Dolphins get little help from division foes

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: Running Back Jay Ajayi
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: Running Back Jay Ajayi /

The Dolphins could have received a lot of help from their division foes with a loss, after their own embarrassing 40-0 defeat at the hands of Baltimore. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out that way.

It’s been an embarrassing week for the Miami Dolphins to say the least. They were pummeled by the team that has owned them for the better part of a decade, the Baltimore Ravens, this past Thursday by a score of 40-0.  The loss led head coach Adam Gase to openly admit that Miami’s offense is the worst in the league.

Despite the embarrassment Thursday, Miami remained just a game behind in the tight race of the AFC East heading into Sunday’s lineup. A loss from each of the Dolphins division foes could have generally made their loss a wash. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out the way the Dolphins and their fans had hoped.

The only other team to lose within the division this week was the Jets after the Atlanta Falcons came away with a narrow 25-20 win on the road. The win was Atlanta’s only victory over an AFC East opponent this season. The loss puts the Jets at 3-5, and although they have played better than anyone had projected, are not considered playoff contenders by any stretch.

Miami really needed losses from Buffalo and New England to keep the race for the division crown airtight. Unfortunately, neither of these teams would leave Sunday with an L. The Bills ran away from an underachieving Raiders team at home, 34-14. Buffalo currently sits at 5-2, one game ahead of the Dolphins in the updated standings.

The Bills hold the longest drought for any team (yes, including the Browns) not reaching the playoffs, which currently sits at 17 seasons. At the moment, Buffalo leads the league in fewest turnovers, and turnover differential. Every team in history that has finished atop this list has made the playoffs so Buffalo is doing their best to keep that streak going, and in the process, end their own gruesome streak of not making the postseason.

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If Dolphins fans could choose just one team from the division that they wanted to lose on Sunday, it would almost unanimously be the Patriots. Unfortunately, that did not come to fruition either. Heading into the game, I’m sure very few gave the Chargers a chance at Gillette Stadium, but they managed to keep it close throughout. The Chargers defense continued to hold New England to field goals, giving themselves a chance, but they ultimately fell short on their final possession, and would go on to lose 21-13.

The Patriots certainly appear beatable this season, and a far cry from the dominant team many were predicting they would be prior to the season. Despite their flaws, however, New England still holds a 6-2 record, topping the AFC East, and in a tie for the conference lead.

Miami now faces a hole within the division, but certainly not one that they can’t get themselves out of. The Dolphins need to continue solely focusing on themselves, and make the necessary changes they need to. They cannot afford to have another game like they did on Thursday so whatever they need to do to fix their current situation, they need to do and quickly.

In many ways, Miami still holds their own destiny within the AFC East. This is because they still have both meetings with Buffalo and New England scheduled in the second half of the season. If Miami could somehow sweep both teams, or sweep with one and split with the other, they’ll be right in the thick of the things at the end.