Well, that didn’t take long. After a promising but illusory two game stretch against the dysfunctional Jets and the Jacoby Brissett-less Colts, which threatened to derail Miami’s critical first draft of their rebuilding process, the Buffalo Bills came to town and threw cold water on the notion that this team is just a few players away.
Outside of DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant, not many guys played very well in this game, and the offensive line was, as usual, a mess but what was particularly disappointing to me was the way the Dolphins’ front seven on defense was manhandled by the Bills all afternoon. That third year man Raekwon McMillan and waiver wire acquisition Taco Charlton weren’t available helps mitigate the poor showing to some extent, but Chris Grier and his staff know they must do much, much better next season.
You’d think Miami would have learned by now that you just don’t take a 4-3 defensive tackle and line him on on the nose in a two gap system. That didn’t work with Randy Starks eight years ago and it’s not working with Davon Godcheaux now. Then again, 2011 was two or three regimes ago. Buffalo racked up more than four hundred yards of total offense, and the 37 points they hung on the Dolphin defense gives Miami an NFL worst 305 points allowed in ten games. That’s right -- they’re giving up an average of thirty points a game. On the bright side, first round rookie Christian Wilkins has been as good as advertised, and he has yet to hit that notorious rookie ‘wall’ that is often talked about. If he stays healthy, he should be a fixture on Miami’s defensive front for years to come. I don’t care if he’s 24 years old; he’s a good player, and the Dolphins need all the good players they can get.
Look for the team to select plenty of defensive linemen and linebackers in the draft, as they continue to retool their front seven to a base 3-4/3-3-5/3-2-6 alignment. After several weeks of seeing their draft capital decrease in value, all three of the Dolphins’ first round picks moved up a little bit, and the fan confidence poll earlier in the week revealed exactly what I’ve believed for a long time, that the majority of fans would much rather see the team’s draft picks be as valuable and sought after as possible than to see them winning relatively meaningless games. We’ve got some passionate fans here on both sides of the debate, and that’s okay. At the end of the day, we’re all rooting for the same team; let’s not forget that.