The Miami Dolphins played a bad game. Time to move on. Move forward. Tennessee is coming to town next week and the Dolphins need to get over the loss on Sunday to the Colts. This weeks game doesn’t pose the aerial assault that the Dolphins faced from Andrew Luck but the Titans do take a more balanced approach. Later in the week this site will take a closer look at the match-up.
The Dolphins are far from out of the season and the approach they take moving forward will determine where they end their season. While losing the ability to share the AFC East lead with the Patriots, they still have them on their schedule twice and because of that control their own fate within the division. The bigger problem for the Dolphins is the Titans. They are the next ones on the schedule.
Following the Titan game, the Dolphins will have a short week and a long trip as they head to Buffalo to face the Bills on their only prime-time appearance on Thursday night. Two wins in a row as tough as it will be, puts the Dolphins right back into the middle of the chase. The question for Miami is can they take away the good things that happened on Sunday and fix those things that went horribly wrong.
Many will point out that once again the Dolphins lost a game by three points. The third time it has happened this season. Sunday’s game could have been a lot worse. Two dropped TD passes by the Colts could have changed the score of that game considerably. Of course a few of those missed turnover opportunities could have changed them for the Dolphins.
The point is that there is plenty in Miami to build upon. Offensively the Dolphins played very well although they need to fix what is wrong with the running game. Reggie Bush has been nowhere near his pre-injury form and some have to wonder if he isn’t playing mentally at 100%. A serious knee injury this year and his free agency off-season will be shattered. Bush hardly seems like the type of player who would have that on his mind but it is something that could be a possibility in how he has been attacking the holes.
Daniel Thomas looked sharper in his limited carries than Bush did. Bush’s biggest problem is that he still dances far too much before hitting the line of scrimmage. While some blame can be put on Bush, other issues are with the Oline.
Too often than not, the holes are closing faster than they used to. Maybe the Oline is wearing down a bit, maybe they are facing better defensive fronts, or maybe the timing is simply off. One thing is for certain, the play on the left side of the line is not improving and Jake Long is giving up way too much on the edge. Yesterday, Long was taken to task by second and third string defensive ends. Forget about Robert Mathis.
The Dolphins rely on Jake Long to anchor the line of scrimmage and yesterday he was seen upset with a missed blocking assignment by Daniel Thomas that put Ryan Tannehill on his back. The problem is that Long is the one who missed the block. And it’s becoming a recurring situation. Something is going on with Long this year. His contract year and yet he simply isn’t playing up to the level that one would assume he would be.
The Dolphins haven’t made a decision on Long yet, at least not publicly or VIA leaked information from his agent but it’s going to be one of the most talked about situations when the season is over.
The play on Sunday has left may fans wondering if the team they saw a week earlier was more indicative of the type of team they are or if this pass Sunday showed the side of the Dolphins that is more of what we can expect. It’s why this weeks game against the Titans stands to be so important. The Dolphins reeled off three victories in a row setting expectations far higher than most assumed realistic. This is the first time they will have to show the ability to bounce back…or in this case, putting Sunday behind them, and move forward.