I try to write catchy headlines to separate myself from other writers. I feel that a funny headline will hook in a reader instead of going the traditional newspaper route of being bland or even worse, using an obvious pun that’s a real knee slapper. With this headline, I made it so that anyone with even a rudimentary understanding about the history of the Miami Dolphins would know exactly how this game unfolded. The Dolphins were in the game but ultimately didn’t have what it takes to win. Story of for the most part of my 28 years of being a Dolphin’s fan.
I wrote after the week one game against the Patriots, that now was not the time to open your hearts and let the hate out. I said you need to give it at least another four weeks before you can start dawning the “classic or typical Dolphins” mantra after a loss. Well, we’re one more week away from when my decree comes into motion. If the Dolphins put up another effort where they play hard but still can’t figure out a way to close, go right ahead and bash, call out anyone you want. I won’t be doing that, but I told you that you had to wait a month before exercising your right to sports hate and I am a man of my word.
One thing I want to get cleared up before I get into what I saw from yesterday’s contest, is this idea that we should feel good about what’s going on because at this point last year the Dolphins were getting housed by about 25 points a game. My response to that is you are right, but that team was designed to lose. That can’t be refuted enough. The administration, not the players, I repeat the administration, not the players, were not looking to win games so that they can land Tua. That’s not hard to grasp after they traded Tunsil and Minkah when they did along with several others move that screamed don’t win too many games.
This year, the Dolphins are looking to win games. We can debate if this is really the year that the team is looking to hoist a Lombardi or if it’s next year all we want. The fact remains that with all the money and draft picks that have been put on this roster, this current Dolphin’s team, including the administration, are expecting more wins. Not close, but tough losses. Wins
I also wrote last week that yesterday’s game against Seattle was a defining game for the franchise. If the Dolphins won, then they could have convinced themselves that they could go on a run. I guess that still can happen but I highly doubt it. Losing against Seattle just keeps Miami in that purgatory world where they fight, have a few moments that excite us, and always have a time in the second half where if they get just one stop and a score they’ll take the lead for good. That’s, currently, where the Dolphins reside. It’s where they’ve resided for the better part of two decades. Here’s what I saw from yesterday’s game.
Let us start with the Hawaiian elephant in the room. Fitzpatrick had a very uneventful game where he simply couldn’t make any plays to take the offense to the promised land, which was the endzone. He started the game with an INT on the first possession. Lets clear this up right now; Ryan Fitzpatrick was hit by Cody Barton before throwing the ball.
Fitzpatrick added another INT going 29/45 for 315 yards and no TDs. This is the inconsistent play from Fitzpatrick that is very consistent and easy to predict. You get the very efficient play against a bad defense like Jacksonville then you get the below-average performance against a real team. That is who Ryan Fitzpatrick is.
I love the guy, meaning Fitzpatrick. He’s the man and we know it. He’s awesome to have in this locker room and all his teammates will go to war with him. You don’t need to be DeNiro from Meet the Fockers to see that Fitzpatrick, genuinely, loves playing football. He’s 38 and doesn’t need the money. All that being said, we’re knocking on the door of Tua time.
I wouldn’t make the change this week, however. Let Fitzpatrick be the guy to take on the 49ers on the road. Then, when the Dolphins probably lose and face the Broncos the following week, insert Tua. I know everyone is screaming about how Herbert and Burrow are looking. To that, I say I don’t care. They’re in different situations on teams who also stink. Throwing for 300 yards doesn’t mean what it once did. Y’all have convinced yourself of that when you say that Marino would have eleventy billion yards in today’s NFL. The same applies to Burrow and Herbert. Tua time is coming and I think it will be in two weeks.
The offensive line had, probably, their worst performance of the year. There were no running lanes and Fitzpatrick had guys in his face often. They only surrendered one sack, but the QB pressures were a real thing. I’m more concerned with the lack of holes in the running game. I know that the Dolphins didn’t stick with it (we’ll get to that in a moment) but run blocking is what I’m told offensive linemen love to do. It doesn’t look like it with this group. I’m over having Fitzpatrick being the leading rusher in NFL football games. It’s cute and fun when we win, but it’s a shitty stat to see after a loss.
