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Hard Knocks: In Season With the Miami Dolphins Episode 4 recap

The Tennessee Titans snapped a 767-game streak in Monday’s win over the Dolphins

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Tennessee Titans v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Hard Knocks: In Season With the Miami Dolphins premiered on Nov. 21, following coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and the rest of the franchise for the remainder of the season. The Indianapolis Colts appeared on the show in 2021, and the Arizona Cardinals had the honor last season.

The words of Houston Rockets radio announcer Craig Ackerman came to mind while watching the Dolphins choke against the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football. I couldn’t help but think — “The game is over! The [Dolphins] have just pooped their big boy pants!”

The Titans snapped a 767-game streak of NFL teams losing when trailing by 14 points with under three minutes to play. Miami’s Monday night loss featured turnovers, injuries, missed opportunities, and a devastating fourth-quarter collapse. Get ready because Hard Knocks will help us re-live it all shortly, so stay tuned!

Different Than Last Year?

The message throughout Episode 3 was centered around avoiding last year’s mistakes. Miami started the year 8-3 before barely making the playoff at 9-8. Following a disappointing loss to the Titans, the Dolphins lose a step in the AFC playoff picture.

Before getting to Monday’s action, Episode 4 begins with the previous Tuesday in the quarterbacks' room — where Tagovailoa reflects on his Tropic Thunder reference on the Manningcast — vibes are high!

That changes once Miami hits the practice field — the offense is missing throws and frustration is building — is this Hard Knocks foreshadowing — or is the offense working through things?

McDaniel said the practice was good — he wants much more than good.

Alec Ingold Gets the Spotlight

After Andrew Van Ginkel stole the show in Episode 3, Hard Knocks shows Alec Ingold learning he is Miami’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee.

“It makes your heart really happy,” Ingold said of watching the video.

I read Ingold’s book —” The Seven Crucibles: An Inspirational Game Plan for Overcoming Adversity in Your Life” during the offseason and highly recommend it. Miami’s fullback reflects on overcoming challenges in his own life while sharing an inspirational message on overcoming adversity.

Mike McDaniel Knew What to Expect From the Titans

Miami’s coach said in the first practice ahead of Monday’s game against Tenessee — that the Titans are bullies. This isn’t a coaching staff that sounds like it’s preparing for a 4-8 team.

McDaniel asks Duke Riley to help turn up the energy in practice and whether it’s because he’s wearing a mic or not — he responds with detailed communication for the remainder of practice.

Final Thoughts: No Day At The Beach

Any good vibes from this episode left when Connor Williams suffered a season-ending injury early in Monday’s game against the Titans. Week 14 marked the second straight week with an interception for Miami’s defensive line as Zach Sieler brought a Will Levis pass back for six.

Miami’s defense stole the spotlight until Bradley Chubb’s penalty for throwing his helmet on the ground, opening the door for Tenessee’s first touchdown. Injuries, mental errors, and turnovers — the first half couldn’t have gone worse for the Dolphins.

All that said — we all know that the second half was even worse. Raheem Mostert scored a pair of touchdowns off of turnovers to give Miami a 14-point lead. The players — much like those in attendance at Hard Rock Stadium — were stunned to see the Dolphins collapse.

Tagovailoa explained after the game that he felt that this team wasn’t the “Same Old Dolphins” that hadn’t won a playoff game in 20 years. Miami features one of the league’s best offenses and a defense loaded with high-end playmakers.

That said, Monday’s loss had me feeling 10 years younger in the worst way possible. The way Miami spiraled — it felt like Joe Philbin should’ve been on the sideline.

The question is simple with just four weeks left in the regular season — is Week 14 a starting or a turning point for the 2023 Dolphins?

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PREVIOUS RECAPS: EPISODE 3; EPISODE 2; EPISODE 1