A chance to claim their first winning season since 2008. A chance to keep control of their playoff destiny. A chance to change the national story line about the team. A second shot at a practice squad quarterback who beat you earlier in the year.
It was all on the table for the Miami Dolphins. And it was miserably and embarrassingly all thrown away by the Dolphins as they collapsed for the second time this year against the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills simply came out and smacked the Dolphins in the mouth, and Miami had no answer. They couldn't stop the run, allowing 203 yards on 51 carries. They couldn't stop the pass, giving up 187 yards on 15 completions. They couldn't take advantage of a 13-yard punt. They couldn't take advantage of a Nolan Carroll interception.
They couldn't take advantage of a 50-yard pass from Matt Moore to Brian Hartline in the fourth quarter. Moore, who was in for an injured Ryan Tannehill, threw an interception on the next play.
Things were simply ugly throughout the entire game. And, the Bills pitched their first shutout at Ralph Wilson Stadium since 2006 - also against the Dolphins.
Miami had 103 yards of total offense during the game. That was a 1.98 yards per play average. They had six first downs the entire day. Miserable.
The Dolphins were flat today. No one seemed to have any real urgency in a game that, should the Dolphins have won, could have locked them into the playoffs, or at least made it so a win at home next weekend would guarantee a playoff berth. Instead, they are hoping for a lot of help around the league
This game was simply a miserable beat down of the Dolphins and their fans. Last week, Miami beat the New England Patriots for the first time since 2009 and looked like a team peaking at the right time of year. Seven days later, and there's not an area of the team, from coaching to execution - save the 50.1 yards per punt Brandon Fields tallied on his ten, yes 10, punts - that does not deserve blame from this debacle.
Now, Miami is hoping for a Baltimore Raven loss to the Patriots later this afternoon in order to keep any sort of playoff hopes alive. Even if the do, though, will this be the same Dolphins team that shows up next week against the New York Jets?
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