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The Good, Bad & Ugly from the Miami Dolphins’ Week Eight Defeat at the Hands of the Buffalo Bills

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

I turned on the television set on Sunday afternoon waiting to be shocked at the horror that was sure to fill my screen. I was anticipating the violence and the gore that would be so appropriate for a day like Halloween. Would I witness bloodshed the likes of which I’d never seen? Would I be aghast in terror at a crimson sheen of viscera spread across the field in Orchard Park, New York?

Nah.

Honestly... Miami’s loss to Buffalo was, for the most part, completely uninteresting and boring. I expected a loss. Hell, I expected a blowout. And, towards the end of the contest, that’s basically what happened. Yeah, Miami kept it close through the first half, entering halftime locked in a 3-3 tie, but throughout the entire game, you knew that the dam was about to break and Miami would eventually find themselves down by double digits against a Bills’ team that traditionally – for the last fours seasons anyway – leaves them as unresponsive as Michael Myers does his victims on a cool fall night.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Sunday was just another mundane horror movie that followed the expected blueprint to a T. Miami lost to Buffalo. Then, I sighed and put on my giant bunny costume, walked the neighborhood with my children while they got candy and I got alcohol (A+ neighbors right there), and I got on with my Halloween.

I hope you did too, but now, let’s get down to some reflection of Miami’s 26-11 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

GOOD

Miami’s defense held Buffalo in check for half of the contest

Hip, hip, hooray!

The Dolphins’ defense played well against a good team... for a half! I know that we shouldn’t celebrate something as silly as Miami’s defense playing well for two full quarters, but when you check the record books and remember that the Dolphins are 1-7 in a season where they were expected to compete for a division title and, at the very least, make the playoffs, you’ll go insane if you don’t celebrate little moral victories like holding the Buffalo Bills to three points at the half .

Unfortunately, once Buffalo realized that the Dolphins couldn’t generate any pressure using their base front and could only get to Josh Allen by sending extra defenders, the Bills responded by getting the ball out quickly to Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs frequently and effectively.

Still, hopefully there’s something to build on with yesterday’s defensive performance in the first half and Miami can continue that momentum into the second half of the season to at least make the remaining games watchable.

BAD

Miami’s offensive line is a complete liability and totally derailed any opportunity the offense had to move the ball and score points

I’m going to be honest, I haven’t looked at the PFF scores for Miami’s offensive line from yesterday’s game, and I don’t need to. You don’t either. You watched the game, as did I, and it doesn’t take a so-called film guru to tell you that Miami’s offensive line was NOT GOOD against Buffalo.

Tua Tagovailoa rarely had time to survey the field yesterday, constantly feeling pressure from both the left and right sides of the line. Liam Eichenberg and Jesse Davis played poorly, to put it nicely. Without the benefit of protection, Miami’s wide receivers didn’t have time to develop their routes downfield, which forced Miami into the all-too-familiar dink and dunk offensive gameplan.

Boy, was Buffalo ever ready for that.

TreDavious White, Buffalo’s All-Pro cornerback, was sitting on almost every quick slant Tua wanted to throw. In one instance, he nearly took Isaiah Ford’s head off just as the ball was arriving, resulting in an incompletion.

I’d lament Miami’s inability to stretch the field more if the reason why wasn’t abundantly clear. Miami’s offensive line is broken – has been for awhile – and it needs, once again, another rebuild this offseason. However, this time, I’d like a different GM to shop for the groceries.

UGLY

Miscues and miscommunication take points off of the board in multiple instances for Miami

The Dolphins love taking two steps backwards for every positive step forward in 2021.

Whether it was execution errors, untimely penalties, or baffling miscommunication issues, yesterday’s showing was downright comical at times for Miami.

There were multiple instances where Mike Gesicki looked like a Pee Wee football coach out there, violently waiving his arms in an attempt to get his fellow receivers lined up in the right spots just so the offense could try to run a positive play.

At one point, with the first half coming to a close and Miami already in position to at least kick a field goal and take a lead into halftime, Gesicki yelled for his teammate to motion to his side of the formation. The play clock was ticking down as Gesicki then began to make his way to the opposite end of the field. Inexplicably, Robert Hunt tapped center, Austin Reiter, on the hip, signaling it was time to snap the ball. Unfortunately, in that exact moment, Gesicki was passing the center’s backside, in between Reiter and Tagovailoa, so the ball ended up hitting the tight end on his hip, causing a fumble which was recovered by Buffalo, taking at least 3 points off the board for Miami.

Lovely execution...

Against a team like Buffalo – or against any team, considering how poorly the Dolphins are playing this season – leaving points on the field is an absolute no-no. In my opinion, these miscues are entirely on the coaches for not getting their players prepared during the week. The season is halfway over. How is this still an issue?

___

Another week has come and gone and Miami still has one lone win on the season. How many more do you realistically think the Dolphins can win through the end of the year? If Miami manages to lose to the Texans next week, will you even bother to watch the rest of the games this season? Let me know on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below. Fins up? Yeah... Fins up... I think.