To say that today’s game was ugly would be an understatement. The Dolphins failed to score a single point against the New England Patriots to end the 2012 season. The Patriots put up an easy 28.
The team came close several times but couldn’t punch it in. The closest they came was the 5 yard line but Reggie Bush and Ryan Tannehill couldn’t connect on the exchange and the ball was fumbled to the 1 yard line where the Patriots recovered.
It’s hard to say that Tannehill had a miserable day, while he did turn the ball over on one INT and was credited for a fumble on the Bush exchange, he rarely had time in the pocket. A relentless New England pass rush collapsed the pocket enough to force Tannehill into making rushed throws. When he wasn’t on his back. He was sacked 7 times on the day.
Defensively the team couldn’t put the Patriots away even when they had them backed up. The Patriots simply had a better game plan and played for something more than just to finish out the season. While the Patriots once again head to the post-season, the Dolphins head to another off-season of hopeful change.
With upwards of 48 million dollars in cap space and 5 picks in the first 3 rounds of April’s draft the Dolphins fans are hopeful that the team will finally add the “playmakers” that will elevate the team to playoff contender. Patience has worn thin for years but the inclusion of Seattle, Indianapolis, and possibly Washington (their season finale starts at 8:30) to the post-season has fans running on fumes.
The good news is that as the season drew to conclusion, the team was still mathematically relevant until last week. The Dolphins entered the season with four losses in pre-season…all very ugly…and was expected to finish no better than 4 wins by most experts. The fact that fans found themselves expecting more and more as the season wore on is a testament to the fact that the team showed they could actually deliver more. They just didn’t.
Next on the agenda for the Dolphins is the seasonal player review, the exit interviews with the players for the off-season, and the tedious job between coach and GM to plan the off-season tactics. With the doors now closed, the Dolphins will work towards making this team better. Hopefully after years of attempting to do so, they will finally achieve that objective.
They will need to. The stadium attendance has been steadily declining and it’s not likely to improve until the team can finally put a winning, not promising, product on the field.
This season is officially a wrap.