Dolphins Come Up A Tad Bit Short

Dolphins Loss Is Rotten Oranges

The Miami Dolphins lost last night in an evening of firsts that this morning many Dolphins fans would just as soon forget. It was the first time Rex Ryan beat the Dolphins or HC Tony Sparano. The first time Mark Sanchez did. The first time Jason Taylor played against his former team (more on that a little later), and the first time Brandon Marshall caught a TD for his new team. But all of that is rotten oranges after a night filled with howling left Dolphins players and fans grumbling as they left the stadium. Yes, there were points left on the field, but none as important as the ones at the end.

I interviewed Omar Kelly a couple of years ago and asked him what it was like covering the team he grew up loving. His reply, it sucks. He didn’t enjoy the game aspect anymore because he had to cover the team in an unbiased light…sorry Armando some reporters are objectionable. Over the years, I have realized what he means. Instead of jumping on the edge of my seat I instead watched the play of the lineman, wondered where Koa Misi went, and re-wound the Jason Allen pass interference call about 10 times, and yes, he looked back for the ball. In other words, while I’m far from a reporter, a part of my fan reaction went out the window sometime last season and now, I realize that as long as I write here, I may not see it again for awhile.

It’s easy to get pissed off and I would be lying if I said I didn’t drop a few F-Bombs or through up some unkind words in our chat room last night, but when the game was over, I went to bed and I slept. Unlike in the past where I replayed every bounce and asked why couldn’t it have gone our way. This morning, I realize why this is a good thing. Despite Miami’s loss, and Brandon Marshall‘s post game irritation, last night I saw a new team that had I written about immediately would have been more scathing yet unfair.  

Arguably one of the best defenses in the league, with or without Darrell Revis and Kris Jenkins, the Jets came to town with a high-flying Mark Sanchez coming off his best career game in New England…let’s face it, there is nothing worse than confidence in a young QB, and it showed last night, and the Dolphins had ample opportunity to close the door and send them home with their second loss of the season. They simply made too many mistakes of their own. It’s hard enough to beat a good football team but when you beat on yourself as well, it makes it that much harder.

The Dolphins gave up their first opening game score as they elected to defer the kick-off to the second half. Sanchez had the time in the pocket but didn’t have the WR’s open to throw to. With Braylon Edwards on the sideline for his DUI arrest early in the week, Sanchez instead found his TE Dustin Keller for two key third down plays and then for two touchdowns. When the quarter ended and Edwards came back in, the Dolphins were down by 7 but the second TD pass to Keller to open the 2nd quarter made it a 14 point game.

The Dolphins then responded with 10 unanswered points and trimmed the lead to 4 going in at half-time. The Phins came out and drove down the field culminating in a lead changing TD to Brandon Marshall from 11 yards out. Then the wheels fell off in typical Dolphins – Jets fashion. The ensuing kick-off was run back ensuing drive ended in a 60 yard strike to Braylon Edwards for a touchdown and the Jets would take the lead for good.

To me, the Dolphins had enough opportunity in the second half but they killed their own drives, settling for FG’s instead of TD’s. A 20 yard field goal should have been another 4 points but the Phins failed to put the ball in the endzone from the two yard line. An issue that would replay again on their final series from the Jets 7.

The issue here was not Chad Henne who threw for over 350 yards and two TD’s. It wasn’t the 10 catch 166 yard night by their number 1 WR Brandon Marshall, no, it was one offensive mistake and two defensive mistakes that made the difference in this game.

Defensive mistakes happen all the time in a football game and it’s how a team recovers that defines the team. The Dolphins made their share last night and they responded by coming a mere 6 yards from taking the game to a possible overtime. For the Dolphins defense their issues were simple. Failure to tackle and failure to cover the TE.

I know most will point their finger at Jason Allen’s pass interference call that would have forced the Jets to kick a FG instead of that final TD but Allen’s mistake was only that the referee was blocked by Braylon Edwards. His head turned to the ball towards the left while his arms went up to knock the ball down. The ball was under thrown so Edwards leaped over Jason Allen. Allen’s position was fine, he had the right coverage and looked back. The referee made the wrong call. That’s how it goes. Allen’s mistake on that drive was a 3rd and long from the 50 when he allowed Edwards to get underneath him for a first down that continued the drive. Had he kept his coverage tight with Edwards beside him, the safety coverage takes that play out of the equation, the Dolphins get the ball back and the momentum down by 1.

The second mistake was the tackling of the defense in regards to Brad Smith. On the same drive that resulted in that final TD, Smith was able to run the WC and gain 15 yards on a 3rd and 15 extending the drive that should have ended at no worse a FG. Three times on that drive alone, the Dolphins allowed the Jets to continue. And in the end, it meant the Phins needed a TD and a two point conversion to tie.

