Reason 1: Tua’s Injury
The elephant in the room, obviously, is the injury suffered by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa last night. The offense was simply not the same after he exited the game, both in terms of play-calling and production. While the Dolphins managed to run the ball fairly well (85 yards on 22 carries, both season highs), it felt more out of necessity. With backup quarterback Teddy Bridgwater behind center, the Dolphins’ high-flying offense just wasn’t going to be the same through the air. All things considered, Bridgewater did put forth a valiant effort, but it just wasn’t enough.
Reason 2: Sloppy Secondary Play
Coming into the game, it was obvious that Miami would have their hands full with Bengals wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. But even without starting cornerback Byron Jones, who missed his fourth game after being placed on the physically unable to perform list, you would expect Miami defensive backs Xavien Howard, Nik Needham, and Jevon Holland to limit Chase and Higgins, at least to some extent.
Unfortunately, Higgins and Chase combined for 11 catches, 205 yards, and a touchdown. Miami’s secondary simply couldn’t keep up with either of the Bengals’ receivers, and it cost them the game.
Reason 3: Didn’t Pressure Burrow
Against a team that had given up 15 sacks across three games, Miami only managed to get to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow once last night. A lone sack from linebacker Jaelen Phillips was all that Miami could muster in the pass rush, and that’s simply not good enough. With no pressure, Burrow picked apart Miami’s defense with ease, and finished the game with 287 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Miami’s defensive line has been really poor at getting to the quarterback this season, which is worrying considering the amount of money and draft stock that’s been invested into the trenches.
The Dolphins host the New York Jets (1-2) in Week 5, who are facing the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday in Week 4. Jets’ quarterback Zach Wilson will likely make his first start of the season this week, after suffering a knee-injury in the preseason.
The Dolphins have won 8 of their last 10 games against the Jets, and haven’t lost a home game against the Jets since 2015.
So, what did you think of the Dolphins loss to the Bengals lats night? Was there much to take from the game, or was Tua’s injury the sole reason for the loss? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!