When the clock finally stopped on Sunday the Miami Dolphins were the ones who notched a victory. The overtime win was anything close to inspiring. In fact it raised more questions that answers.
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Entering the game as 10 point favorites the Dolphins escaped an embarrassing home opener loss not because of solid defense or stellar offense but because the Browns had a kicker who missed three, yes three, mid-range field goals.
Through the first three games Miami has shown a propensity to start slow. Not just slow as in takes a couple of drives to find a rhythm but slow as in they don’t even bother to play until the second half.
Miami took an early 7-0 lead on Sunday but then hit the snooze and went back to bed. The problem really isn’t the fact they came close to losing to the Browns. As the saying goes, “any given Sunday” the problem is they are losing to teams that are playing quarterbacks with zero experience.
Two weekends ago the Dolphins came up lame to Jimmy Garoppolo in the first half and then allowed the Patriots 3rd string quarterback do enough to win the game. This past Sunday it was Cody Kessler who had never started or played in an NFL game. And he played well enough to win.
While Miami won, head coach Adam Gase was not thrilled with the way he got his first win as an NFL head coach. Following the game he said the slow start of the offense is a “irritating”. Gase continued that the inconsistent play of the offense is something that he is not thrilled about and that he is “going to get this fixed right now”. The irritation in his voice was very clear.
"“I want us to execute better. I want us to play with some consistency,” Gase said. “We want to come out here in our first game [at home] and showcase to our own fans what we’re about, and offensively we’re out there flopping around. It irritated me a little bit. It still does now. It’s bothering me a little bit.”"
The Miami Herald reported that Gase was “angry” in his office after the game. He composed himself quite well for the reporters it seems. The Herald also reported that the players were not too thrilled with their victory.
Many of the players reportedly were not too enthusiastic after the game and Ryan Tannehill was reported as saying they “didn’t deserve to win”. And they didn’t.
Miami fans have all too often heard these reports and seen the players faces and hoped that it would lead to a change in play and all too often it hasn’t. Miami has a short week as they play Thursday night in Cincinnati who has lost two games in a row.
The Dolphins didn’t really “win” on Sunday they were more or less gifted a victory and the players seem to sense that. Whether they can turn that into something else on Thursday remains to be seen.