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.