Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

'Phins' Sherman Costs Miami Another Victory


If Miami wants to make the playoffs this year, they can’t afford to lose winnable games against beatable opponents.  That is exactly what they did yesterday against the Buffalo Bills.  I understand fingers can be pointed every which way, singling out this person or that person for Miami’s recent troubles.  While I’m sure some fans will be pointing their fingers at QB Ryan Tannehill, let me just say this in the sophomore quarterback’s defense.  Tannehill struggled early and I understand the contextual importance of his pick 6 and other red zone interception.  With that being said, Tannehill dispalyed great leadership, maturity and skill to come back from those two mistakes and put his team in a chance to win the game.  Had Tannehill folded and lost his edge and not led Miami back into the game, then yes, I would agree with every fan who blames our young QB for yesterday’s heart-breaker.  I for one am saving all of my fingers to point at one person and one person only, Tannehill’s sideline puppeteer Mike Sherman.

In my opinion, Sherman is to blame for one reason and one reason only: terrible play calling.  This was the first time in what felt like forever that the Dolphin running game was clicking and having success.  Both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas had productive games (Thomas: 12 carries, 60 yards; Miller 9 carries, 43 yards) and the O-Line was actually owning the Bills’ defensive front.  Surely Sherman would continue to run the ball since it was working so well right?


After establishing a 21-17 lead early in the second half, it seemed as though Miami just completely abandoned their running game, in a time when they needed it most.  Sherman instead seemed content with giving the Bills’ pass rush more and more opportunities to attack Ryan Tannehill and force consecutive three and outs.  As I held my breath, I watched the Miami Offense notoriously keep the Bills in the game.

Then, it became evident just how foolish OC Mike Sherman could be.  With a 21-20 lead, the ball on the 50 yard line, the Miami Offense faced a 2nd down and 8 with 2:57 left in the game to go.  The clock was ticking and all Miami had to do was continue to pound the football into Buffalo territory.  Instead, Mike Sherman dialed up another ESPY winning play and elected to throw the football, allowing Mario Williams to make a second meal (he had a first sack only moments earlier) out of RT Tyson Clabo and punch the ball from Tannehill’s hands, ultimately ending in an encore performance of Dan Carpenter’s revenge tour.  I still can’t believe the Dolphins passed.  I just can’t.

I completely understand passing on 3rd down in that situation.  That would have been totally acceptable.  But on 2nd and 8 with the clock ticking and your running game having it’s most successful game in weeks? No way.  Totally unacceptable.  Worst case scenario, Thomas or Miller gains nothing or even loses yards, and you have to throw on 3rd down.

Pointing fingers does not do this team or organization any good.  What this organization needs is a new play-caller.  If the Miami front office is unwilling to make this happen, then at least let someone besides Sherman manage the game in the 4th quarter, because the pattern of Miami blowing games late is getting old.  Tony Sparano could have closed out that game for crying out loud.  That being said, I am hoping and praying that Miami digs deep and leaders on both sides of the ball emerge to take on an equally angry and sickened New England team next Sunday.


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Tags: Miami Dolphins MIke Sherman Ryan Tannehill

  • Chris

    I don’t know if it’s my gut, or just given the history, but I feel like New England is gonna come out and put up 6 or so touchdowns against us. Also, I vented in another post but we can’t blame Sherman entirely for this loss. Yes, the decision to throw on 2nd and 8 was a bad one. But I distinctly remember my heart breaking just a little bit more on that last Buffalo drive every time Jackson would run through another one of our defenders, continuously getting 4-6 yds a carry with the game on the line. Sadly, we were outplayed in every aspect of this game.

    • Eric Roddy

      I agree Chris that we can’t completely blame Sherman. But as for that last Bills drive, there is no way they should even be in that position. The only reason Jackson was able to run the ball is because the BIlls only needed a Field Goal! Miami should have run on 2nd and 3rd down, made the Bills use their timeouts, then pin them deep in their own territory and let a QB who has only started 2 games prior lead a 70 plus yard drive to win. Sherman was to blame at the end, no doubt. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Craig

        And what the hell is up with our inability to stop 3rd and Infinity on screen passes? Got to be 4 this year that ended in points. For example we were still in the MNF game in 2nd quarter and had NO pinned with a 3rd and 20 and he gets 21. As a defense, that just kills the motivation. Get all pumped up to get off the field and something like that happens.
        Also got to give some S##T to the guy who grabbed the rolling punt. Why even touch that ball? You just dont see stuff like that happen by the premiere teams.

