Nov 15, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams (94) during the first half of a game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphins In Perfect Pre-Season Form

The Miami Dolphins lost to another below .500 team last night.  A Buffalo Bills team ranked 32nd in many NFL statistical categories.  The once surging Miami Dolphins are now mired in a pre-season funk that has them playing more like those atrocious four games prior to the start of the season than the team who reeled off three wins in a row that now seems like a long time ago.

Since the Dolphins destroyed the New York Jets after their bye week, they have self-destructed since.  Penalties have gone up, field position down, and Ryan Tannehill is showing the signs of a more realistic rookie QB.  The crash from that high is always big.  When you start looking at the lack of running game, dropped passes, and an offensive line who has shifted from a weak right side to a weak left, questions are bound to creep in.

The other side of the ball however is doing the team no favors.

Sean Smith lit up the first half of the season and now is so pedestrian that opposing no-name wide-receivers are becoming household names.  Smith continually leaves a cushion that he simply can’t recover from.  If his play is bad, Nolan Carroll’s is far worse.  Carroll was the recipient of multiple pass interference calls on Thursday night and even managed to get called on a play that was on the opposite side of the field.  Bill QB Ryan Fitzpatrick picked on Carroll all night.  The Dolphins for their part continued the dropped interceptions trend for the 3rd week in a row adding three more to their list.

Opposing teams have found a way around Kevin Coyle’s predictable blitz scheme.  What little there is of it.  There is a serious lack of pass rush and QB’s simply take the dump route when there is.  Last night the Bills employed the screen pass to keep the chains moving all night while the Dolphins struggled to find any offensive production.

The Tannehill led Dolphins did not get their first first down until mid-way through the 2nd quarter and that was on a penalty.  Yet in the end, they had a chance to win the game coming back in the 4th quarter.  Once again to see the game slip away on a Tannehill INT.  The fact Tannehill has led no game winning drives this season late is becoming a concern to fans.

The Dolphins will have a few extra days to prepare for a visiting Seahawks team that is making their own push towards the post-season.  Something the Dolphins may have thrown away Thursday night.  Whatever it is that is suddenly wrong with the Dolphins, is the responsibility of one man.  Head Coach Joe Philbin who needs to figure out how fix it.

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  • Robert Hall

    YEP, I can actually see us losing the rest of our games for the season, which would put us one game above where most of the “experts” had us. If we can’t beat the colts, Titans, or Bills, how can we expect to beat the Seahawks, 49′ers, Patriots (twice), Bills (again), or even the lowly Jaguars? I thought we would go 8-8 this season, but I was way off, and I thought we were only a few good draft picks away from contending for the playoffs, again I was way off. Right now, we would be lucky to be 2 drafts away from being contenders the way we are playing right now. I’ve seen college teams play with more urgency and grit. We have no pass rush, and we can’t even beat a team (Bills) that was ranked dead last in most statistical categories! What happened to our team that was playing with passion, I want that team back!

  • Miami Jules

    I haven’t digested the loss enough, to be 100% objective when analyzing what has happened after “teasing” victory over the Jets. Last night, during the Live Game Chat, some said it was due to the O-line, some quickly responded, it was the D-line, while another said no, it was the secondary…hmmmm…how ’bout they all sucked… but I know it is more sinister than that. I don’t buy into the “pro-M. Moore conspiracy” theory, after all, these are professionals players. It may very well be a coaching issue, but again, this is a premature analysis, since I’m still deep in the dark abyss of gridiron depression, but here’s an early stab at an analysis after reading your post Brian.
    It look to me, from early on in the game, the coaching staff went in with a “let’s see who performs and be ready to bench those who don’t” approach, there didn’t appear to be a coherent game plan, it was more like, OK, let’s try running, OK that didn’t work, let’s go with the pass, OK, that doesn’t work either, so OK, Tannehiill, close your eyes and throw a bomb down field and hope someone in aqua catches the ball. Absent were the adjustments we made after the Houston game, the roll outs by RT, the short screen passes, instead of RT just sitting in the pocket and hoping he doesn’t get sacked and a receiver gets open. There have got to be consequences also for bad play, under Shula,the QB would’ve been taken out at some point, if for no other reason, to prevent him from developing BAD HABITS. I know I will come up with a better analysis at some point but, I thought I’d share my initial gut feeling.

  • Miami Jules

    PS I, as many sports fans and athletes before, tend to be a bit supersticious, and I noticed good things happened every time I went into the bathroom, well, I spent most of the 4th quarter staring at my bathroom walls and eventually that didn’t work either, so I may be out of answers and hence, also out of hope.