Silly me, I actually thought this year would be different.
A gut-wrenching 21-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 18 drops the Miami Dolphins to 11-6, and the No. 6 seed in the NFL Playoffs. Here’s three reasons why the Dolphins fell apart on the last game of the regular season.
Reason 1: Poor Playcalling
The less said about Miami’s playcalling on Sunday night, the better.
In the first half, the Dolphins controlled the game on the ground, rushing for 101 yards. It was quick, it was efficient, and it was classic Miami.
Achane to the house!!!!!!!— The Phinsider (@thephinsider) January 8, 2024
In the second half, not so much. For reasons I can’t fathom, head coach Mike McDaniel pivoted away from the gameplan that was working so well in the first half, and the Dolphins ended the game with just 108 rushing yards. The lack of success on the ground led to long 3rd downs, which led to forced throws, which killed drives. In fact, at one point, the Dolphins punted on four straight drives. Four straight! Simply put, the Dolphins did not put together an adequate gameplan in the second half, and it cost them the game.
Reason 2: Didn’t Capitalize On Turnovers
Though Miami’s defense forced Buffalo’s offense into three turnovers, the Dolphins didn’t really do anything with it.
Josh Allen threw two interceptions and had one fumble last night, but only one of those resulting drives ended in a score for Miami. The other two resulted in punts, one of which was taken back 95 yards for a touchdown. The Dolphins simply couldn’t take of advantage of the Bills’ mistakes, and that’s not a recipe for winning football.
Reason 3: Mistake City, Population: Miami
In a game where the Bills had three turnovers, the Dolphins somehow managed to make more mistakes. Multiple key drops, two interceptions, and negative plays galore. You name it, and the Dolphins did it. In the biggest game of the season, a performance like that is nothing short of embarrassing.
I mean, a 95-yard punt return to the house? What else is there left to say?
Luckily for the Dolphins, all hope is not lost. At least, not yet.
Next week, the Dolphins head to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the 11-6 Kansas City Chiefs, who rested their starters in Week 18. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 10-2 at home in the playoffs, and will look to improve that record this Saturday. The Dolphins have already lost once to the Chiefs this season, a 21-14 loss in Week 9.
What did you make of Miami’s performance in Week 18? Are you concerned going into the playoffs? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!