The tackling was not good and the pressure on Sanchez was almost non-existent but the edge rushers did have their hands full with Damian Woody and D’Brikashaw Ferguson. Two of the best in the league. Still, it was the lack of pressure that ultimately did the team in.

Offensively, to me there was only one major mistake. No, not the fact we settled for FG’s twice instead of TD’s, that happens. Not the way the final 4 plays ended as that happens too. My issue with the offense is the use of the Wild Cat in the second half of the game.

I understand you want to run it, it’s not however a part of your identity. It has become a gimmick that doesn’t work. Even when Ronnie tried to pass out of it, the Jets were not fooled as Antonio Cromartie was on the hips of Brandon Marshall down-field. The issue is this. It kills the momentum of the team.

With the Dolphins driving and the Jets defenders worn out the Phins dropped their forward steam by running the WC on several occasions that left the team in 2nd and 3rd and log situations. It took the hot handed Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall out of the game to rely on the legs and decision of Ronnie Brown to gain two yards. An end around lost yardage and the above mentioned pass fell incomplete. The wild cat has run it’s course and now all it does is kill production.

Chad Henne played most of the second half in a zone. Solid reads, plenty of time in the pocket, touch passes and Dan Henning even called a few down-field plays to open it up, but it was the wild cat that killed it all and ultimately put the team into a bad situation that was compounded by the defenses failure to stop the Jets on 3rd downs.

All in all, I’m not upset today. There was a time I would have been. I don’t think the best team won last night, I think the best team last night won. I feel the Jets made the plays they needed to and the Dolphins came up short. Chad Henne finally looked like a leader out there and he took control of the game in the second quarter and never gave it back to the Jets. The coaches play calling and the defense did that.

The Jets are a team that many in the media think have a legit shot at making the Super Bowl and the Dolphins played above them sans a few plays that put the game behind the proverbial eight ball. Still, with 40 seconds left, the Dolphins were on the Jets side of the field, staring at the end-zone and came up short. It’s the Jets, it sucks, but it happens. While the Jets fans can talk all the trash they want, they know very well that they escaped last night.

Jason Taylor ? Who cares. I know that everything I wrote already will not garner as much conversation as this next paragraph or two will. It will be interesting to see how many of you have read this far. Jason Taylor displayed so little class last night to a fan base that has supported him since he was a rookie 13 years ago. Forget about the fact that he plays for the Jets and the bitter taste that alone leaves. I expected Jason to act like Jason Taylor instead of  Rex Ryan.
Jason Taylor has been a class act his entire career and I won’t get into the whole Bill Parcells thing or why I disagree with his decision to leave when he did or go where he did, it’s his decision not mine. What I will disagree with is his showboating as a NY Jet in the face of Miami fans. The same fans who did in fact boo him…which he should have expected.
Instead, when JT got his first sack he did the dance he had done so many times in his life for the Dolphins. He drew a circle in the air and punched it. He could have simply high-fived his team mates and walked back. Instead he met a louder chorus of boos and walked off the field flailing his arms to the crowd in disdain and mouthed the words “F-You”.  In other words, he egged them on.  I replayed it back several times and that is what I swear I heard. If I’m wrong so be it. If I’m right, than no JT, F-you.
For now, I really don’t care about Jason Taylor anymore. Not because of where he plays, not because he sacked Chad Henne, or helped them win, and not because he maybe sent a message to Bill Parcells to say “Hey, you made a mistake”. To me, it’s because he outright disrespected the same people who have supported him his entire career and even his move to NY.  This is not LeBron James going back to Cleveland where he basically said a big “FU” to the city, this is about him making a decision for himself and his family which everyone is cool about, and then not liking the boo’s he hears upon his return, which again should be expected.
This is about showing some class and some dignity and a little bit of respect to the thousands of fans who supported him his entire career sans one game.  He didn’t. Classless. I expected more.

After all is said and done, the Dolphins lost a football game and now share the lead in the AFC East with NY and the Patriots who they face next Monday night.  They fought hard and they stayed in the game but ultimately they gave it away rather than the Jets outright beating them.  It happens.    It was a good game that saw a lot of positives and a few negatives.  In the end, they came up short.

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Tags: Brandon Marshall Braylon Edwards Miami Dolphins NY Jets

  • Cory Trares

    Who returned a kick for a touchdown? It was the Braylon Edwards touchdown that gave the Jets the lead for good.

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  • Freakoffaleash

    Great article, it so crappy to lose a game to bad call by the ref because he was out of position. Then the fact on that play at end where Cromartie had his hands all over Marshall in endzone, or Ronnie falls out of bounds but ref calls in. It was a damn good game and it finally showed what Miami can do on offense. This wasn’t the D we had seen past two weeks but I was impressed all the same with Miami’s play.

    I can see the Jet fans are already coming in like they completely shut us down instead of the close game it really was.

    I feel bad for the Pats because I know the we are going to want revenge next week.

