A lot of troubling displays and miscues by Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin led to the missed field goal by Dan Carpenter in overtime. A couple of what if’s played a role throughout the duration of the game like what if the Dolphins downed the ball and went into the half without Reggie Bush injuring his left knee, what if the first-year coach ran the ball to give Dan Carpenter more real estate to work with, and what if Philbin and company didn’t call the timeout to ice New York Jets kicker Nick Folk. I know these are all what if’s but these are the events that killed the chances of the Miami Dolphins from winning this contest.
Let us begin with the decision of running three plays before time expired in the first half. With 36 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter, quarterback Ryan Tannehill handed the ball to running back Reggie Bush. After a gain of three yards, Bush found himself on the ground holding his knee. Now say the Dolphins down the football and go into the half with a 10-3 lead. With a healthy number one back, it would have been a total different game in the second half. The most vital point here is the verity of Miami having possession after the break. In week 2’s victory, the Miami Dolphins high-spirited crowd booed the decision of the coaching staff to down the ball roughly a minute left in the second quarter, but Miami came out with a firing third and fourth quarter.
When in doubt, run it out. Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin’s second flaw in this clash was the choice to go with the aerial action with first-year quarterback under center. I know in this type of situation at the 30-yard line and little time on the clock you want to take a shot at the end zone. Sometimes, that doesn’t always work out. So why not take the fundamentally sound rout and run the football. Miami could have tried to inch closer to increase Carpenter’s chances in making the field goal. This was hands down the worst choice that Philbin went with.
Another scenario became relevant at the end of overtime. After the missed field goal, the New York Jets charged down the field in striking distance for their kicker Folk. Jets head coach Rex Ryan usually not the smartest coach elects to go for the field goal on third down (which was an intelligent decision just in case there was a bobbled snap). As Folk approach his holder there was a sense that the Dolphins may decide to ice the kicker. Ultimately, that is what Philbin did. The problem with the result is defensive tackle Randy Starks deflected the kick and it went wide. As a coach, you have to be decisive in everything you do. While it is hard to blame Philbin’s instincts, the result showed a missed kick. As we all know the next play, Folk put it through the uprights. This last miscue by the first-year coach was the icing on the cake, and cost the Miami Dolphins an enormous AFC East victory.