If Sunday was the last game to be played in San Diego, the hometown Chargers left the fans with a good memory. The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, may as well have not even shown up. Well, with the way the team played, they may not have actually shown up. A 30-14 beatdown by a 3-10 team pretty much sums up this miserable Dolphins season.
The Dolphins saw little go right for them on Sunday. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill finished the game 20-for-34 for 216 yards. Running back Lamar Miller carried the ball nine times for 12 yards, while Jay Ajayi added 27 yards on six carries. Both Tannehill and Ajayi scored touchdowns on running plays. Wide receiver DeVante Parker caught four passes for 87 yards, while Jarvis Landry caught eight passes for 54 yards. Landry broke the team record for receptions in a single season with his second reception in the game. Safety Michael Thomas recorded 14 tackles, while Olivier Vernon and Ndamukong Suh split a sack. Reshad Jones and Brent Grimes each recorded an interception.
None of those were good enough. San Diego's Philip Rivers was 26-for-36 for 311 yards with 3 touchdowns and the 2 interceptions. Donald Browns carried the ball 12 times for 90 yards, with Melvin Gordon adding 41 yards on 15 carries and Danny Woodhead picked up 10 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries. Tight end Antonio Gates caught six passes for 88 yards, while Woodhead picked up 50 yards and three touchdowns on six receptions. Jeremiah Attaochu recorded eight tackles and a sack, with Melvin Ingram adding two more sacks.
The Dolphins also went through their entire offensive line on Sunday, with injuries to Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey forcing the team to adjust the line, then re-adjust it when that was not working, then adjust the re-adjustment. By the end of the game, the offensive line consisted of left tackle Ulrick John, left guard Dallas Thomas, center Jamil Douglas, right guard Billy Turner, and right tackle Jason Fox.
The lack of any depth for Miami came back to bite them on Sunday, maybe harder than it has at any point this season. The is no excuse for the terrible performance put on by the Dolphins, and there, really, is no excuse for the lack of depth, but it is an explanation for part of what we saw on Sunday. The Dolphins released reserve offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach this week when they promoted Logan Thomas off the practice squad. Linkenbach was at the game and could have been a lot of help for the Dolphins - if he was not there as a member of the Chargers now.
Only two active players did not make an appearance in the game: quarterback Matt Moore and cornerback Jamar Taylor. Moore not getting playing time makes sense, given that Tannehill does not come out of games, no matter how many times he gets crushed (6 hits and the 3 sacks). Taylor not seeing playing time in a game in which the score was so extremely lopsided and Rivers was doing just about anything he wanted demonstrates just how far out of favor the Dolphins' 2013 second-round pick.
The Dolphins are clearly ready to get to the end of the season. They are in need of a new direction and they are in need of new blood. There is going to be plenty of turnover after this season, and there is plenty of turnover that is needed after this season. Unfortunately for the Dolphins players, the game the majority of the players just put on film (and there were some good performances, especially from Reshad Jones and Olivier Vernon) is not going to do them any favors to a new coaching staff.