  • TheJetPress

    I really hope you don’t believe the Ref made a ball call on that pass interference. As much as we all dislike the “New NFL” and protecting the WR, Allen failed to turn around. Case closed.

    As for JT, Jets fans don’t like him either, but that guy was booed from the second he entered the stadium. He egged nobody on. Miami fans have no loyalty and no clue.

  • Radgrom

    Don’t blame the ref for the loss, blame your QB. Even if the JETS kicked a field goal, Miami still would have needed a TD to win, which they could not do.

    And the JETS made as many mistakes as you guys(also pass interfence in the end zone).

    And talk about bad calls. How about that catch that was clearly out of bounds, but the ref called in bounds, and Miami got the next play off before the red flag could be tossed. Without that play, it would have been 3rd down, and you guys might not have even scored.

    Don’t be a baby and blame the refs. Be a man and accept your loss. Anyway… J E T S JETS JETS JETS

  • Txmedic5

    IT comes down to a good game with bad calls both ways but games should never be decided by a ref on either side.

    As for JT, the Phins fans have every right to boo him…just like all the Jets fans booed Chad Pennington when he went back. Want to know the difference between the two? Pennington didn’t egg them on to get their goat, he just played ball.

    As for the TD on the KR…my mistake I suppose when I was writing this it just seemed like they did consdiering our ST’s sucked so bad…LOL

  • pancanfinfan

    Refs suck last night for both teams. They consistently made calls on what should have been non-calls, and missed calls when penalties should have been called.
    >Did Misi play last night our was he non-active (I mean officially).
    >How many times was Cam Wake held last night?
    >Unless the dolphins get more out of Hartline, B Marsh is going to be double/triple team. May be time for M Moore or R Wallace to get looks.
    >Jason Allen was a victim of the “home turf” slipping like many other dolphins were doing.
    >Rickys propensity to fumble means Lex Hilliard should start getting some playing time. Ricky does not look explosive right now.
    >JT – Forever will be a “benedict arnold”. remember last night fans when he comes back after retiring to try to redeem himself to the fans…F__k him.

  • AJetsFanwhothinksyourallinsane

    Nice article, but your insane if you think the dolphins are better, we don’t have revis,jenkins,pace playing d, jenkins is done for the year, but pace actually makes a huge difference, hes by far our best pass rusher, then revis obviously would have changed the passing game up a bit

  • Radgrom

    Txmedic5, I agree games should never be decided by a bad call. But as happens with good teams, they seem to overcome bad calls and injuries, and win games. Perfect example is Patriots without Brady. Noname Cassel came in and they won 11 games. Good teams just know how to win.

    And I’m not one to harp on injuries being a factor, but if we had Revis and Pace(Jets sack leader), things might have been much different. Again, good luck to you Fish Heads, and I hope we don’t see you in the playoffs.

    • spiff822

      Don’t think that the Jets were the only team with injuries. The Fins didn’t have Odrick, Crowder, Will Allen and John Jerry. That too is part of the game.

      Granted the refs missed calls on both sides, but what I want is consistancy. Chris Clemons was called for a helmet to helmet hit when he was pulling up and the recever’s helmet actually hit Clemons’ because he was lunging for the ball. It wasn’t intentional from either player and shouldn’t have been called but so be it. Later, Ronnie Brown takes a pass in the flat and the Jets’ linebacker leads with the crown of his helmet right in Ronnie’s facemask and no call whatsoever. Sure, it probably wasn’t intentional either, but I don’t see how you can call one and not the other.

      As for your example of good teams knowing how to win, the Patriots don’t overcome bad calls…they benefit from them.

  • Pat

    If you have any doubts that Jason and Katina purposely egged on the fans before the Jets/Dolphins game, you just need to see the look on her face in a photo from the Sun Sentinel (she isn’t named in the caption). She is walking thru tailgaters wearing Jets99 jersey in contrast to her riding the train to Meadowlands Stadium for Jets/Patriots game in a demure ladies jersey with “Jets” across the chest. Reading about this drama-loving couple is like watching a train wreck. I just feel sorry for the kids who were pictured in Hard Knocks with the parents setting up a boxing ring on a bed and letting the boys hit the c**p out of one another. Ironic that Jason is joining Ronnie in talking to students about how to prevent teen violence. Manipulation or disconnect?

  • KERV

    Wow so forget the 3 holding calls that forced us to kick a field goal. Forget the obvious out of bounce catch by Bess. We were penalized more then the phins. U complaining about one call. Please we can go back and forth about calls. Most of them keeping u guys in the game.. For the last 1 1/2 we have had to listen to the we beat the phins beating the Jets 3 times in a row forgetting the 8 or so times we beat u guys in a row. So suck it up and see in next game. Do u think Marshall really would have had 166 yards on Revis?? Really, Realllyyyyyyyy???