My Thoughts On Dolphins Loss

I’m sick. I’m disappointed. I’m unsettled. After a 3-0 start which included victories over teams such as the Indianapolis Colts and the Atlanta Falcons, the Miami Dolphins were riding high. Tannehill was playing smart football. The defense was generating pressure and forcing turnovers and the coaching staff was making the appropriate decisions to achieve success. Now, with the Dolphins in the midst of a three game losing streak, it seems as if the first three weeks of the season was just an honest fluke.

The loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football was expected. The loss to the Baltimore Ravens was discouraging. But the loss to the Buffalo Bills? Well, that’s just inexcusable.

Prior to today’s game, the last time the Miami Dolphins took to the field was October 6th. That means the coaching staff had two long weeks to help prepare for the Buffalo Bills. Coach Philbin and his staff had the chance to implement a game plan that can help get them back into the win column. Two weeks to prepare for a backup quarterback who was playing on the road in just his second career start. Instead, the coaching staff failed miserably.

Over the course of the season, some of the biggest problems that the Dolphins have been up against has been the running game and the offensive line. Today, the running game was actually quite impressive. For the first time all season, running backs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas combined for over 100 yards on the ground. Miller, rushed for 43 yards on 9 carries, while Thomas ran for a season high 60 yards on 12 carries.

The offensive line also played pretty decent. Game after game Ryan Tannehill has been mostly seen on his back. Even though the line isn’t entirely at fault for the record amount of sacks that have been given up, they have not yet played up to their expectations. Through the first five games, Tannehill has been sacked 4,5,5,4 and 6 times. With a tremendous amount of pressure put on the line to perform today, they had a season best performance, allowing just two sacks.

With two of the biggest issues virtually being positives today, the Dolphins were in a great position to improve to 4-2. Instead, the coaching staff decided to blow the game. With the team up by a point late in the fourth quarter, all they had to do was run and protect the football, which they have been doing very well all day. Successfully doing so would have either put the game away or give the ball to Bills quarterback, Thaddeus Lewis, with very little time remaining and no timeouts.

But what did offensive coordinator Mike Sherman do instead of running the football? He thought it would be a genius idea to let Tannehill throw the ball. Throwing the ball in that situation had many negatives. A risk of a bad snap. The possibility of throwing an interception. An incomplete pass, which would have stopped the clock or a sack which could turn into a fumble.

Wait. That last one. What did I say? I said a sack that could result in a fumble. No that would never happen. The Dolphins offensive line normally doesn’t let up big sacks. Oh wait, they do? That’s right! They do! The Miami Dolphins offensive line is on pace to allow the most sacks ever in a single season. Obviously, putting the game in the hands of the line is a much better idea than running the football, especially when you have been able to SUCCESSFULLY run the ball. With just a few minutes left in the game, Sherman called a pass play. Tannehill steps back and guess what happens next. Mario Williams blows up Tyson Clabo for a strip sack on Ryan Tannehill, giving the Bills a very short field to work with.

Throughout the season, the Dolphins offensive line has caused a lot of problems. Despite giving up the game losing sack earlier today, they are not the reason why the Dolphins lost today’s game. It blows my mind that an offensive coordinator in the NFL lacks the common knowledge to run the ball late in the game to milk the clock. I also don’t understand how he can possibly call a pass play, knowing that the offensive line and Tannehill are having a historically bad season in terms of sacks allowed.

I hate to say this, especially since Ryan Tannehill has only played close to a season and a half, but Mike Sherman needs to go. Switching coordinators early on in a quarterback’s career can definitely have a negative impact on their progression. Sherman has had many questionable play calls throughout the season. Abandoning the run, throwing in obvious run situations and not properly guiding Tannehill through games has been the main problem with Sherman and it’s a problem that needs fixing immediately.

Man, I wish the Dolphins had another bye week this season to fix things!

Should Mike Sherman Be Fired?

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  • Fins4ever

    Good article. It explains how many of us feel. The rest of us feel WORSE! Yes, Sherman should be fired and if Philbin wants to keep his job, he needs to fire him ASAP. IMO, if Joe doesn’t fire Sherman, they will both be fired. They might both be fired anyway.

    Ross is not an idiot like many people intimate. He is a very successful businessman and he knows owning a NFL franchise is an invaluable investment. That said, Ross spent a bunch of money this off season and he won’t hesitate to make changes.

    • Justen Rosenberg

      Appreciate the comment. This article does no justice to how I feel. I can go on forever.

  • adam baker

    I knew the dolphins were a bit of a mirage early, but I certainly didnt see this coming. I feel tannehill is getting somewhat of a pass on this one though. Yes, Sherman needs to go. But he didnt throw a pick 6 on the third play of the game. He didnt throw that atrocious floater in the end zone that cost us 3 points at the very least (we lost by 2). These fumbles have become an every game occurance for tannehill. And we all know his deep ball could use a little work. Dolphin nation has every right to points fingers in nearly every direction after this one.