Speaking of the running game; I hate it. Gaskin’s first two runs were good and they went away from it. Also, it’s painfully obvious that Gaskin is just a nice running back. I know Flores loves what he brings in practice, but Breida is a better football player. There was a possession where I yelled out “can we get Breida in space because that’s where he’s really useful.” Poof, Fitz checks it down to Breida for 4 yards and turns and takes an additional 18 yards. If Gaskin catches that same ball he maybe gets an extra 3 yards out of it. Here’s the backfield snap count.
Not sure about you but I was infuriated when
Zach Crockett Jordan Howard appeared in the lineup in the 3rd quarter. He has no business being out there and I think he’d be okay with that. Get Matt Breida more involved. It shouldn’t be hard to get players with particular sets of skills the ball, but here we are.
Another guy who the Dolphins seem to not be able to scheme open and draw up plays to use his skills is Mike Gesicki. Remember when Gesicki has the best game ever for a Dolphin’s tight end a few weeks ago? That was fun right? Since then, he has two catches for 30 yards. Yep, that’s what Chan Gailey does. You want more volume to Mike Gesicki, who is good at catching footballs, well, you’re not going to get it. Decoy, that’s what Chan Gailey thinks of your reasonable request.
DeVante Parker had himself a day. I think we all thought he was done when he limped off the field with a leg injury. No reason not to think that. But, this is a different Parker. Old Parker doesn’t come back in. New Parker, who like I said a few weeks ago is carrying himself like an elite guy, gets back in the game, and puts up a 10 catch 110-yard performance.
A problem with the Dolphins’ offense and I’m sure a lot of this is Fitzpatrick related, is that they have zero downfield threat. Every throw is within 18 yards and everyone knows it. I don’t understand how last year the Dolphins loved throwing up jump balls to Parker, Williams, and Gesicki. Yesterday, I think there was only one true 50/50 ball and it went to Isiah Ford. Why the hell is that the case? Is it a Gailey or Fitzpatrick thing because it was pretty successful last year.
The offense is quite predictable right now and I don’t see it changing until, possibly Tua time. Jakeem Grant, who is fast by the way and is money on reverses, gets looked at like he’s another Dolphin’s possession receiver. I’m cool with Lynn Bowden running the Wildcat, which Dick Stockton said was “very unique”, but maybe I don’t know to try it again when you get five yards. Just a thought.
It’s obvious that the Dolphins need a guy or two that can get separation. They’re going to have two first-rounders with one of them being quite high. I have a guy that might be able to get himself open that our quarterback of the future might know...
I didn’t love seeing that stat that said that the Seahawks are 9-0 when playing, for them 10AM games. I didn’t like seeing that all.
I also didn’t like seeing Chris Carson out there. He suffered that cheap shot injury last week that always results in being out at least a week. He shouldn’t have been out there. I want an investigation into how this happened.
Defensively, the Dolphins played alright. I mean, they did play against the most on-fire quarterback in the league and they held him to his most pedestrian outing of the year. Yes, Wilson throwing for 360 yards and two TDs in his worst outing of the year so I guess Miami can pat themselves on the back if they’d like. Wilson did throw an INT to Howard on the goal line that was timely and awesome.
The defense held Wilson to only 5 yards rushing, which I thought would be much worse. That’s two quarterbacks, Allen and Wilson, where the conventional wisdom was to not allow them to beat you with their legs. Miami did that but unfortunately, those guys were still able to throw on the Dolphins whenever they felt like it. Even though the Dolphins forced a few stops on 3rd downs, something I got irrationally pumped for but enjoy the little things, is it still never felt like Wilson wasn’t in control. I just waited for knockout shots from Wilson on every play and he delivered some and it wasn’t fun to see.
He had that INT making it 14 in his last 26 games, but Xavien Howard got worked by DK Metcalf. Again, it was chunk plays that plagued Howard and the defense. And once again it was crossing patterns that they couldn’t defend. Noah Igbinoghene got torched every which was yesterday. You really can’t say anything else. Maybe he’ll end up being alright but I have a rule that really good players, I’m talking studs are good and show flashes of their greatness right from the start of their careers. Even when those elite guys make a mistake it gets made up with some play where you say I can’t believe he just did that. Iggy, right now, just seems like an alright player. I hope I’m wrong.
