After what was Miami’s most impressive half of football this season, the Dolphins came crashing back down to the ocean floor, giving up 24 second half points in a gut-wrenching defeat to the New England Patriots. While blaming the referees for a loss is 9 times out of 10 a scapegoat, the referees in yesterday’s game made bad call after bad call. These bad calls either cost Miami points or led to Patriot points. At the end of the day, Miami Dolphins fans have the right to blame the refs. Oh, and they also have the right to blame OC Mike Sherman.
In Sherman’s defense, he called one hell of a first half. The Miami offense was upbeat and Ryan Tannehill looked great. The Offensive Line held its own and newly acquired OT Bryant McKinnie showed that he still has what it takes to play in this league. Sherman mixed up the plays and led a balanced attack. The Miami ground game recorded over 90 yards in ONE HALF. Tannehill kept plays alive with his legs and showed great awareness. Everything was clicking and Miami dominated New England offensively.
And then the second half started.
After just ten minutes of being in the locker room, the Dolphins came back onto the field to find themselves completely out-coached. After stopping Tom Brady and engineering a great drive deep into New England, Mike Sherman abandoned a seemingly unstoppable offensive game plan. After getting Mike Wallace in open space on a beautiful end around that picked up 8 yards, Sherman elected to pass twice in a row, starting on 2nd and 2. Even though the Dolphins were over 100 yards rushing in the game and New England had no answer, Sherman elected to pass twice. The result? A dropped pass by Mike Wallace and a sack that pushed kicker Caleb Sturgis further back, culminating in a missed field goal off the upright. New England then drove down the field for a TD, and the Miami lead went from what should have been 20-3 to 17-10. From that moment on, Miami continued to throw the ball, which ultimately lead to a Tannehill fumble and interception and New England totaling 24 unanswered points.
This may just be my opinion or viewpoint, but it seems as though Sherman has abandoned successful game plans more than once. Miami’s last two defeats have not entirely been Sherman’s fault, but two very suspicious Sherman calls were turning points in those losses. His play calling appears almost bipolar and whimsical in nature.
Regardless of how this season ends up for the Dolphins, I think the first person that needs to go is Mike Sherman. With as much talent as the Dolphins have, there is no excuse for the lack of production on the offensive side. The truth is the majority of Miami’s losses have come from poor execution of even poorer play calling. Only time will tell how much longer owner Stephen Ross is willing to put up with Miami’s inability to close games. My only hope is that it comes sooner or later, as Miami still has a small chance at salvaging what has been a heartbreaking season.