Sept. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) catches a 57 yard reception against Arizona Cardinals cornerback William Gay (22) in the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphins Loss Leaves Many Fans Feeling Good

Brian Hartline raced wide open across the field and with a fling of the wrist Ryan Tannehill threw a perfect pass that hit Hartline in stride.  The resulting TD had fans screaming and put Hartline over 240 yards on the day and Ryan Tannehill over 400.  Records for both.  While the Dolphins appeared to have taken over the flow of the game on Sean Smith’s end-zone interception, his 2nd of the game and a career high as well, the Dolphins still found themselves on the losing end of yet another heartbreaking OT loss.

Yet for many Miami Dolphins fans, the loss to the Cardinals left them feeling much better than they had in years.  Finally, the Dolphins appeared to have made progress.

Losing streaks are not fun by any measure and the loss to the Cardinals officially put the Dolphins streak at two.  Yet unlike the week before when the Dolphins lost to the NY Jets in almost the exact same manner, this time, the Dolphins lost to a team that actually is talented and driven.  The Cardinals are not only undefeated but did not play the Dolphins like they were looking ahead on the schedule.

And the Dolphins came once again, within one missed field goal of winning the game.

Ryan Tannehill exploded on the field with 431 yards on 41 attempts and 26 completions.  He threw two interceptions, one came when Brian Hartline slipped on a comeback route leaving the defender easily in line for the ball and the other in overtime when he was hit while throwing.  That INT led to the winning FG.  Tannehill also fumbled after taking a hit after dropping two steps back from behind center.

Without question Tannehill’s TO’s hurt the team but his INT’s to some degree are forgivable given the surrounding circumstance of each.  What wasn’t however was the fumble by WR Legedu Naane who caught a pass in stride, tripped over an ant in the grass, then without getting hit, fumbled the ball to Patrick Petersen.  It was his first catch of the year.

The Dolphins loss was a gut wrenching affair but many fans took comfort in seeing a very well played game against a team that was built defensively to smack them around.  The Dolphins kept Tannehill protected most of the day, giving up four sacks to the team leading the league.  The Cardinal defensive front are the best in the NFL.  Fast, productive, and rarely miss on the first attempt at a tackle.  Their secondary is also one of the best and the Dolphins torched the defense for 431 through the air.

The team never gave up but in the end, a couple of mistakes cost them the game.  Mistakes that a young team makes.  This team doesn’t know how to close out a game yet and it isn’t Mike Shermans’ play calling or DC’s Kevin Coyles schemes, it’s youth and inexperience.  This team is learning how to get leads, how to attack the opposition and slowly they are learning what it takes to win and put games away.  They just haven’t nailed that one down yet.

Sunday provided the Dolphins with something that the Jets game couldn’t, confidence in themselves.  Confidence and belief that they could go into a hostile environment, play against a very good football team, and win.  Win if they can fix the mistakes that inevitably cost them the game.  When they figure out to avoid those mistakes at the end of the game, look out.

In the AFC East after the first month of play, the Dolphins are last in the division but it could be argued that they have played as good if not better than every other team in the division.  They are only 1 game behind the division winners.  ONE GAME.  The Patriots lost to the Cardinals in a similar fashion two weeks ago and the Jets simply are getting more lucky bounces than big plays.

The season is far from over and the Dolphins have a schedule ahead that plays favorable for them.  The Bengals next week and the Rams.  It’s very possible they could be 3-3 after those games.  Perhaps fans are taking comfort in the fact that the Dolphins are finally showing signs of life and more importantly excitement.  This is not the same boring team that we have seen the last few years and there is hope that finally the Dolphins have found a franchise QB.  Not because he threw for 431 yards but because he takes command on the field.  He acts like a leader, the players treat him like a leader, and he believes that he can lead them.

The Dolphins after four weeks of play have won 1 single game.  Yet they have been a missed field goal away from winning two others and six minutes removed from winning their first game of the season.  While the Dolphins didn’t beat the Jets, they haven’t lost the Rams, Titans, or Colts either.  They have lost to two games to two of the three undefeated teams in the NFL.

And that is nothing feel down about!

