked with many of the plays against Houston being weak against both the run and the pass, they actually showed a lot of improvement with regards to being able to stay on the field for 3 or more quarters (without cramping or dehydrating) AND being able to get off the field on 3rd downs. The Miami Defense bent but didn't COMPLETELY break, and held the high-powered Houston Offense to 38% on third down conversion efficiency.
Come on Tony!!!!! - you are a line coach right? Fix the friggen O-line and everything else with work itself out!
Get it right or get a real job like the rest of us!!!!!!