I am extremely proud of this Miami Dolphins team! They went into one of the NFL’s toughest atmospheres (MetLife housed 76,957 screaming fans) and dominated their division rival New York Jets 23-3. The Jets boasted one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks and one of the NFL’s best run-stopping defenses. However, that did not stop Miami as they totaled 453 net yards (125 rushing, 328 passing) and put up 23 points. I would like to say that this gigantic offensive performance was not a result of New York’s mediocrity, but it was. I wish it was due to Mike Sherman’s fantastic play calling, but it was not. Even though Miami dominated the entirety of the game, they only led 6-0 at halftime. Who do we have to thank for the lack of points? That’s right, Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman.
Miami completely owned the Jets in the first half. They limited the Jets to under 10 minutes of time of possession, and successfully moved the ball time and time again on a vicious Jets defense. Sherman did a great job in that category. However, what really stood out to me was Miami’s inability to end these long drives in touchdowns. Despite completely controlling the first half and moving the ball for over 200 yards of total offense in the first half, the Dolphins went into the locker room at halftime with a measly 6 points. Despite Geno Smith’s woes and one of the worst offensive performances in one half of football in the history of the New York Jets, the Gangreen was still only down one score. How was this possible? Mike Sherman failed to call the right plays when they mattered most, and Miami’s drives were stalled repeatedly, resulting in two field goals from Caleb Sturgis (who also missed his first attempt from 41 yards).
In my opinion, Coach Joe Philbin did a great job in this victory. He went for it on 4th down when the Dolphins needed to, he barked at the referees when he disagreed with bad calls, and more importantly, he had his men ready for battle. All Miami needed in that first half of football was an average play caller who could somehow find a way to continue Miami’s offensive dominance all the way to the pylons. Instead, they got the same Mike Sherman they have had all year. The Sherman who decided to throw a fade on 4th and goal from the one yard-line after successfully running it on 3rd and goal. The same coordinator who dialed up a run play on 2nd AND 3rd and long inside Jets territory. The list of miscalls goes on and on.
The fact that the ‘Phins only posted 6 first half points says it all. It shows us that the problem does not lie with the defense (who was fantastic by the way), or Joe Philbin (who had his team ready to play), or even QB Ryan Tannehill (who posted a 94.2 passer rating). No, the Miami Dolphins’ main problem is their play calling on offense, and that is completely on Mike Sherman. In the upcoming weeks, Miami has two big games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots. Two teams who know how to win late in the season. What do you think Miami’s chances of winning either of those games are if they only put up 6 points in a dominating half of football? They aren’t too high.
The fate of this season rests on Mike Sherman’s shoulders. Either he steps up his game and calls the plays that result in TOUCHDOWNS, or this Miami team will once again be sitting on the couch watching the playoffs.
On a side note, the Miami Dolphin offensive line gave up only one sack for a 3 yard loss. To that I say,