After the Miami Dolphins embarrassing 37-3 loss to the sub-par Tennessee Titans at home on Sunday, Joe Philbin and his team have dug themselves a significant hole in their pursuit toward a postseason birth.
Two weeks ago, the Dolphins were at 4-3 and in position to receive one of the two wild-card spots in the AFC. Now, after a close loss to the Indianapolis Colts and their meltdown against the Titans, Miami now finds themselves on the outside looking in.
Miami is two games behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East. They are now behind Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and San Diego in the Wild Card race. With only 7 games remaining on their schedule, Miami is now in a must win type situation heading into Thursday’s divisional showdown against the Buffalo Bills.
After shocking the entire NFL community by starting the season 4-3(could have been 6-1), the Dolphins are looking more and more like the team of recent years who find ways to keep themselves out of the playoff conversation. Although Miami is floundering the last two weeks, I believed since the beginning of the season that this team is different.
With exception to the last two weeks, Joe Philbin’s Dolphins have been a league leader in run defense, solid offensively both through the air and on the ground, and have been very good in special teams. In all three phases the Dolphins have surprised everyone, but as of late they have proven most people who said they weren’t a playoff contender, right.
I believe a few things have been missing during Miami’s two game losing streak. Where did Reggie Bush go? Is he hurt or are they just not going to him as much?
Four carries for your best play maker is not enough. I know his turnovers the last couple weeks have been a factor in his workload, but Reggie needs the ball in his hands much more than four times a game if this offense is going to succeed week in and week out.
Their pass defense has been shaky to say the least and is mostly what contributes to the dwindling Dolphin playoff hopes. Most importantly though, the total team effort that Miami was showing in their four wins this season is simply not what it was. Philbin must somehow get that back if Miami intends on reeling off some wins to contend for a playoff position.
The Buffalo Bills will host Miami on Thursday which will be a must win game for both. Miami needs this victory over the Buffalo Bills to get back to .500 and in the thick of the playoff race once again. Reggie Bush must get going against Buffalo’s 32nd ranked run defense. If Bush can get going early and often, rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill will have much more success in play-action and in the passing game in general.
Hopefully for Philbin, the Dolphins, and their fans Miami can get a big division win Thursday night because another season with no playoff hopes only at or near mid season is devastating. Again, I believe this is not the same Dolphins team, but they will have to prove that starting in their only prime-time appearance this season for more people to believe that notion.