Bobby McCain with some nice pressures.
Hey gang, remember Christain Wilkins? I vaguely do. He’s another guy who might just be a guy. It sucks that might be the case, but it’s looking that way. Wilkins had one tackle. That’s it? One damn tackle.
Lawson and Ogbah, I thought did a decent job against Wilson. It’s not an easy task and each had a sack. Still, though, Wilson had forever to find receivers. I just hate when I can watch other teams just get pressure with fierce, scary players and Miami always has these guys that just hit the line and that’s it.
Another guy who’s just a guy is Jerome Baker. Deal with that. He had one tackle. Like Wilkins, I didn’t even know that he was out there. Disheartening.
What else is disheartening was how the final 30 seconds of the first half went. The Dolphins, with one of their 5 field goals, cut the lead to 10-9 with 30 seconds left in the first half. You think everything is good but nope. Of course, a breakdown from Iggy and the safety has to happen.
This naturally leads to the most pedestrian running back in football, Travis Homer, catching a TD when he was 47th option on the play. That’s the difference in the game folks. Stop the Seahawks with 30 seconds left in the half, as every other team would, and everything changes. Miami didn’t and it’s why they lost by 8.
Miami did have a few breaks go their way. Tyler Lockett dropped an easy pass on a 3rd down and K.J Wright dropped a gift INT. I don’t know how, but Fitzpatrick has a knack for not seeing enormous players standing in his way as he stares down a receiver.
The Dolphins cut the lead to 17-15 with five minutes left in the 4th and I couldn’t feel any worse about. Not because it was another drive where the Dolphins settled for a field goal, but because I had no faith in the defense stopping Russ Wilson. I was right to take the Faith No More approach because within seconds and a few chunk plays this happened.
So easy, so simple. The outside receiver runs a dash and Noah Igbinghene just lets him go. Maybe he thought he had help. I’m guessing he did think that but he was wrong. He needed to keep going with him. He didn’t. They scored easily.
Miami was able to finally get into the endzone with a gritty Fitzpatrick run and get the two-point conversion.
Dick Stockton, who just needs to stop announcing games, said that he thinks the Dolphins are going to use their timeouts to stop the clock on defense. Dynamite analysis right there.
But then the referees said this was a first down by the Seahawks.
Even Stevie Wonder, when he’s not faking being blind according to Shaq, could see that there is space between the ball and the stick. That’s a 4th down and Seattle would punt. Is it why the Dolphins lost? No, but I still don’t want to be wronged when it’s so obvious.
Let us not forget that Jason Sanders, the offense, went 5/5. Gotta find ways to get him on the field. He’s automatic points.
Last night after the game and I’m sure all today you’ll see quotes from the Dolphins coaches and players about how there are more games to play and that they have to get better. Guess what? I know that. I don’t care about what they have to say nor should you. They aren’t going to say anything of note and as I said, we know they need to play better. I don’t need them to tell me that every week. Just do it already.
What I want is to have what the Bills had yesterday. They played the Raiders in a game they were expected to win. They didn’t play as well as they could play but they still won by seven. I want that feeling of knowing that the Dolphins are going to beat an inferior opponent regardless if they play subpar. Is that too much to ask? I guess it is.
Yes, Miami is in every game right now and that is a leg up from last year’s team. But like I said earlier in this blog; the team’s administration was looking to lose. Everyone involved with this team is looking to win. They aren’t winning and I’m not going to feel good about losing one-score games. That’s such a misleading stat because games in this league are designed to be one-score games. Don’t hang your hat on that.
In my best Bane voice- Next week, if the Dolphins lose and their prospects of a successful season are ashes, then you have my permission to sports’ hate.
Have a terrific start to your week and hopefully the Dolphins, actually, get better this week. I have a feeling that some roster shakeups might happen this week. No sources or anything like that. Just a feeling
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