    • gofins60

      Adam, look at the bright side…

      Hopefully, Ross will put the hammer down and make changes now, instead of giving this entire regime another 2 or 3 years and then having to start over again when they ultimately fail.

  • Doug Vaughan

    I also don’t like the fact that Cameron Wake was on a leash today he hardly played, as well as Dieon Jordan that’s another problem with coaching. Sherman needs to go back to college he has no idea how to use pro athletes and there abilities. Philbin might want to consider going back up stairs to the booth to coach cause he clearly looks over whelmed. 6-10 at best with this coaching staff.

  • Larry Nones

    I couldn’t have expressed it better myself! Sherman has got his head up his ass!

  • Larry Nones

    By the way, Tannehill is no Russel Wilson or Andrew Luck either. How disappointing.

  • tpl

    Changes need to be made. Philbin’s job is hanging by a thread. Sherman’s call’s have been awful, and he was fired from A&M for repeatedly losing the same way, so this loss will be repeated. Sherman should be fired now. Promote someone from within the dolphins organization. Tannehill should be benched. Play Matt Moore or Pat Devlin. Clabo should be outright released.

    • Justen Rosenberg

      Bench Tannehill? You can’t do that..

  • althotos

    I don’t know what’s going on with the offense or the coaching staff on the offense. The O-line can’t protect our quarterback, the first decent QB since Dan Marino retired. We have a very expensive receiver acquired over the summer who is grossly underperforming. You can’t turn the ball over 3 times and expect to beat even a mediocre team like Buffalo, who is on their 3rd QB. Seriously folks, this should have been an easy win, but once again, half-way through the regular season, we appear to be heading South. My only solace is in the fact that both the Broncos and New England lost.

  • Chris

    This was the most upset I’ve been after a loss in a long time. Furious! I couldn’t have been more disappointed in this team/coaching staff as a whole. Having said that, we all need to stop with the “needs to go” bandwagon that drives around Dolphin stadium relentlessly. Seriously? Ok, maybe Sherman’s job is being called into question, and rightfully so. But fire Philbin? Bench Tannehill? Don’t be stupid..I think every regime should be given 3 seasons to churn their roster, implement their playbooks, build up drafted rookies, etc. I believe Philbin is 10-12 as our Head Coach. Given the roster we had last year, I don’t think it’s time to abandon ship just yet. Does my disappointment lead me to feel bleak as shit about the rest of the season? Sure. Do I think after this season we should have ample opportunity to fix the problems we have now (O-Line!)? Definitely. Do I think if we fired every Head Coach and benched every QB whenever we dropped below .500 that it would do irreparable damage to this team? More so than anything else.

  • Karen Melanson Hartman

    The momentum has shifted here in Miami , lots of fair weather fans here , I think Ireland should be the one to go , he’s made far too many bone headed decisions

  • Richard Youngman

    I agree, Sherman was in the wrong for throwing. However, having said that, when you dial up a play you expect your team to perform. Our O-Line has been abysmal this season. Tyson Clabo and Jonathan Martin are not starters and have allowed more sacks than anyone. Last game, Suggs owned Martin, and against the Bills, Williams owned Clabo. Coaching can only be blamed so much for bad players. Tannehill looks like he is a second half QB which im fine with. But he needs his line to perform.

  • Orfilio Pelaez

    Good article. Exactly what I thought when I was at the game yesterday. How do you NOT run the ball in that situation and milk the clock, instead calling a pass play from under center (not even shotgun)? That has to be the worst example of end of game play calling that I have seen in ages. I got home and had to drink a gallon of Maalox just to be able to function. Sherman is an idiot, period

  • CdnFinFan

    I would be surprised to find out that Mr Ross DID NOT go to the dressing room after the game and rip everyone a new one, coaches and players. He must have felt just as sick as us, if not more so. One play that stands out to me as the most bone-headed play of the game was Don Jones downing the ball on the punt coverage when he was clearly out of bounds. WHY? What the hell was he thinking? There was nor threat of a return, no threat of the ball kicking back, and there were other Dolphin players there to down it themselves. I think THAT lost the game.

  • phinfan

    I feel like the loss to Buffalo was a huge turning point for this organization. Even though we had lost to NO and Baltimore, getting our guys back on defense left me feeling like we could start winning again. Instead, I think we truly have to question whether or not we have the right coachin
    g staff and even QB now. Tannehill had a TERRIBLE game against NO. Now he has two INTs and a fumble. Mike Sherman, before the season started, said Tannehill would be the most improved QB in the NFL. Do you think he has improved? Is he any better than last year? I was hopeful that he was, that we finally had our QB. Now I’m not sure. And the coaching staff – I think I heard that all plays go through Philbin. If that’s the case, do we now have to question Philbin? Are we again searching for a coaching staff and QB?