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3 Reasons Why The Dolphins Lost To The Chiefs In The Wild Card Round - 2024

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

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Kara Durrette/Getty Images

It’s funny, this time last year I was writing the exact same article about the Miami Dolphins. Like, literally the exact same. Anyways, let’s dive into it.

A 26-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs ends Miami’s season. Here’s three reasons why the Dolphins are going home early this year.

Reason 1: Tua Tagovailoa

If you know me, and you read my articles every week, you’ll know I’m a big Tua guy.

That being said, Miami’s offense was uncharacteristically bad against the Chiefs, and I think a lot of that falls on Tua, who went completed 20 of his 39 pass attempts (51%) for just 199 yards, throwing for one touchdown and one interception in the process.

I get that it’s cold, I get that the ground game was struggling, and I get that the entire offensive line is decimated. But that’s football. It’s January in Kansas City—everyone’s cold, everyone’s tired, and everyone’s hurt. And the loss isn’t entirely on him, not at all. But he is the starting , and he is also the face of the franchise. In big moments, the conditions are never going to be perfect, but the very best figure out a way to it work. The very best will step up and deliver for their team, regardless of the conditions. Simply put, I didn’t see that from Tua on Saturday night.

Reason 2: It’s Football, Not Ballet

Stop getting cute with the football, and keep it simple.

A lesson that the Dolphins should’ve learned weeks ago, but evidently didn’t. Far too often against the Chiefs, the Dolphins tried getting cute with the football on short yardage situations, and it cost them the game. The Dolphins went 1/12 on 3rd-down against the Chiefs, and a large part of that is down to not taking what the defense gave them. Seriously, ENOUGH with the swing passes, the reverse tosses, the bubble screens. Many of these plays resulted in negative yards for the Dolphins, which meant promising drives quickly resulted in punts, which soon turned into points for the Chiefs.

Now, does that sound like a recipe for winning football to you?

Reason 3: Ignored The Run

Once again, the Dolphins ignored the run. And once again, the Dolphins lost. Notice a pattern there?

The Dolphins rushed for just 76 yards on 18 attempts against the Chiefs, their 2nd-lowest total all season. And you might be thinking, 18 times? That’s a lot! And it is...under normal conditions. Away from home and in that weather, I don’t see the rationale behind coming out and slinging the football 39 times. I mean, it’s not like Miami had much success throwing the ball either, so why not keep the defense honest and run the heck out of the football?

It’s a decision I can’t wrap my head around, but maybe that’s why I’m here writing this, instead of calling plays on the sideline at Arrowhead.

Game Preview:

Sadly, Miami’s season ends here. See you all next season, and thank you for making 3 Reasons Why part of your morning routine every Monday. As always, #FinsUp.