What is left to say about this Miami Dolphins season that hasn’t already been said? Everything has gone horribly wrong and outside of a potential – certainly not guaranteed – couple of hollow victories against equally hapless teams, there will be nothing to point to and say, “There...that’s the reason I can have confidence in this team next year.”
No, this season has been filled with sorrow and misery, and the future looks just as bleak. In a typical year, you can find the silver lining in your team’s awfulness by pointing at the high first round draft pick they’re guaranteed to get by being bottom feeders. Not this time. Miami traded their 2022 first round pick to Philadelphia (congratulations Eagles fans), so now we’re stuck rooting against the San Francisco 49ers.
I’m writing this column a mere hour after the Dolphins’ second consecutive loss on a last-second field goal, this time to the Atlanta Falcons – a team which boasts a pair of players on offense who could have been Dolphins’ stars if proper decisions had been made when Miami had high first round picks in 2008 and 2021 (Matt Ryan and Kyle Pitts).
I barely have the energy to raise and lower my fingers on the keyboard. I’m tired. I’m sure you are too.
Let’s give it our best shot and see if we can get through this article. Here is the good, bad and ugly from Miami’s week seven loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
I’d rather not.
I’m going to be really honest with you right now. It is excruciatingly painful to force myself to point out the so-called “good” in each consecutive loss that Miami earns each week of the 2021 NFL season.
I could sit here and say that Tua Tagovailoa had his first NFL game in which he threw for four touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions in critical moments of the game which ultimately cost his team very important points. He shoulders a chunk of the blame for this loss.
I could point out a couple of turnovers this defense produced, but then I’d have to turn around and also beat them up for giving up 30 points and not showing up in big moments when they needed to. They could have sealed Miami’s first victory since week one by stopping Atlanta’s final drive before they got into field goal range, but we all know that didn’t happen. They’re also largely responsible for this defeat.
I could once again talk about positive games from Mike Gesicki and Jaylen Waddle, but despite their best efforts, Miami lost. That’s all that matters.
I’m sick and tired of looking at pathetic performances with rose-colored glasses, so I’m not going to insult your intelligence or your fandom by doing so this week.
Be mad at this team. Get angry. I sure am.
Miami’s passing defense once again falters big time.
Miami has spent big bucks on this secondary, and unfortunately, they are not getting the results they had hoped for coming into the 2021 NFL season.
Matt Ryan finished the game with 339 yards passing on 25 completions, good for over 13.5 yards per completion. Although Calvin Ridley was held to just 26 yards receiving, Kyle Pitts went absolutely bonkers – nabbing 7 balls for 163 yards.
It seemed like every time Miami forced Atlanta into a 3rd and long situation at a crucial point in the game, the Falcons were able to convert. Eric Rowe, in particular, struggled to handle his duties, as Kyle Pitts abused him time and time again.
If you’re waiting for the 2020 Dolphins defense to once again show up and save the day, don’t hold your breath. They aren’t coming. They’re dead and gone. The players who remain from that unit are just zombies dressed in aqua and orange stumbling around the field and getting toasted for chunk play after chunk play.
Miami, in the middle of year three of their rebuild, finds themselves in a worse position than when they started on this journey.
It’s far easier to swallow losses when the expectations for your favorite team are already low. We’ve been there so many times in the last 20 seasons. As a fanbase, we brace ourselves for the pain that accompanies watching the Dolphins play on Sundays in the fall/winter, clinging tightly to the hope that once Miami hires a new head coach, gets a new general manager, drafts the right quarterback, or lands the big free agent, the fortune of this franchise will finally turn around.
However, we went into the 2021 season with high hopes coming off of the 2020 campaign which saw the Dolphins win 10 games and narrowly miss out on making the playoffs. Throughout the entire offseason, fans and analysts alike predicted big things for the upcoming season, with playoff or bust conversations being had on the regular.
Well, it’s been a bust, to put it mildly. Chris Grier could be fired... Brian Flores could be fired – they both deserve to be, honestly. Whether you’re in favor of it or not, Miami could very well trade for Houston Texans troubled quarterback, Deshaun Watson
And when those things inevitably happen, we’ll be right back at square one, clinging to tiny pieces of shattered glass we used to call hope – trying to glue them back into the once strong and proud franchise Miami used to be – only to find ourselves staring at our own reflections leering vacantly back at us, asking why we still subject ourselves to the anguish that goes hand-in-hand with being a Miami Dolphins football fan.
I wish there were more positives to point out, but you watch the games, so you understand, I hope. If you want to be optimistic, more power to you. Here’s your chance to do so. Let me know in the comments below why you, much like myself, will subject yourself to more Dolphins games this season. Conversely, if you are punting on this season and turning the television set off, let me know all the reasons why on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below. Fins up... or whatever.