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3 Reasons Why The Dolphins Lost To The Patriots In Week 17

In this weekly column, I outline 3 reasons why the Dolphins won or lost their previous game, and provide a short preview for next week’s game.

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Game Summary:

Five in a row.

The Miami Dolphins dropped their 5th straight game on Sunday, in a 21-23 loss to the New England Patriots. In one of the team’s most embarrassing performances in recent memory, here’s three reasons why the Dolphins fell to the Patriots in Week 17.

Reason 1: Couldn’t Run The Ball

Just. Run. The. Ball.

With starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ruled out for this week’s contest, the Dolphins had every single reason in the world to run the ball down New England’s throats. However, for reasons far beyond my pay grade, they simply chose not to.

Leading rusher Jeff Wilson Jr. managed 45 yards on 15 carries, while Raheem Mostert pitched in with just 20 yards on 9 carries. While Miami led for large parts of the game, their inability to sustain drives, eat up the clock, and keep New England’s offense off the field, ultimately proved costly.

Reason 2: Where Were The Cheetah And The Penguin?

Tyreek Hill: 4 catches, 55 yards, 0 receiving touchdowns.

Jaylen Waddle: 3 catches, 52 yards, 0 receiving touchdowns.

An early game rushing touchdown aside, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle simply didn’t get involved enough on Sunday, and it led to Miami’s downfall. The Dolphins clearly went into the game with a pass-heavy gameplan, but were unable to get their two best weapons enough touches.

You pay these guys for a reason, use them.

Reason 3: Defense Fell Apart

Blown coverages, mismatched assignments, and an inability to create turnovers.

The Dolphins defense was pathetic on Sunday, against an incredibly weak Patriots offense. No fight, no hunger, and seemingly no desire to win, outside a few players. Christian Wilkins and Elandon Roberts can leave Foxborough with their heads held high. But the rest? The less said, the better.

Game Preview:

The Dolphins host their final regular season game of the 2022 NFL season this weekend, as they’re set to take on the New York Jets in Week 14. Miami’s playoff hopes would be alive with a win, but only just.

What did you think of the Dolphins’ performance in Week 17? What were your biggest concerns? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @ThePhinsider and @flameosumeet!