        • Eric Roddy

          That was a rookie mistake by Don Jones, a rookie. That definitely cost Miami big. My biggest concern at this point is with the Defense’s inability to apply pressure consistently on the QB. Sometimes its lights out, sometimes there isnt even a shove. if you watch opposing teams are converting third and longs because Miami is not getting to the QB and/or poor tackling. Your pain is my pain.

  • tpl

    Yeah, I was disgusted Miami did not put Clay in as RB, and let him pound it once we had a lead. Sherman should go, but that won’t happen. I figure Miami now will be lucky to have a winning record.

    • Eric Roddy

      I DONT CARE WHO THEY GIVE IT TO YOU HAVE TO RUN THE BALL IN THAT SITUATION! While Miami likely will not make the playoffs (they still can), what is good for them is the entire AFC is struggling right now, so the wild card and even the division is still within grasp. Step one, beating New England next week. thanks for reading and commenting

  • DolphinsRuleAll

    I haven’t liked Sherman since he joined up with us, and that might have been the most poorly mismanaged 4th qtr I’ve ever seen. Get rid of him. While they’re at it, find replacements for QB Coach Zac Taylor and OL Coach Jim Turner. SOMEONE has to pay for the piss-poor effort we’ve seen to this point.

    • Eric Roddy

      I wouldn’t mind seeing someone go, even if it is just used as a method for lighting a flame under this team. One thing I can’t stand about this coaching staff (though it is just Philbin’s mantra and I like him) is the lack of passion and excitement coming from the coaches. Philbin gets as vocal as he can, but the other coaches aside from Darren Rizzi dont seem to care. Get rid of Sherman and bring in a west coast offensive coordinator, maybe one that matches our offense! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Joseph Guilbert

    Sherman has made some bad play calling no doubt. Predictable play calling is the problem. Miller needs to given the ball in the broken/open field. Can anyone tell me why the Dolpins can’t run a screen play?Tannehill needs to be rolled out to utilize his skill set and to take advantage of his speedy recievers. This will make the offense less predictable, less vulnerable to pressure and tire out the opposing defensive lineman by forcing pursuit. How about moving Hartline to the right on a come back route, have Wallace run a crossing pattern, and roll Miller in drag as an option. We also need to get a short yardage back like Javorski Lane who can pound it for an automatic 1st down. This weakness has not only led to the failure of critical third down conversions but probably the loss of two games.

    • Eric Roddy

      predictable yes and that play call yesterday with 2nd down and 8 was just atrocious.

  • Gregg Szafran

    Sherman is awful, I am so sick of crapping out in the 4th quarter, defense actually played ok – We should be 5-1, instead we’re looking at 3-4, I have no faith this staff won’t get out coached badly in New England.

    • Eric Roddy

      With all the help from the other AFC teams, its not too late to turn this season around! 9-7 is good enough to make the playoffs this year by the looks of it!

  • Craig

    I saw something new out of Tannehill on about 5 plays yesterday… A Roll Out. Imagine for a minute when you are gameplanning against Tannehill as a D-Lineman from the opposition. You know that on 99% of the plays Tannehill will be sitting within about a 15 foot diameter on the field. Everyone can draw a line straight to there in their rush. We got Wallace as a guy that we need to be able to wait 2.5 seconds before throwing a deep ball too. When you roll out you have time to keep that play in the back of DB’s minds. When he is being crushed in less than 2 seconds, defense only needs to cover about 25 yards of field. Tannehills pick on the first play was all on him. Completely should have seen that coming, everyone else did. Maybe even gone back to that play in the next drive on a double move.
    The pick in the endzone, I think he though it would be wide open, but didnt see defender playing that side of the field. Bet he was trying to pull that one back in before he even released it.

    • Eric Roddy

      If you read one of my previous articles, I said that Tannehill needed to be rolled out more! Thanks for agreeing.

  • Craig

    Is newly signed Bryant McKinney an upgrade? Sure cant be any worse.

    • Eric Roddy

      Depends on what McKinney we get. If we get the passionate one, he’ll be a more skilled version of Clabo. If we get the lazy player he is notorious for, he could be worse.

  • William Varner

    If Clabo doesn’t get humiliated and Tannehill doesn’t fumble, this conversation/article never happens. Miami was only up by 1. They were playing to be up by 4. Everybody always bitches about Miami being too conservative. They dialed up a play to gain yardage. Hindsight is 20/20. It’s like going for it on 4th down. Sometimes your the hero, sometimes your the goat.

    • Eric Roddy

      While I agree that’s true, Clabo should not have been put in that situation. I am not saying that throwing was not smart in that it was unexpected, but sometimes you have to be a hard-nosed coach and say “we’re going to run the ball down their throats” even if it isn’t the “sexy” or unexpected play. Throwing it simply was not smart in that situation. Thanks for reading and commenting!