Murphy’s law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
First, earlier in the week, QB Tua Tagovailoa was ruled out of the contest due to a concussion. Then, CB Byron Jones was not activated off of the PUP list, causing him to miss his fifth straight game for Miami. On Sunday, the inactives list came out, and CB Xavien Howard was ruled out with multiple groin injuries, meaning Miami would be without their top two cornerbacks.
In that moment, we knew it would be tough sledding, even against a team like the New York Jets.
From there, it only got worse. QB Teddy Bridgewater was ruled ineligible after one offensive play for the Dolphins and even though he passed concussion protocol, the new rules adopted by the NFL just one day prior caused Bridgewater to be sidelined for the contest due to the fact that the spotter saw him “stumble” trying to get to his feet after a hit from a defender.
Shortly after, LT Terron Armstead left the game with a toe injury, meaning third-string 7th round rookie QB Skylar Thompson would be without his stud blindside protector during his first taste of regular-season action.
Miami had little shot after that, and despite keeping things close late into the second half, the dams finally broke in the fourth quarter and as the clock ticked down to zero, the Jets walked away with their first win against Miami since December of 2019.
It wasn’t a fun game, yet regardless, we’ll take a look back at the good, bad and ugly from the Dolphins’ 40-17 loss to the New York Jets.
Raheem Mostert emerges as RB1 for Miami
Maybe Miami’s lone bright spot on the day, RB Raheem Mostert looked great against the Jets in a losing effort.
Mostert finished the game with 18 carries for 113 yards rushing and one touchdown; adding one catch for nine yards. He averaged 6.3 yards per rush.
On a day when Miami’s offense was extremely shorthanded and couldn’t muster much of anything, Mostert’s performance was a welcomed one. Hopefully he’s able to stay healthy and continue his success when his injured teammates return to the field and the offense resembles the one that was cooking with gas through Miami’s first three games.
Injuries take away any shot Miami had against the Jets; could hinder team moving forward
First, Teddy Bridgewater left Sunday’s contest with a (non) concussion. Then, Terron Armstead was sidelined with the toe injury that saw him miss a full week’s worth of practice leading up to the game with the Jets. Finally, when the game was basically wrapped up by New York, Tyreek Hill was held out with a foot injury. He was later seen leaving the stadium in a walking boot.
It’s hard to win in the NFL with a backup QB. It’s even harder to do so when you’re forced to play your rookie 7th round quarterback in his first taste of regular season action.
Add in the fact that Miami’s stalwart left-tackle left early, and Thompson’s potential ceiling was severely limited in this one.
To make matters worse, Miami’s defense was hobbled from the get-go, as Byron Jones remained on the PUP list during the week and Xavien Howard was ruled out after he tested his groin injuries pre-game.
Those top two cornerbacks take up roughly 20% of Miami’s cap space. When they don’t play, Miami is left starting backups, rookies, career-underperformers, etc. That’s not a recipe for success, no matter what team you’re playing.
The NFL’s new concussion rule is an embarrassing over-correction
Player safety is always important, especially when you’re talking about the health of someone’s brain. However, when a player clears concussion protocol - like Teddy Bridgewater did - and still cannot return to a game because a spotter sees him “stumble” from a secret lair hidden somewhere in the bowels of MetLife Stadium, what are we even doing?
The new concussion protocols may not have cost Miami their game against the New York Jets (there are other factors that probably deserve more credit for that), but they certainly put the Dolphins behind the eight-ball almost immediately.
Maybe I’m just a little too old-school, but it seems like the NFL is more concerned with fighting a public relations war against an angry Twitter mob than they are making sure that uninjured players who deserve to play can play.
You have to feel bad for Bridgewater, a Miami native who dreamed of playing quarterback for his hometown Miami Dolphins all of his life. He had that chance on Sunday against the Jets, and instead, his dream turned into a nightmare when the NFL’s new concussion protocol unjustly pulled him from the game. A can of worms has just been opened...
Do better, NFL.
Through five games, Miami has a record of 3-2. Do you think this team can rebound and pick up some wins in the coming weeks? Do you think Tua Tagovailoa can return against the Vikings and get Miami back in the win column? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!