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Dolphins defense does opposite of job description

It was a three-point loss. That’s what it was, just a three-point loss to a team that made the playoffs last year. No reason to get up in arms about it right? I actually agree with this, sort of. I wrote last week that believing that the season was over after losing to New England was dumb. I kind of feel the same way but not as strong as I did last Monday. With every loss, I’m going to get closer to adopting the season is lost mantra that some have already embraced. I told those people that if they want to open their hearts and let all the hate out on this team in a month, go for it.

Two weeks in, coming off a three-point loss to a physical Bills team shouldn’t rise to much concern. I mean, did anyone, truthfully, and not with their orange and aqua glasses on feel that the Dolphins were going to beat the Bills? But, the way the Dolphins lost was maddening. It’s maddening because we’ve seen this before from this franchise. We’ve seen too many games from past Dolphin’s teams where the defense gets absolutely shredded seemingly every play.

Maybe the Dolphins defense woke up and decided to take a George Costanza approach and do the opposite of everything a defense is supposed to do. That type of mentality may get you hired at the New York Yankees, but it doesn’t help you against the Buffalo Bills. You see, a defense is designed to stop people from doing things.

The Dolphins didn’t do any actions that would defend or resist attack. They let the Bills do pretty much whatever they wanted whenever they wanted.

I realize that they held Josh Allen to only 18 yards rushing, which was something that needed to happen. But, and I know I trashed Allen last week about throwing the ball, the Dolphins let him throw for 417 yards and four TDs. Was this a case of doing nothing in practice but fixing their mistakes from last week and completely not working on stopping the pass? Of course not. But, it was infuriating watching Allen drop back, with virtually zero pass rush finding an open receiver on a crossing route over and over again. It certainly seemed, and I’m sure the tape will prove this statement to be not 100% accurate, that the Bills ran crossing routes a billion times and it worked a billion times. This was basically the Bills offense yesterday:

The Dolphins didn’t do any actions that would defend or resist attack. They let the Bills do pretty much whatever they wanted whenever they wanted.

I realize that they held Josh Allen to only 18 yards rushing, which was something that needed to happen. But, and I know I trashed Allen last week about throwing the ball, the Dolphins let him throw for 417 yards and four TDs. Was this a case of doing nothing in practice but fixing their mistakes from last week and completely not working on stopping the pass? Of course not. But, it was infuriating watching Allen drop back, with virtually zero pass rush finding an open receiver on a crossing route over and over again. It certainly seemed, and I’m sure the tape will prove this statement to be not 100% accurate, that the Bills ran crossing routes a billion times and it worked a billion times. That was basically the Bills offense today.

They didn’t just get short gains on the crossing routes, they picked up 20 yards plus on every one of them. Here’s a not so fun stat from yesterday: Josh Allen threw 8 balls over 20 yards, completed 7 of them for 246 yards and two TDs. Not fun especially when I said, just let him throw. I suppose I figured he’d be under a little bit of pressure, but no.

Losing Byron Jones to a dreaded non-contact groin injury(praying that it’s somehow not serious but I think we all know he’s going to miss time) didn’t help anything. But why, oh why, couldn’t the game plan change just a little bit by having Xavien Howard guard Stephon Diggs instead of Noah Igbinoghene? Iggy had two INTs in his grasp that I thought he would have but he didn’t. If he builds on this game, he’ll be fine.

This is why Flores is starting to annoy me. Because it seems that in-game adjustments just aren’t his thing. Nothing changed last week when Newton was gashing the defense all over the place, and this week with Jones out, he couldn’t change it up and put Howard on Buffalo’s top receiver. I know John Brown is good as well, but we all know Diggs is better. Simple as that.

Miami spent a lot of money on this defense and for all the folks out there that want to convince themselves that this team is sort of looking past this year and next year will be the year they look to win you’re off base. I know when Tua gets to start the year as the day one starter that their outlook changes but you don’t have all this money on one side of the ball by bringing in free agents, draft a corner in the 1st round if you’re not looking to win right now especially when you’re an alleged, defensive guy.

