Dolphins suffer another defeat in primetime spot

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 13: Jonathan Stewart
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 13: Jonathan Stewart /

Monday night was Miami’s third straight game featured in a primetime spot. It was also their third straight loss.

When the NFL schedule was first released this past summer there was one thing that stood out for Miami Dolphins fans. That is that Miami would have three consecutive games in primetime slots midway through the season. Many Dolphins fans over the years have argued that Miami deserves to be featured in more primetime games. After their 10-6 record, and playoff berth last season, it would appear that the Dolphins were finally getting the recognition they deserved.

Unfortunately, Miami did nothing to convince fans who don’t normally get a chance to see the Dolphins play. Not only did Miami go 0-3 in their primetime trifecta, but they looked abysmal during that run. In this three-game stretch, Miami was outscored by a total of 112-45.

After the Dolphins come-from-behind victory over the Jets in Week 7, Jarvis Landry famously quoted in a post-game interview “stop doubting us.” The interview sparked so much publicity that a t-shirt was even created to help the cause to fight cancer. In every game since then, however, NFL fans and experts have had every reason to doubt the Dolphins.

The Dolphins kicked off their three-game skid with a visit to Baltimore on Thursday night during Week 8. The Ravens have had Miami’s number for the majority of the century, and that had never more evidenced than this particular night. Baltimore had their way with Miami in a 40-0 blowout. Ravens QB Joe Flacco was injured early after a vicious hit from Kiko Alonso, but Baltimore really only needed someone to hand the ball off in this one, which backup Ryan Mallett was exceptional at.

Excuses of a short week, and just the simple reality that Baltimore has been a thorn in Miami’s side for quite some time gave fans the optimism to brush the brutal loss aside. With a few extra days to prepare, and an underachieving Raiders team coming into town, the mindset was that the Dolphins would get back on the right track the following Sunday evening.

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A lot happened in between for the Dolphins, particularly the trade of Jay Ajayi. Adam Gase had called his offense “the worst in football“, and in a sense, made an example out of Ajayi. Despite the loss of one of their best players, it gave the opportunity for guys like Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams to step up. In many ways they have, and although the Dolphins fought hard against the Raiders, they fell short 27-24.

Blown calls and phantom ones were a strong case for the loss, but the bright side was that Miami’s offense looked fairly decent. Both Drake and Williams were exceptional in their new roles, and Jay Cutler had his best game as a Dolphin, even completing his first 16 passes.

The Dolphins knew that visiting a 6-3 Carolina Panthers team on Monday night wouldn’t be easy, but the Panthers have had their fair share of inconsistencies as well. Unfortunately, Miami was no match for the likes of Cam Newton and company, and the Panthers ran away with it 45-21. The loss was Miami’s third straight, their longest losing streak of the season thus far.

It would be understandable for those who don’t normally get to see Miami games to think that this team is not very good. Let’s be honest, they’re not playing like they are. They still have a chance to turn things around, however, with a win at home against Tampa Bay. Despite the rough slide, Miami is just one game out of the playoff hunt.

The team that currently holds the final spot is Buffalo. The Bills are losers of two straight, and in a surprising move today, elected to bench QB Tyrod Taylor. We’ll see how long that lasts, but Miami still has both meetings scheduled with Buffalo. If they win both, it could give them a real shot at making it back to the postseason.

As for their spotlight in primetime games, Miami still has one remaining this season on their schedule – a home matchup with the Patriots on Monday, December 11th. That will be one of their toughest games for sure, but a win could mentally erase what we’ve had to witness these past three weeks. If Miami is unable to turn things around this season, however, then it could be a long while before we see the Dolphins in a primetime game again.