Sept. 16, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin looks on during the fourth quarter during a game against the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Dolphins Head Coaching Decisions Cost the Loss Against the New York Jets


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.

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Tags: Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins New York Jets NFL Reggie Bush

  • Lay off Philbin

    Some of the decisions did cost us but Carpenter is usually money inside the 50 and he missed 2 of those. As for icing the Jets kicker Nick Folk, all coached ice kickers, they ust did it late enough to see that the dolphins actually blocked it. 2 seconds sooner and the ball isn’t even snapped and it is a non issue. It is reasonable to assume that our rooie head coach has to grow along with our rookie QB. Let’s give them some time. This team is rebuilding no matter what the organization is trying to sell us. That will take another year at least to bear fruit…

    • mo155

      At least some people have sense. If the kick wasn’t blocked it would be a good timeout. People act like he knew it was gonna get blocked and called the timeout. I was upset about the lack of running plays in the second half though.

      • Mark Loiselle

        I see an upside in Lamar Miller’s game.

        • Miami Jules

          Yes… too bad he wasn’t used when we needed him the most.

    • Silentshwan

      C’mon, icing a 33 yard kick?
      Gostkowski was at least 40 yards out to shank it last week.

  • Jake

    Get real you cannot blame the coach for 2 missed field goals.

    • Mark Loiselle

      I only talked about the one field goal that mattered. Decisions Philbin made were questionable.

    • DolfanBill

      I don’t blame the coach for trying to ice the kicker either.There was no way to know it would have been blocked.

      If the Folk had made it and Philbin had not called timeout everyone would have been saying “How come you didn’t use your time outs?”

  • Silentshwan

    Surprised you didn’t talk about Sherman’s awesome plan to follow up on Hartline’s 41 Yard catch……………….2 more Hail Mary’s to Brian Hartline while he’s double covered.

    • Mark Loiselle

      Not only that, but Davone Bess should have gotten way more looks and touches. He is so valuable to this offense.

      • Silentshwan

        Indeed. Especially in the 4th after Revis was down. You had Bell on Bess and whoever on Fasano.

        Out of Brian Hartline’s 9 targets, he caught the only one that had a reasonable expectation for him to catch. Had that ONE ball not been overthrown, we’d be talking about how Brian Hartline is a patient guy and he followed up is Career High game with a clutch TD catch, rather than Dan Carpenter’s missed field goal.

        The burden of proof is on RT17 to show he’s consistent at range. He needs to get accurate and start making better judgments, THEN we can start asking if Hartline and Bess are good enough threats.

        • Mark Loiselle

          Wow, perfectly said. I couldn’t have agreed more.

        • Miami Jules

          I mostly agree except the decision were made for him by Sherman…Sherman saw the opportunity for glory in the big play when Revis went down and got away from what had been our 1st down bread and butter, the running game and Bess from the slot. Going to Fassano had had its ups and downs throughout the game, but Miller, Lane, Bess, were money in the bank. It’s on Sherman.

      • Miami Jules

        I agree with that too…not in the 4th qtr though… we got greedy and wanted the big play at all cost and instead we got a big loss.

    • Miami Jules

      YES! They were trying to recreate the glory from last week and forcing the ball in there no matter what the coverage was… no attmpts at getting serious 1st downs… the Jets couldn’t stop Miller… we were on our own 10 NOT needing coming from behind and instead we go 3 and out, punt, the jets get the ball at our 40 yard line and score a TD… so obvious I don’t know why more people who follow football are still talking about this and that instead of the REAL reason… it shouldn’t have come down to a kick..

  • Jorge

    This guy is Cam C jr. Believe me. I’ve been watching since he got here.

  • mike from williamsburg,va

    if you watch the replay of the first missd fg the laces were pointed out to the left. I’am surprised no one noice this flaw.

  • dolphinfan72@hotmail,com

    yea are coach is young, and made some bad decisions. but it was the bad play calling by are OC. hartline wasnt open the whole gm and we still tryed to get it to him.C’mon coach. bess was on and we didnt even try to look at him, and thomas didnt help us none. The rookie miller was running better than him and OC didnt even call him number either C,MON coach get a clue.

    • Oaki

      Nolan Caroll is our biggest problem ….i mean really check this guy out and I dont know why he is not held accountable and shipped Out..He is our opponent safety net,every game he targeted in have to plays and they get em everytime..Dan isnt clutch!!whenever a win is on the line he misses and we lose,sparano knew that last week…Clemens looked better along wit Jones but Nolan Caroll is our weak confused link…

  • Jorge

    The fact that the guy called 3 timeouts in the last 10 seconds of regulation just shows that he is clueless. He tried to call timeout with 1 second left not realizing the Jets would still not have to punt.

  • Victor

    I hate seeing a conservative coaches. Philbing and/or OC showed guts in the last offense trying to get red zone passes but definitely in overtime you need to go at least one running play or short pass distance and betting two more plays to red zone if you like to take risk. I agree that don’t calling at least one short range play was a coaching mistake but the last word it’s for the kicker for failing two shots in one game.
    Time out before Jets kicking was a big mistake? well I would like to see the play again but as far as I was able to watch on tv, I think the some Jets’ players stop to block when they realized that Philbing called time out and that was the reason that gave the change to block the kick.
    I feel very sad as dolphin fan to lose in this way against the Jets, having the feeling that the game was too close to win, but in this kind of games you pay high price for mistakes and it was the case for us. To finish this comment in good way I saw a good Miami team that has potential a very good defense that only need two or three guys in key positions and it would be dominant, a QB that need more experience but he is showing leadership and looks like has been doing his job for one or two seasons and yes please bring WR ASAP at least one more.

    Signed by Frustrated but with hope fan

    • Miami Jules

      We needed 1st downs back at our own 10 yard line, at least to get out of from deep in our own territory… case and point, we went 3 and out, had to punt and the Jets got the ball on our side of the field, end result was a Jet TD…There was no needs for kicksat that point, if we had just made 1st downs, let our heroic defence catch their breath and would’ve gotten fancy with big play attempts on the Jets’ side of the field, there might’ve been a different outcome… end of story.

  • Dolphin Duke

    Horrrible Article! Blaming the coach for the loss is just plain stupid! If DC Broke (carpenter) makes the first field goal we are not in an OT situation. If DC Broke hits the second field goal we are not in this situation, not to mention that the field goals were not over 50 yards so they were not prayer kicks. Bad kicking killed us, now it is time for for Ireland to step up and do the kicking and kick carpenter off the team and get someone dependable. Be a pro carpenter and step up and make a kick!