Sept 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter (5) reacts after missing a field goal in overtime against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium. The Jets 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphins Lose On The Little Things


It’s a cliche’ to say that when you win, you win as a team and when you lose, you lose as a team.  Today, the Dolphins lost and while many will point to the leg of Miami Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter, the truth is that so many little things went wrong to drop the Dolphins to 1-2.

Little things.

Joe Philbin‘s decision to run out the clock at the end of the first half was a decision that could come back to haunt him.  On the second play from with under a minute, the Dolphins lost Reggie Bush for the afternoon and we all still await word on his injured knee.

Little things.

The Dolphins struggled to get out of the special teams games without penalties.  The consistently moved the ball backwards starting Ryan Tannehill deep in his own end of the field.  Blocks in the back and holds were the norm.  On the opening kick of the 2nd half, a block in the back, backed Tannehill and the Dolphins to the goal line.  Tannehill threw his first pick-6 of this NFL career when the safety jumped on a ball intended for Anthony Fasano.  In what appeared to be a replay of week 1, Daniel Thomas fumbled the ball off to the Jets on the first play of the ensuing drive.

Little things.

The Dolphins defense stepped up and limited Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense but they couldn’t put Sanchez on the ground and allowed him the seconds he needed to complete passes.  In the secondary, the Dolphins were called for holds and pass interference’s that prolonged drives and in the end led to the winning field goal by Jets kicker Nick Folk.

Little things.

Ryan Tannehill for his part did the job he was hired to do.  He kept the team in the game by making smart plays and finding the right receivers.  Faced with his biggest NFL game yet, Tannehill missed not once, not twice, but three times on deep balls that needed only a tad bit more touch for long completions.  It was his fourth attempt deep, in overtime that could have changed the game.  The deep completion to Brian Hartline was just a tad long making Hartline leap for the ball and lose his balance.  Wide open, a perfectly thrown ball would have led to an easy walk off touchdown.

Little things.

While Brian Hartline made the catch, the Dolphins failed to move the ball more than a few yards closer to the endzone and instead set up a long 48 yard field goal attempt by Dan Carpenter.  Carp had missed an earlier attempt from 49 when he sailed the ball left of the post.  Lined up for his second attempt and first to win the game in OT just minutes after knocking a 39 yard FG to tie the game up.  Carpenter again pushed his kick to the left allowing the Jets the final touch of the ball that they would need.

Little things.

With their backs against the wall the Dolphins defense stopped the Jets on first and second downs but couldn’t put them away on 3rd.  A holding on CB Richard Marshall left Santonio Holmes wide open on the sideline for a gain to the Miami 30.  A few plays later and the Jets lined up for a field goal that would win the game.  As the ball was snapped, Philbin called a time out and as the kick came off the leg of Folk, DT Randy Starks blocked it.  Philbin’s time out was just in time.  The Jets laughed on the sideline and then put the winning kick through the posts.

Little things.

The Dolphins played better than simply well enough to win.  They should have won.  They should have controlled the game from top to bottom.  They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and controlled the tempo.  They simply couldn’t put it all together at the same time.  The team showed what they could develop into and reminded us that they are still a young team with a lot of growing ahead of them.

They simply need to find a way to do the…little things.

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  • redteg02

    Sick, absolutely sick. Too reminiscent of Miami teams of the past. Lead the entire game and then give it away. Seriously, I’m so upset about this game.

  • Silentshwan

    THANK YOU for that 4th one. The 9 targets for Hartline is a VERY misleading stat. Of those 9, 1 had a reasonable expectation for him to catch, and he caught it. Like you said, if Tannehill didn’t overthrow Hartline, that would of been a slow jog to victory for the Phins.

    The burden of proof is on Tannehill to show he can be consistent at range before we start asking if Hartline and Devone Bess are good enough receiving threats. You had Cromartie on Hartline all game, but Yeremiah Bell and ??? on Bess and Fasano for the fourth quarter? Why did Sherman have this need for repeated bad throws to Hartline in Q4 and OT when simple dumps to either Bess or Fasano would have moved the chains and possibly gotten the TD?

    Either Tannehill gets better accuracy and judgement, or stop attempting 20+ Yard throws. The problem isn’t Hartline or Bess. “1s, 2s, and 3s” are not going to catch balls thrown into triple coverage any more than “4s, 5s, and 6s”.

  • Randy Carlson

    Thanks Brian/tough article to send out to us
    I was angry about the outcome then I thought about it and said to myself are team did not settle for the field goal and went for the win you have to respect that.
    I like the mentality of not going for the field goal,put it in the hands of our offence sure is a lot better than laying down for a shot at a field goal

  • Miami Jules

    This one is on Sherman… you said something in your post I agree with the most…” They should have won”… (I can’t say I agree or disagree with the rest), but this one is on Sherman… 4th qtr… Miami gets the ball deep in our own side of the field (Ithink it was the 10 yard line) we failed to make 1st downs because we failed to go back to our 1st downs bread and butter, Miller, Thomas and Bess… End of story.. it is that simple, Jets get the ball back, on our side of the field, our defence was still huffing and puffing from their las heroic series and without having time to catch their collective breaths, theur asked to defend on their own side… Jets got a TD and the reast is as they say… history.