Van Noy, Ogbah, and Lawson might as well be Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, and Philip Merling right now. You don’t even know they’re out there. Van Noy got run over and stiff-armed to the Earth’s core by Josh Allen, something you’re going to see forever from Bills’ fans, unfortunately. Ogbah had half a sack, but other than that, he has been a ghost. And Shaq Lawson is having as much as an impact as the Shaq who sits behind a desk and belittles Charles Barkley. Right now, and I hope they snap out of this, they’re just guys.

Nik Needham, more like don’t need him (gotta love classic comedy amiright?). Maybe they were right in not playing him a snap against the Patriots. This guy got worked all day.

Bobby McCain, the guy I thought was going to be cut who I would have been okay with getting cut did what he always does and that’s get burnt. This time the culprit was John Brown. It won’t be the last time this happens.

On the offensive side of the ball, they played alright. The offensive line gave up two more sacks than last week, one of them being when Fitzpatrick held the ball for an hour and decided to now throw it away. The play of the offensive line has been the most surprising and best unit for the Dolphins. It’s only two games but when was the last time you’ve been able to say that about a Dolphin’s o-line? When the Dolphins got into their best grove of the season with the offense in the third quarter and beginning of the 4th, the line was creating holes for the backs. It was wonderful to see.

The snap count breakdown hasn’t been released yet, but I’m sure it will be somewhere around Gaskin getting near 70% of the snaps while Breida gets around 26% and Howard getting the remaining 4%. Last week I said that I smell something Belichickian in the air with how the Dolphins used Howard, a guy they’re paying $5M this year, and Breida a guy they traded a 5th rounder for. You’d think that those guys would get the lion share of the carries but nope. When you zig, Flores and Belichick zag and that’s why 7th rounder from last year Myles Gaskin gets the nod. Part of me enjoys that because it shows that Flores doesn’t care who you are or what you’re contract is but the other part of me is why aren’t they practicing well enough to get on the field? Did you not know this before bringing them in. Gaskin is averaging 5.4 a rush so might as well keep him in there if he’s going to do that.

You have no choice but to tip your cap to my guy Mike Gesicki. I have no issue calling him my guy. I wanted Miami to draft him very badly due to his awesomeness, started the #FreeGesicki movement, and now he just put together his best game as a pro. Roll that beautiful Gesicki footage brought to you by @Houtz:

Sadly, I can’t say the same for Preston Williams. Williams had one catch on 5 targets and we all know of the massive drop he had on 4th and 1 from the goal line. I don’t know if he gets in even if he catches it, but you have to catch that. You just have too. I had doubts about the love affair everyone had with him coming into the season. Hopefully, has can get the mojo back that he had last year before the injury. Not writing him off yet.

About the four plays from the one-yard line that eventually led to the Dolphins not getting any points; if you’re line is ascending, why not run it 4 straight times with Howard? Easy to second guess now I know. But come on, it’s one yard.

Fitzpatrick held off the Tua talk for at least a week or so. Going 31/47 for 328 yards and 2 TDs will do that. There will be some that say to put Tua in because what do you have to lose. To that, I say Fitzpatrick played well against a stout Bills’ defense. You have to keep Fitzpatrick in. As I said, the season is not lost. It’s not Tua time yet.

Shout out to Jason Sanders for hitting two field goals. You just keep doing your thing.

Shout out to CBS for enraging me to the point of a near Brock Lesnar like assault on my basement. Power outages happen I guess, but work faster.

Shout out to Thor for, once again, bringing in the lightning. I was all ready to write about how the Dolphins are 2-0 in lightning delays. That would have been a nice stat.

If you can, resist the urge to say the phrase “same old Dolphins.” We’re not there yet. We’re a week closer to that, but not there yet. I think we all like Brian Flores and the attitude he brings. But I don’t think it’s unfair to say that he needs to figure out in-game-adjustments better. I think he also just needs to figure out his defensive strategy because in one week he got ran all over and this week he got passed on all day. You can’t be bad at both. We freaked out at Matt Burke for this kind of stuff. No reason that Flores should continue to get a pass if this keeps up.

I would love to say that this week’s Thursday night game is a get-right game against an inferior opponent but the Jaguars won a game and nearly beat the Titans yesterday. Miami, probably, won’t be favored so a lot of work needs to be done between now and Thursday. Let us hope the team doesn’t start unraveling internally, make adjustments, and come out fast on Thursday. If they don’t, well, I don’t even want to put that out in the air.

Have yourself a Monday.

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