After a weekend in Miami I can tell you the confidence displayed around the training facility has begun to ebb. The Miami Dolphins started the season on fire but are the losers of three straight and the wheels of the bus may beginning to unravel. Sunday’s loss to Buffalo only highlights the pitfalls of this team following a winnable loss against Baltimore two weekends earlier. With two weeks to prepare for the Bills Miami simply couldn’t pull it together…or hold on.
With just over three minutes left to a victory the Dolphins only needed to hold on but instead did what they had done two times already in the game, turn the ball over. The Bills easily made short work of the field to kick the winning field goal. Miami however still had life after a Marcus Thigpen 40 yard plus kick-off return but it was the failure of the maligned offense that gained no yardage and thus giving the Bills a division tying record.
Blame is always easy to sling after a loss. The offensive line was as much to blame as the two costly interceptions thrown by Ryan Tannehill who has regressed. The Mike Wallace situation is about as ugly as any with Wallace running vanilla routes and giving his QB nothing to throw to when out of the pocket. A deadbeat running game and again an offensive line who look to be all members of Marco Colombo’s family.
On Monday, the Dolphins traded for offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie a move that many say is a move too late while others question what exactly Mckinnie will do to help this team. In Baltimore he is viewed as a very bad investment. So bad that the Ravens traded for his replacement. Now the Dolphins are feeling the pressure to make a move for a player that was on the verge of being cut do to poor play. Upgrade over Clabo or Martin? Hard to say.
On Sunday it was reported that both HC Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland caught an earful from owner Steven Ross. Ross is none too pleased with his major financial investment and Ireland is on the hook right or wrong. It’s a marriage Ireland signed in to when he hired Philbin who has failed thus far to make Miami the southernmost Green Bay Packers. A lot of that blame seems to be shouldered on OC Mike Sherman. Sherman’s inability to call plays and recognize the need for changes has led to the Dolphins looking for an identity.
The trio of Ireland, Philbin, and Tannehill could mark the end for this group. Ireland needs Philbin to work out or he is likely to lose his job. Philbin needs Tannehill to workout or he will likely lose his. Tannehill needs Ireland to stick around or a new GM will come in and shake up everything and likely find his own QB. Despite the off-season encouragement from Ross, Irelands’ one year extension is not an endorsement of another year with the GM.
The Dolphins are going to need some major inside the locker room change if they have any hopes of winning the division or even finishing above .500 at this point. The wheels are not off yet but they definitely coming loose. The Dolphins appeared ready to take a big leap forward but now find themselves two games back of New England and a game back of 2nd place New York. It’s not where fans thought they should be or what the team expected. Apparently it’s not exactly what Ross had in mind either.