The Miami Dolphins have officially been eliminated from post-season contention. Now, they are playing for pride. Something they haven’t been able to do all season long.
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During the first half of Monday Night’s Dolphins game, it looked like the retro-uniforms were going to breathe life into a stagnant team. The Dolphins looked crisp and there was electricity in the stadium. The Dolphins wore circa 1966 uniforms and looked as sharp in them as the offense and defense was on the field. Miami just couldn’t keep it together.
As the game wore on the Giants began to pick apart the Dolphins defense and Ryan Tannehill slumped back into mediocrity once again. The two teams traded scores in the first half and they headed to the locker room knotted at 17 apiece.
The Giants have been one of the worst teams in the NFL in the second half this season but on Monday night they found the holes in the Dolphins defense and exploited them. Miami would take a 3rd quarter seven point lead but the Giants would tie it up and eventually take the lead for good. Tannehill couldn’t lead the team back in the 4th quarter.
For most of the game the Dolphins played a well balanced offense but in the 2nd half the play calling left a little to be desired and Miami couldn’t find any cohesiveness outside of Tannehill and Landry. Landry posted big statistical numbers. 11 receptions for 99 yards but here’s the problem. No other receiver was caught more than two passes and only the tight ends caught three. Landry was the complete focus of Tannehill and the inability to find other targets consistently made the Dolphins offense one-dimensional yet again.
Landry’s numbers were record setting. Landry moved into second place on the NFL’s all-time receptions list made by a player in his first two seasons. Previously held by Marques Colston, Landry’s 11 receptions moved him three shy of holding the mark on his own. In first place? Odell Beckham, Jr. Landry also moved into second place on the Dolphins all-time list for most receiving yards in a single season. He is one reception (89) shy of tying O.J. McDuffie’s 1998 mark of 90.
While Landry was the star on offense he did contribute a costly personal foul in the 2nd half with Miami in good field position.
There are still three games to play but the Dolphins season is now over. For a brief moment I saw reasons to keep Dan Campbell but as the game progressed it became apparent that he isn’t ready just yet. Miami is three weeks away from starting their next coaching search. Or at least should be starting a search.
All season Miami has been a team that has had to play from behind, score or record. When pride was on the line, Miami didn’t show much of it. Last night Miami played a decent game but decent games don’t win you games.