What a game. There’s hardly anything left to say. Let’s just dive right in.
Slow starts spell doom
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a slower start to a game that the one Miami came out with in Week 2. From the opening kick, it was an instant disaster. A 103 yard kick return by Devin Duvernay set the tone for the whole afternoon. More big plays and quick hitters from the Baltimore offense continued the trend right up until halftime, where the score sat at 28-7 in favor of the Ravens. That’s the kind of deficit that this Dolphins team isn’t built to overcome. 21 points at the half wasn’t even the worst of it as the gap stayed at 21 points all the way into the 4th quarter. I read a stat that said: “From 2011 to 2022, teams trailing by 21+ in the fourth quarter have a record of 0-711.” That tells you everything you need to know right there: no team can come back from that.
Tua needs to step up his game
I’ve always been supportive of Tua, but never completely convinced of his potential to be elite. I thought that with the right support system, he could be a successful franchise quarterback, maybe even reach a ceiling comparable to Drew Brees some day. I also thought that, if left on an island, he could struggle. His first couple of seasons were up and down and this one looks like it’ll be another just like them. He threw two ill advised interceptions early on, with one leading directly to points for the Ravens. He underthrew a pass to Tyreek Hill and threw another should-have-been interception late in the game. His passer rating was 18.5 points below Lamar Jackson’s. Thankfully, there are 15 more games for him to prove he has what it takes.
Spreading the ball around more can only help the offense
Just four players had rushing attempts, including one from the quarterback. Only ten different receivers caught passes, which is barely into double digits. More production is needed out of players like Salvon Ahmed and Tanner Conner. Myles Gaskin, Erik Ezukanma, Hunter Long, and Cethan Carter were all inactive, which forced Miami to give targets to guys like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki. They did what they could with their opportunities, but getting the entire roster involved will allow for more victories in the future.
The defense has to show up in the clutch
Giving up big plays is always a backbreaker for a defense. Miami’s defense allowed Lamar Jackson to look like the MVP version of himself, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TDs while adding over 100 yards on the ground with another TD to boot. Good defenses prove their resilience by not letting mistakes get into their heads and, instead, making stops in critical situations. Good defenses stonewall their opponent at the goal line. Good defenses hold the other team’s offense without a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins’ defense has to perform in those key moments for the team to be able to beat some of the league’s best.
At least the officiating was on point
Often the referees are the brunt of fans’ ire. In this game, Adrian Hill’s officiating crew only called one penalty against Baltimore. That speaks to a really clean game all around. They spotted the ball in the field of play. They watched the clock like hawks, especially toward the very end. And they held Miami to the high standard that the team expects of itself by calling eight penalties on them, including a tripping call that you all too frequently see ignored. Hats off to the officials for doing their darndest to make sure a football team won this game.
They can’t all be great, but at least there’s a lot of season left to go.
What are your thoughts on this heartbreaker? Where does this Dolphins team go from here? Make history by putting your words in the comment section below.