Did you see that ludicrous display? The Dolphins will be spending the upcoming week ammo shopping since they burned all of their available bullets shooting themselves in the foot on Sunday. Let’s just get to it.
Our blocking is a total tragedy
No matter how many years go by, the song remains the same: “La la la la wait til I get my o-line right”.
They surrendered 38 pressures in one game. One regular 60 minute game. Tua was sacked twice on the first three plays. Then he got hit so hard from his blindside he was knocked out for the remainder. Jacoby Brissett took four sacks of his own. Sure, the Bills sometimes got home by bringing extra rushers, but they weren’t bringing the house. I’m not sure if the main issue is the offensive line, the QB calling protections, the center not calling protections, the o-line coach not having his guys ready, offensive coordinator one, offensive coordinator two, or a little bit of everyone, but HO. LEE. SH*T. They made the Bills look like Imperator Furiosa driving through a teddy bear factory.
I don’t have all the answers, but if my guys played like that, I’d make some changes. Some might say “It’s only Week 2”, but that lowly performance points to more foundational problems than just early season rust. We could put Hunt back at RT where he played last year, have Eich man his natural LT spot, and try Captain Versatility Jesse Davis at RG. Or bench him altogether. Or cut him. I don’t know. Based on our track record, I expect the same five guys out there next week in the same five spots getting their quarterback(s) smashed to bits. I hope I’m wrong.
We need more guys who excel in the clutch
The game opened with two sacks out of three snaps followed by a 46 yard Buffalo TD run three downs later. With 7:00 mins left in the first quarter, it was already 14-0 visitors. It had the makings of Week 17 2020 all over again. But wait. The defense starts to stir. A forced fumble. Some momentum. We can get right back in this thing.
Instead, DeVante Parker drops a touchdown pass. Albert Wilson drops a first down at the 5. Then, to cap off the drive, Jakeem Grant fumbles. I’ve seen this movie: the Bills are about to jump out to a three score lead and never look back.
Not so fast! Xavien Howard makes a trademark big play, pulling down an interception on the very next Bills possession. This is our chance: a drive starting from the Buffalo 24 yard line. Somehow, we’re quickly at 4th and 2. The ball is handed off to all-world short yardage champion Malcolm Brown. He gets one yard. Drive over.
In the tide-turning moments where one play can make all the difference, our guys dropped passes, dropped interceptions, missed tackles, blew coverages, and gave up sacks. Opportunities were there, especially in the first half. 14-0 at halftime should have been 14-14. But that’s okay, two scores is nothing. Josh Allen, through whom the entire Bills franchise now runs, was at this point 7/16 for 62 yds, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Limiting him is exactly what needs to happen to beat the Bills (he finished 17/33 179 yds, 2 TD 1 INT; a stat line you wouldn’t expect in a 35-0 blowout). The coaches will make some critical halftime adjustments and pull everyone’s heads out of their collective asses. Perfect, our coaching staff has this.
This is the first time my confidence in the coaching staff evaporated
Coming out of the tunnel for the start of the third quarter, down by two scores: this is where the team rallies around the coaches and each other, comes out swinging, and shows what’s in their hearts.
Cholesterol. The bad kind.
It’ll be a challenge to lose a game worse than this. No matter how poorly we’ve showed in games since Brian Flores arrived, there’s typically a silver lining if you look hard enough. Maybe some young players showed development, a trick play found its way home, or, if nothing else, we played a clean, low penalty game. It’s tough to spin this one. Waddle showed some burst, I guess. But at 6th overall, you better have burst. The team never quit? If they’re quitting Week 2, the problems run much deeper. It was a beautiful day in South Florida. What’s that? Oh, it rained for the whole second half when the Fins needed to pass to catch up. Yeesh.
If you hate the Dolphins, this game had everything: an injured starting QB, a dropped TD pass, dropped 3rd down conversions, dropped 4th down conversions, a muffed punt, more sacks than a flour warehouse, drive ending penalties, drive extending penalties, 0 points off of turnovers, and 0 points total. An absolute nightmare through and through. A game that sloppy, that undisciplined, and that pitifully played has got to fall on the coaches. This was the home opener against a division opponent who just had a tough outing with your team coming off of a great in-division road win. Early season games are rarely ‘big’, but that’s big. It’s a chance to show everyone that Miami is for real this time. Instead, it’s not only a loss, but a worst-team-in-the-NFL-this-week, worst-shutout-loss-to-Buffalo-since-the-1960s loss. Flores and Co. need a massive turnaround and quick.
We can still win some games with Jacoby Brissett and a whole lot of luck
Hopefully, this won’t matter. Hopefully, Tua comes back without putting himself at great risk and, if nothing else, lets the team get a full evaluation of him as our potential franchise QB. But if Tua misses any time (already proving me an idiot for my season long predictions), I think the Dolphins can use a veteran like Brissett well enough to squeak out some victories. It won’t be easy. It’ll involve leaning on a running game that they seem terrified might succeed. It will require blocking for longer than one second in order to take advantage of the over-the-top routes that the running game and short passing game set up. And it’ll mean our defense will have to keep that turnover streak rocking. No one thinks Brissett is any kind of answer, but he’s capable enough to manage the game if he has some (a lot of?) help. He navigated the pocket fairly well, but, unfortunately, the blocking was so bad that The Flash would have a hard time escaping the pressure. For me, it always comes back to that completely abysmal blocking. I don’t have the PFF grades, but if they are allowed to be negative numbers, they should be.
Jason Taylor is a great announcer
This has nothing to do with the on-field product, but we’ve beaten that to death already. I was forced to go radio-only for this game while driving back from Pennsylvania (where the Nittany Lions beat Auburn 28-20 en route to losing at Iowa in a few weeks) and Dolphins’ Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor was in the booth. I love when former players are good announcers. They give you insight that lifelong mic jockeys can’t and are generally more open about things like missed penalties, bad coaching decisions, etc. Maybe he’ll try to find his way to a bigger stage like Tony Romo. Or maybe he can come back and give us some semblance of a pass rush. Either way, he’s got my support, as if he needs it.
Want to vent your anger into the empty unfeeling abyss that is the comment section? Go ahead. I’m not your dad.