It’s that time of year when people take a look in the mirror and try to figure out how they can better themselves while making a New Year’s resolution or two.
Need to get in better shape? Try eating healthier and exercising.
Want to keep your brain sharp? Maybe you can read more books or try to learn a new language.
Are your personal relationships lacking? Sign up for a dating site or join a local club or two.
For the Miami Dolphins, a good look in the mirror is most certainly in order. After starting the season 8-3, they have dropped five games in a row and find themselves sitting at .500 for the season and on the verge of missing the playoffs after looking like a near lock for the postseason just a few short weeks ago.
Nothing is going right for Miami. Need proof? Just take a look at their quarterback situation. I say “situation” because it’s nicer than saying “disaster.”
Starting quarterback — and one-time MVP candidate — Tua Tagovailoa is out with a concussion — his second on the season. Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater now has a broken finger according to a report from ProFootballTalk. Rookie 7th round pick Skylar Thompson is now leading the squad... and let’s just say that’s not ideal with a win-and-in scenario (as long as the Bills beat the Patriots next week) against the New York Jets in Week 18.
The sky isn’t falling. It has already collapsed — and it crushed and injured every Dolphins quarterback on the way down.
So, about that look in the mirror the Dolphins are now faced with...
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple solution to fix this team and when they do get a look at that mirror, the only thing they’ll find staring back at them is a very, very mediocre football team.
Let’s take a look back at the good, bad and ugly from Miami’s 23-21 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots.
Dolphins’ quarterbacks discover that you can in-fact check the ball down to running backs
Whether by design or because they can’t execute the offense at the same level as starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson resorted to checking the ball down to running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson on numerous occasions Sunday against the Patriots.
And it worked.
Mostert nabbed 8 balls for 62 yards and a nifty little touchdown from Bridgewater, while Wilson contributed 3 receptions for 31 yards.
When Tagovailoa returns to the lineup — whenever that may be — I’d certainly like to see him utilize his running backs in the passing game more instead of consistently trying to thread the needle to receivers who are double, and sometimes, triple covered.
More self-inflicted wounds down the Dolphins on the road
Last week, a concussed Tua Tagovailoa threw three fourth quarter interceptions to seal Miami’s fate against the Green Bay Packers.
This week, Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson got in on the “fun.”
Bridgewater’s interception was of the pick-six variety, giving New England the lead in the 3rd quarter, 16-14. Miami would never regain their position out in front.
After reportedly breaking the ring finger on his throwing hand, Bridgewater yielded the reins to the offense to Thompson who promptly threw his own interception. On the very next drive, the rookie threw behind receiver Tyreek Hill which caused the football to get popped into the air and directly into the hands of a Patriots defender.
Each of those interceptions came after yet another missed field goal attempt from former All-Pro kicker Jason Sanders. Sure, it was from 50+ yards, but when you’re the third highest paid kicker in the league, you’re expected to make those kicks more often than not. I don’t know about you, but I’m done with Sanders and wouldn’t be angry if Miami cut him this week and signed a fresh leg for Week 18 against the Jets.
Dolphins injuries once again cost them a victory
This franchise is cursed.
We, as Miami Dolphins fans, deserve so much better than what we’ve gotten from this team for the past two decades (plus a couple of seasons).
The Dolphins’ last playoff victory came on December 30th, 2000 — less than a year removed from the 1900s.
We may have to wait another year — at least — to see this team finally make the postseason, let alone win a game when they get there.
Earlier this week, Tua Tagovailoa was ruled out with a head injury. Before Sunday’s game kicked off, we got the news that EDGE Bradley Chubb, cornerback Xavien Howard, and left tackle Terron Armstead would miss this game due to their own injuries. During the game, replacement left tackle Kendall Lamm — who had been playing really well — left with a lower body ailment. Then, as discussed previously, nine year veteran quarterback — supposedly one of the best backups in the league — Teddy Bridgewater found himself out of the game due to a broken finger. He will likely be unable to play in Week 18.
We laugh to keep from crying.
Through sixteen games, Miami has a record of 8-8 after suffering a fifth straight defeat, this time at the hands of the New England Patriots. Who suits up at quarterback for Miami against the Jets? Do we dare even entertain the idea of a possible victory and playoff berth? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!