The Miami Dolphins season has come to an end. Miami couldn’t overcome their own mistakes to pull out a victory in chilly Pittsburgh.
As the clock ran down to all zeroes, the Dolphins off-season officially began but this year the start was a week later than it typically is. Instead of just wanting the season to get over, the Dolphins had a shot.
Like the Dolphins entire season from starting 1-4 to continually spotting teams points early, the Dolphins gave up 20 points to Pittsburgh in the first quarter and a half. Two consecutive drives to open the game ended with 50+ yard touchdown passes to Antonio Brown. LeVeon Bell would add another and the Dolphins would close the half losing 20-6.
Yet for that score being what it was and how the first half had played out, it was the Dolphins that gave the game to the Steelers. With a minute left in the half and the Steelers heading in for another touchdown, the Dolphins intercepted the ball and gave Miami life.
That final drive that would have lasted 56 seconds could have turned the tide for Miami. The Dolphins drove the ball to the Steelers 10 yard line where Matt Moore was strip sacked and the ball went back to the Steelers.
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A score there and the Dolphins enter half-time down by seven. The 2nd half started and the Dolphins received the kick-off and again the Dolphins drove down the field to the Steelers 37 when again Moore was strip sacked ending the drive.
Had the Dolphins scored on those two plays, a different ball game would have emerged. Miami’s defense found a way in the 2nd half to stop their own bleeding but it wasn’t enough. On the following drive Matt Moore threw an interception.
It just was a little too much for the Dolphins who were severely depleted due to injuries. Miami was without key starters that they actually had missed most of the year. Mike Pouncey, Reshad Jones, Koa Misi, Byron Maxwell, Isa Abdul-Quddus, and of course Ryan Tannehill, were all out of the playoff game. And despite solid play leading up to the post-season, it finally caught up.
The Dolphins will begin analyzing their roster and plan for next season but 2016 will always be remembered as a solid start to the future of Miami and head coach Adam Gase.