Monday Morning Blitz: Dolphins loss to Patriots was everything we feared it would be
For the Miami Dolphins and their fans, Sunday’s game against the Patriots was the kind of stuff that nightmares are made of. From start to finish, this was a good, old-fashioned ass kicking. It sucks considering the Dolphins were flying high with their 3-0 record entering the game and the Patriots seemed to be staggering. A day that started with so much hope, quickly turned into our worst fears being realized. Injuries, no running game, no passing game, no defensive cohesiveness, bad punts….everything went wrong for a young Dolphins team on the road in Foxborough.
The Dolphins had a chance to take a stranglehold on the division just 4 weeks into the season. If they’d won, they’d be 3 games up on all of their divisional rivals and 2-0 in the division. Instead, the Dolphins find themselves 1 game up on the Patriots, riddled with injuries, and a road trip to 3-1 Cincinnati just 6 days away. PhinNation is reeling right now, after having our hopes dashed. It’s not that the Dolphins lost (many expected that), it’s the way they lost. They looked like a high school team trying to play on the NFL level. It was a pure, unmitigated disaster.
Looking ahead, the Dolphins play @ 3-1 Cincinnati, then come home and host the 3-1 Bears and 1-3 Lions. IF (that’s a big if) the Dolphins can rebound and win 2 of those 3, they’ll still be on schedule to find a way into the playoffs at 5-2. After that they travel to Houston to play the 1-3 Texans before hosting the 1-3 Jets. All is not lost Dolphins fans! Well, all is not lost, assuming the injuries don’t continue to stack up and the Dolphins can find a way to play the fast, explosive style of offense they played in weeks 1-3.
Here are our quick hits on Sunday’s debacle:
- Enough with the injuries, please?!?!
- Ryan Tannehill, for all the good he did in the first 3 weeks, looked like the moment was too big for him. He was dreadful on Sunday and his 47.9 passer rating reflected that. He threw for only 100 yards, had an interception and that ugly snap that went flying past him (which wasn’t really his fault).
- Before it even starts, I don’t want to hear about Brock Osweiler’s drive that led to a TD and how he should be the Dolphins quarterback. Stop.
- Adam Gase was simply outcoached in this game, plain and simple. Where were the creative plays? Where were the matchup nightmares? Where were the ‘speed’ plays that would expose the slow Patriots defense? The Patriots played a lot of nickel and dime defense (5-6 defensive backs), daring the Dolphins to run the ball. They couldn’t.
- The Dolphins 3rd down defense continued to be really bad. The Patriots converted 10 of 15 3rd downs….That’s awful defense.
- The Dolphins 3rd down offense was equally as bad, converting on just 3 of 11. The problem here isn’t just 3rd down, it’s 1st and 2nd down. The Dolphins couldn’t do much on early downs and kept facing 3rd and 8+ yds. Those aren’t easy to convert. The Dolphins must to a better job setting up 3rd and short situations to help this conversion percentage & keep moving the sticks.
- Paging the Dolphins defensive line….has anyone seen them? Tom Brady sure hasn’t! The Dolphins didn’t get much pressure on Brady (except a few hits after he released the ball), generating a grand total of zero sacks on the day.
- Due to their inefficiency on 3rd down, the Dolphins held the ball for just over 23 minutes. Their defense, riddled with injuries, was forced to stay on the field (again) for far too long. Last week, the Raiders controlled the clock, so the already thin defense was running on fumes.
- Can someone take a DNA test on Kenyan Drake? I’m convinced Daniel Thomas is wearing a Drake mask this season. He looks nothing like the explosive running back that led the NFL in rushing late last year. And that’s not just this game, he’s off to a disappointing start to the 2018 season. In the last 2 games, Drake has a TOTAL of 8 carries for 6 yards.
- The Dolphins offensive line has not blocked well in the running game…..at all. And with injuries to Kilgore and Sitton, that continued on Sunday. If an in-house fix isn’t available, it might be time to look into trade options.
- Xavien Howard picked a bad time to have his worst game in over a year. Maybe he didn’t like his new nickname so much? Can we please see X-isle again next week against AJ Green?
I could keep ranting, but that’s not going to do any of us any good. We’re all upset and disappointed, I get it. This one felt like 3 losses rolled into 1. BUT, if I had told you before the season started that the Dolphins would be 3-1 after 4 games, 99% of you would have taken that in a second. Yes, the 3-0 start raised expectations, but this loss shows just how far the Dolphins need to go before they’re ready to win season-defining road games.
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