I mean, I don’t even know what to say. You watched the game. Well, maybe not all of it. Maybe you were able to get through the first half of play and said to yourself at halftime, “It’s only a two score deficit. We can go on a run in the second half and make this a ballgame.” Oh, you glass-half-full kind of optimist, you. However, even the most positive minded Dolphins’ fans had to find themselves muttering curse words under their breath – or possibly even screaming them at the top of their lungs – after Buffalo continued to assert their dominance over Miami in the second half of that so-called contest en route to a 35-0 drubbing.
Let me peel back the curtain and give you a look at the first draft of this article...
UGLY: Also everything
Alas, I took a quick four hour breather and got myself ready to write a real article. I hope you find it more entertaining than Sunday’s massacre.
Miami extends their NFL leading takeaway streak to 24 games
When all else fails, you can count on the Dolphins defense to create turnovers. With 4:01 left in the first quarter – aka before Miami completely vomited all over themselves – LB Jerome Baker forced Buffalo RB Zack Moss to fumble, which was recovered by S Brandon Jones. Jones ended up fumbling himself, but luckily rookie S Jevon Holland was able to fall on the ball.
In the second quarter, CB Xavien Howard intercepted a Josh Allen pass - Howard’s first interception of the season. It was Xavien’s second takeaway in as many games this season, as he also forced the game-sealing fumble against New England in week one.
Miami committed too many bone-headed plays
I mean, pick your poison here.
On one drive - just one - we saw DeVante Parker drop a touchdown, Albert Wilson drop a pass that would have set Miami up with a first and goal, and Jakeem Grant fumble after catching a pass that would have likely gone for a first down in the red-zone. Again, that was just one drive.
On that possession: Devante Parker dropped a TD pass. Albert Wilson dropped a first down. And Jakeem Grant's fumble issues come into play again. That great receiving corps?— Dave Hyde (@davehydesports) September 19, 2021
Throughout the entire game, Miami continually shot themselves in the foot with drops, turnovers, stupid penalties, and the inability to convert 3rd (8 of 18 – 44.4%) and 4th downs (0 of 4 – 0%).
It’s difficult to beat a divisional opponent. It’s even more difficult to beat that same divisional opponent when you can’t stop taking two steps backwards for every single step forward. Not much went right for Miami in this one, and the final score was an accurate reflection of that fact. Eventually, if Miami wants to be taken seriously as a contender in the AFC, hell even just the AFC East, they’re going to have to stop crapping their pants every time they line up against the boys in red and blue from Western New York.
Tua Tagovailoa suffered a rib injury in the 1st quarter which knocked him out for the rest of the game
It’s unlikely that Miami would have won Sunday’s game against Buffalo even if Tua hadn’t gotten hurt, but his injury certainly didn’t help things, and that injury was a direct result of the ineptitude of this offensive line. Yes, Jesse Davis was the culprit in this painful and costly instance, but Miami’s offensive line as a whole is not playing good football and that’s a problem considering the resources this front office has put into building a wall in front of their young signal-caller. Well, the wall GM Chris Grier has constructed is looking more like remnants of the divider between East and West Berlin on the morning of November 10th, 1989.
And now, Tua Tagovailoa is injured. To what extent? At the time of this writing, the word is that his x-rays were negative, but that he’s in extreme discomfort and will be going for an MRI on his ribs on Monday. If a fracture to his rib cartilage is found, a multi-week absence would be expected.
If Miami wants to have any chance of defeating the Raiders in Las Vegas next Sunday, this line will need to play a lot better than they have so far through two games this season. If that means benching LT Austin Jackson and inserting recent addition Greg Little, so be it. If that means pulling Jesse Davis and giving rookie Liam Eichenberg a shot at RT, I’m all for it. If Solomon Kindley goes to the bench in favor of G Greg Mancz, let’s go. I don’t care at this point. I just want this offensive line problem solved... once and for all.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten all of that out of our systems, let’s take a look at the silver lining. Miami is 1-1 and in a first-place tie atop the division. There were plenty of people in the national media who predicted an 0-2 start this season. Well, that didn’t happen. There is so, so much for this team to work on – to clean up – before we can view them as a dangerous squad that has a shot at doing some damage in the playoffs, but it’s still early. They will have their opportunities to redeem themselves.
How are you feeling about the Dolphins going forward this season? What needs to change if they want to make the playoffs? Did the 35-0 loss to Buffalo change your opinion about Miami’s rebuild? Let me know on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below. Fins up!