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Tags: Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill

  • gofins60

    I agree that there’s finally hope for the future. For me, this hope doesn’t negate the fact that this team should be at least 3-1 right now. It would be different if they were always a step behind the opponent during each loss… outplayed, outscored, but hanging in there. But no, they actually dominated so-called “superior” teams only to give the game away at the end. This has been Miami’s “curse” for years; they can’t put an opponent away late in the game. It was that way when the Fins were a Wildcard/Playoff team, and it’s still true as a “rebuilding” team.

    • Jdog

      Again with more glass half empty BS. Give me a brake! I have been a fan for 40 of my 46 years on this earth and I can say that the Fins have more bullshit fans than any other team. Get real bro. The Fins are starting to look good and come together and all you can do is bring up how this team can’t close games. Did you actually pay attention to what Brian Miller wrote? In the past we didn’t have all the right pieces to close games and nobody seemed to have a plan in place to get those pieces. Well it looks like we finally do have a plan and the pieces are finally going to start falling into place. I wish this team had a fan base like Green Bay or KC or Da Bears. Those are real fans. Show up to games no matter what, rain or shine, good or bad, win or lose.

      • gofins60

        Jdog, I did start my post by agreeing that there’s hope for the future. Even with a lack of enough playmakers and a poor secondary this team is playing better than I could have imagined. It appears that Miami might have finally got the QB they needed, but they still need more help in a few areas. I’m not trying to be negative; I’m just frustrated by the fact that even though they’re getting better, they’re still losing games at the end… even when they were well ahead. When the offense needs to score to win the game, they fail, and when the defense needs to hold a lead at the end, they give up a score to lose. As I said, this has been going on for years, and I don’t want to get my hopes up until they start winning. Although, I will admit that this team looks like it could be something special once they fill a few holes and learn how to put an opponent away. My point is that while they’re rebuilding to compete next year, it’s such a tease to see them play so well right now, but only for 45-50 minutes of each game!

        • Jim Szeplaki

          I agree. We need to keep in our minds that this season was not going to be a winning one, but when we see them play as they did the past three games (losing the last two) it’s hard to not expect them to come out with the W. The biggest improvement that needs to be made is RT’s turnovers. Not all are his fault, but the fumble with 2+ minutes left in the game killed them. I think the talk for a true #1 WR should end, as I had felt before the season started. What more can Hartline do to convince the fans he is a #1 WR? Not the fastest, but he can juke any defender out of his jock strap and I think that is more important than speed. Not to mention he has great hands. Two more concerns I think the team needs to address are in the secondary and the kicker. What’s up with DC? He lost these two games for them in part and that cannot continue.
          Go Fins!

  • Chris

    Where do I sign the “Dolphins need to cut that hack of a WR, Nannee ASAP” petition?

  • Jdog

    I agree that yes, we do need a few pieces still. 1 more good WR to add depth. Bring in 2 safetys. We have to get rid of Clemons. 1or 2 CB’s. And although I am not ready to throw in the towel on Carpenter it might not be a bad idea to bring in another kicker to light a fire under his butt. How many draft picks do we have next year?

  • Miami Jules

    I’m STILL feeling very good about the Dolphins…but I still have issues. It’s refreshing to see the team move in the right direction, but make no mistake, the Miami fan is savvy and although we’re feeling positive right now, you can not possibly expect us to be 100 % on board if we keep losing games after the bye week… close or not.
    I was glad to see Sherman not getting away from the same game plan we came in with and worked throught (INT’s and fumballs not withstanding), but I’d like to know who was the moron or had the idiot moment and put Naanee in with the game as close as it was… What part of the dude just doesn’t have good hands did he not get? We got it at home, and we’re not getting paid (personally, I actually got it in preseason ).
    Note: Last year we lost every close game we were in. Now we have different coaches and entirely different Offence and defence… What’s the one thing in common we still have? Most of the players..Coaches will have to coach the mental aspects of athletic period… disciplne, focus, remain relaxed enough in the 4th quarter to execute plays and GET 1st downs… Need to give our defence time to recoup… it will come down toi the basics…a new kicker might help to.

  • Jason

    I do like seeing progress though I want to see some wins when it counts…it sucked so bad last year to win 6 out of the last 9 games but after the playoff chances were already over…. The days are over for teams to be building positives for the following season. If that was the case we would have Matt Moore our starter