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Should the Dolphins have gone for it on 4th-and-2?

It’s tricky...

Miami Dolphins v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Another frustrating game ended in a loss for the Dolphins, but hey at least they came away from this game with actual points! Even with a backup QB, the team still had their chances throughout the game and miraculously tied the game up as regulation expired to send the game into overtime.

Facing a 4th and 20 in his own territory, Jacoby Brissett fired a beautiful pass over to Mike Gesicki down the left sideline that converted and kept the game alive. Suddenly, it seemed like momentum shifted Miami’s way as they were inside the Vegas 40. That changed when a 3rd and short shovel to Gesicki forced Brian Flores to come up with a decision; Go for it, or kick the game tying field goal with three minutes remaining?

Flores, not taking any chances, trotted Jason Sanders out for the field goal. The game was tied, but should Miami have done things differently and gone for the win?

ESPN’s advanced metrics recommended going for it. On that 3rd and 3, the Dolphins had a 79.4% win probability when they were at the Raiders’ 33. The team’s highest win probability percentage was 81.1% the play prior on 2nd and 10. But with the decision to kick a field goal, it was now the Raiders who had the win probability figured out with a 52.7% probability after Sanders’ game tying field goal.

I can understand playing not to lose because who wants losses? But with 2:49 left, Miami no longer had the ball in a tied sudden death affair. In a world where more aggressive decision making is favored in these scenarios, it’s no wonder this is being frowned upon by media and certain sections of the fan base.

So ironically enough, playing not to lose resulted in the Dolphins losing. There’s no guaratee going for it on fourth down would’ve worked, but at least then they would’ve gotten the same result after all. And on a day where Derek Carr continued his stretch as one of the hottest QBs to start 2021, trusting your defense to get a stop shouldn’t be as important as trusting your offense to get a couple of yards.

If regular season overtime didn’t have ties (LIKE IT SHOULD BE) then I would understand that decision more. It just seems strange that in a year where this team is built to win Flores elects not to trust the offense that was riding in crunch time.