The Miami Dolphins lost in New England today for the 8th consecutive year. While the score shows a 31-24 loss, the reality is much worse.
About the only thing Miami was able to win in the first half was the opening coin flip. Despite the Patriots being without Tom Brady, replacement Jimmy Garoppolo led the Patriots to a 24-3 half-time lead.
Garoppolo was near perfect most of the first half as the Patriots took control early. Offensively the Dolphins were stagnant until the final drive of the first half when they managed a field goal.
The tide however turned when Garoppolo was sacked and injured. The injury occured midway through the 2nd quarter but it wasn’t until the late 3rd quarter that Miami mounted an unlikely comeback.
With Garoppolo out, New England turned to 3rd string quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Brissett would lead a New England touchdown drive in the 3rd quarter before the Dolphins took over.
Down 31-3 the Dolphins offense found their stride posting three consecutive touchdown drives to pull within on score. However it would be the defense once again who would let the Dolphins down.
With just over 5:00 minutes in the game, Miami’s defense was unable to stop running back Leggarette Blount as he churned the yards and ate the clock. Fortunately for the Dolphins, the typically money Stephen Gostkowski missed a chip shot field goal giving Tannehill and the team life.
Tannehill led a gutsy final drive but time was not on their side and on 4th and 5 with 9 seconds left from the New England 30, Tannehill’s endzone pass to DeVante Parker was intercepted on a jump ball.
In the first half of the game Miami looked worse than some college teams. Anemic and uninspired, Miami looked more like a Joe Philbin coached team than a Adam Gase team. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was as bad as Kevin Coyle.
There are obvious problems on both sides of the ball but Adam Gase needs to find a way to get his offense going much sooner. The laid back style he runs early comes on far too late for it to matter when needed.
Defensively Miami has so many holes that they simply can’t adjust to counter the lack of experience or depth.
On the upside the 2nd half Dolphins looked like an entirely different team and didn’t quit. Something that has been a staple the last few years. Somehow they need to find a way to put teams away early.
Next week the team returns home 0-2 and one game back in the AFC East as they face the Browns. It’s going to be a long season.