Embarrassing….Deflating….Ugly….Atrocious….Lethargic….All of those words can be used to describe the Miami Dolphins pitiful display on Sunday against the New England Patriots. The Dolphins came into the game at 7-8 and needed a win to finish at .500. Amid rampant speculation regarding his future with the team, Tony Sparano’s players didn’t exactly do much to save his job. The Dolphins were dominated from the opening kickoff. The Defense couldn’t stop the Patriots. The Offense, qb switching and all, couldn’t move the ball against the Patriots defense. Heck, the Special Teams even contributed, allowing a punt return for TD. Horrendous play by what appeared to be a Dolphins team that was more concerned about vacation plans than playing the Patriots.
The Patriots jumped out early and seemed to score at will. The Dolphins had Chad Henne at QB, then Tyler Thigpen, then Henne, then Thigpen, then Henne…It truly looked like the qb’s were asked to pick a number between 1 and 100 before each series, with the winner getting to play. Ridiculous. Both were ineffective, but Thigpen ended with a TD at least. Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins only bright spot for the most part, seemed extremely upset during the game. At one point, Thigpen threw a ball up for grabs and Marshall came down with it and motioned to the sideline (at Henne apparently) as if to say “throw it up and let me make a play”. However, as the season has gone, the very next ball went to Marshall…and he dropped an easy reception. He ended the day with 5 catches for 97 yards, which put him over 1,000 yards for the season.
It speaks volumes for a ‘running team’ to have their backup QB as their leading rusher for the game. Thigpen finished with 3 carries for 21 yards. Ricky and Ronnie combined for 12 carries and 19 yards. Unacceptable.
The defense, which had been the strong suit of the team, allowed Tom Brady to move the ball at will, even without Wes Welker and Deion Branch in the lineup. The Patriots totaled 502 total yards, with 321 through the air and 181 on the ground. Pitiful defensive performance.
Coming into this game I was thinking of writing a post this week endorsing Tony Sparano. I thought he did a great job of motivating the team and that he deserved one more year to see if he could make the team into a contender. However, after seeing the team play on Sunday, I’m seriously reconsidering.
We’ll have full coverage of all coaching news at PhinNation.com and on Twitter (@phinnation) . As of Sunday night, Tom Coughlin is staying in New York and Gary Kubiak is staying in Houston. That crosses two teams off the list of Bill Cowher’s reported wish list. This could mean he’s destined for Miami or it could mean nothing at all. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be an interesting few weeks for the Miami Dolphins; Only not for the reasons they wanted (playoffs).