As soon as the ball left the foot of the Jaguars’ kicker and headed straight through the uprights, sending the Dolphins to 1-5 on the season at the conclusion of Miami’s week six contest, I felt all of the same emotions that you surely did.
And then I thought to myself – who cares? I am not my football team.
Let me rephrase that.
I am not a reflection of the football team that I choose to root for.
The 2021 Miami Dolphins are not a good football team, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a good life. The 2021 Miami Dolphins do not have quality leaders, but that doesn’t mean that I am not a good leader for my two children or the athletes who I coach.
In times like these, sometimes all you can do is dissociate from the action on the field. Let’s face it, the Dolphins will not be making the postseason this year. The 2021 season is not over, but for all intents and purposes, it might as well be. There will be no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Hell, there really isn’t much of a rainbow, come to think of it, because at least rainbows are pretty to look at. There’s nothing pretty about the Miami Dolphins. This season is just plain ugly.
Speaking of ugly, let’s take a look at the good, bad and ugly of Miami’s week six loss to the once winless Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tua Tagovailoa returns from injury to give Dolphins’ offense a spark
Playing this game while nursing fractured ribs, Tua Tagovailoa completed 33 of 47 passes (70.2%) for 329 yards and two touchdowns, adding 22 yards on the ground. He also threw a mind-boggling interception late in the 3rd quarter, one play after the Dolphins’ defense forced a turnover of their own. However, that throw was really the only big mistake that Tua made in this game outside of a couple of errant passes.
Tua’s return resulted in a career game for Jaylen Waddle, as he grabbed 10 balls for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Gesicki also saw his role increase, notching 8 receptions for 115 yards.
Whether you’re a fan of Tua Tagovailoa or not, I think we can all agree that it’s very important that he stays healthy for the rest of the 2021 season, if only to evaluate his potential to be the quarterback of the future for the Miami Dolphins. While he wasn’t perfect in London, his return gave the offense a spark that had been lacking in the previous four games with Jacoby Brissett under center.
The Dolphins have big decisions to make across the board, but not having to unload multiple first round picks to trade for a veteran QB because your highly drafted quarterback has developed into a quality starter, would be one less tough call that the decision makers of this team would have to make.
Miami telegraphed their unsuccessful 4th and 1 run call with the game tied 20-20 late in the 4th
With the game, and essentially the season, on the line for the Miami Dolphins late in their matchup with Jacksonville, George Godsey – or whoever is calling plays nowadays – dialed up a run that had been successful in a similar situation earlier in the game. With Tua Tagovailoa lined up in the shotgun formation, Miami running back, Malcolm Brown, was force-fed the ball straight up the gut on 4th down and 1 yard to go. The try was unsuccessful and the Jaguars were gift-wrapped tremendous field position, needing only a field goal to win the game – which, as we all know, they got.
This type of uncreative play-calling has unfortunately plagued Miami all year long. In a situation where you need your best players to be handling the ball, you leave it up to your unimpressive offensive line and your backup running back to get the job done? Unacceptable.
Tua Tagovailoa had been carving up the Jacksonville defense with short throws to Jaylen Waddle all day long. Why not let two former first round picks handle the tough situation instead of relying on a guy you signed to a one year deal in free agency to advance the chains?
I think it’s safe to say that this two-headed offensive coordinator experiment has been an abject failure and should probably end soon.
Refs miss a call on a fumble from the Jaguars’ punt returner, costing the Dolphins a touchdown
You hate to blame a loss on the men and women in stripes, however, after Miami punted deep into Jacksonville territory with 6:40 left in the game and with a 3 point lead, the Jaguars’ returner muffed the return. On replay, you could clearly see that he touched the ball with his left index finger, which means the play should have been ruled a fumble. Mack Hollins recovered the “fumble” in the endzone which would have resulted in Miami scoring 7 points – assuming the PAT was successful – and taking a 10 point lead with little time left.
It would have been a hard call to make on the field, but there’s no excuse for the replay officials missing the fumble after seeing the play in slow-motion on replay. The Dolphins could have made this call irrelevant if they had played their best ball, but with Miami being as banged up as they are, they didn’t need to play against the officials in addition to the Jaguars in this one.
It’s another forgettable season for Miami this year. Disappointment is running rampant throughout this fan-base, and deservedly so, as there were very high hopes for this year’s squad. Alas, we’ve been here before, and knowing the Miami Dolphins, we’ll be here again. It’s the never ending merry-go-round – or better, misery-go-round – that we refuse to stop riding. Sigh...
Do you think Coach Flores survives this season as the Miami Dolphins head coach? Who, on this staff, would you fire first? What are your realistic goals for this squad going forward in 2021? Let me know on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below. Fins up!