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The Miami Dolphins Doomsday Meter: Back to Business

Syndication: Palm Beach Post BILL INGRAM /THE PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK

Okay, alright... after taking last Thursday off from the Miami Dolphins’ Doomsday Meter column due to the Thursday Night Football game against the Baltimore Ravens, we now return to your regularly scheduled bit of “doom and gloom” reading.

But, before we do, let’s all give one last round of applause to this Miami Dolphins squad for giving us a spectacle of exuberant entertainment the likes of which we haven’t seen during the first half of the 2021 NFL season in their convincing win over the perennial powerhouses from Baltimore. Well done, fellas. Let’s keep it up against the Jets this week.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take the aqua colored glasses off for just a moment and remember that at 3-7, this team has still vastly under-performed this season. Nobody likes to point fingers... Wait, who am I kidding? That’s what we do on this website! Have you read the comment section of any article, positive or negative, this season?!

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to pointin’.

Brian Flores – Head Coach

MDDM Level – 7.5

The last time we checked in on Brian Flores in this article was after Miami fell to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in London. Flores was sitting at a blisteringly hot 9.0 on the MDDM. As you can see, after wins against Houston and Baltimore, that number has fallen some.

Flores still has plenty of questions to answer after this season concludes. After all, Miami was expected to take the next step and find themselves in the playoffs this year. Some even thought they could challenge the Buffalo Bills for the division crown, yet instead, it’s the New England Patriots who seem like Buffalo’s biggest threat at the moment, and Miami remains on the outside, looking in regarding the playoffs.

However, Flores – a supposed defensive guru – has righted the ship defensively as of late. The Dolphins are allowing an average of just 15 points per game over their last three contests. They come off of a shocking win where they allowed a mere 10 points against an electric Ravens’ offense – the lowest point total in any game started by former MVP, Lamar Jackson.

If Miami’s defense can continue to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, they’ll simultaneously take the pressure off of Brian Flores and his MDDM level will continue to fall with each win Miami claims as the season rolls on.

DeVante Parker – WR

MDDM level – 5.0

Arguably Miami’s number one receiver – although Jaylen Waddle is already giving him a run for his money there – DeVante Parker was expected to contribute greatly in Miami’s offense this season. After starting the first four games of the season, compiling a stat-line of 17 receptions for 242 yards and just one score – Parker subsequently missed the following three games due to injury. Returning for the 26-11 loss to Buffalo, a game in which he nabbed 8 balls for 85 yards, Parker has since missed the last two matchups against Houston and Baltimore (both wins).

As the great Bill Parcells used to say, “The best ability is availability.” Unfortunately, Parker has often been unavailable due to a multitude of injuries throughout his career. At some point, you have to move on from those players. Instead, Miami seems to collect them, at least at the wide receiver position, as Will Fuller has also missed most of 2021, as has Preston Williams, while Lynn Bowden Jr. and Allen Hurns’ seasons ended before they even started.

Parker has two years remaining on his contract after this season concludes. He’s actually relatively cheap compared to most starting wide receivers in the NFL – counting only $8,950,000 against the cap in 2022 and $9,000,000 in 2023. For money reasons alone, his MDDM rating remains somewhat low, as I don’t think it’s too likely Miami moves on from Parker after this season is over, but it would behoove this franchise to acquire healthier receivers to surround him with as he will inevitably miss more game action over the next two seasons.

Liam Eichenberg – LT

MDDM Level – 4.0

Before anyone freaks out, let’s be clear... The Miami Dolphins will not be moving on from Liam Eichenberg in the form of a cut or release at any point this season, in the offseason, or during next season. He was a 2021 second round draft pick, who at times, has performed decently in his rookie year, yet within recent weeks, Eichenberg has struggled mightily.

With that being said, unless he steps his game up during the second half of the 2021 season, his role could be greatly reduced and he may find himself a backup for the 2022 season.

Liam may not deserve all of the criticism for his poor play as of late, as Miami’s offensive coaching is clearly severely lacking in multiple areas. And to Eichenberg’s credit, he did perform better as a right tackle before being moved to left tackle after Austin Jackson was moved to left guard. Eichenberg actually told the media that he was better suited to play right tackle in the NFL, before immediately being moved to left tackle by this coaching staff.

Unfortunately, with Greg Little going on IR this week, Miami is running out of options at the left tackle position, and short of moving Austin Jackson back to his original spot along the offensive line, there isn’t much else left to try.

I still believe that Eichenberg can be a quality lineman in the NFL, and it’s far too early to give up on him as a prospect, but he’ll need to turn things around over Miami’s final seven games if he wants to give the decision makers in South Florida some confidence that he can be a starter in this league going forward.

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Has your confidence in this team grown over the last couple of weeks? Do you think Miami can rattle off a few more consecutive victories and find themselves “in the hunt” before it’s all said and done this year? If you ran this team, would you leave Liam Eichenberg at left tackle or return him to the right tackle spot he performed well at earlier in the season? Let me know on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below! Fins up!