Is Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase on the “hot seat”?

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 30: Head coach Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins looks on during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 30: Head coach Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins looks on during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Adam Gase is 21-21 as a head coach in the regular season as the Miami Dolphins head coach. After a playoff appearance in his first season, the Dolphins are now four games under .500 in their last 26 games.

This begs the question: is Adam Gase’s job on the line in the final six games of 2018?

My answer is no. It’s amazing to me how some Dolphins fans just don’t see what Gase has had to deal with during his three years in Miami.

Let’s break this down by season.

Year One (2016): Gase inherited a 6-10 team that fired their head coach less than halfway through the 2015 season. After starting 1-4, Gase adapted. He learned that he needed to make the offense simpler and lean on the running game.

Miami then goes on a tear, winning nine of 10 games to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and just the second time in the last 15 years.

Gase had Ryan Tannehill playing the best football of his career before he was injured in a win over the Arizona Cardinals and missed the rest of the season.

In Tannehill’s last eight games of 2016, including the Cardinals game, he completed 69% of his passes for 1,723 yards, 13 TD and 5 INT. That includes a Baltimore loss in which he threw just one TD and 3 INT’s.

In short, Tannehill played seven nearly flawless games under Gase. Something he had not done since entering the league in 2012.

And after all that, Gase still had to win two of the final three games with backup quarterback Matt Moore to earn a playoff birth. I don’t care that the opponents were a bad Jets and Bills team. Winning in the NFL is hard. Winning with a backup quarterback is even harder. Gase got it done.

Year Two (2017): Gase lost his starting quarterback in the middle of training camp. He decided that Jay Cutler was the best option to be Miami’s QB in 2017.

I feel like Gase gets a lot of criticism for this decision because Cutler was not the guy that Gase thought he would be and rightfully so. However, as soon as Tannehill went down I don’t think it mattered who the QB was, the Dolphins were a 5-7 win football team.

It’s mind boggling how people don’t want to give the head coach any credit for being in the playoff race in December with a backup quarterback for the entire season. 9-7 was good enough for the playoffs last year and Gase had Miami at 6-7 with three games to go before losing the final three weeks.

Aaron Rodgers goes down in Green Bay and the Packers are atrocious. Mike McCarthy gets a pass.

San Francisco loses Jimmy Garappolo and they are 2-8. Kyle Shanahan isn’t expected to win any games.

But when Adam Gase loses Ryan Tannehill the Dolphins were still supposed to be a playoff team?

I understand Tannehill is not even close to being as good as Rodgers or any other elite quarterback in the league. But Gase had Tannehill playing like a top-12 quarterback in 2016, and once he was lost for the season it was crazy to think Miami would be any better than a six or seven win team.

Year Three (Present): The Dolphins are 5-5 and tied for a playoff spot with four other teams heading into the final six games of the season. Brock Osweiler has played quarterback the last five games due to Tannehill’s shoulder injury that occurred in Cincinnati.

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It seems like people are faulting Gase for not having a better backup plan than Osweiler or David Fales, and while I understand the frustration behind that thinking, what could Gase have done besides give up the farm for a top-5 draft pick or take a flyer on a mid-late round QB?

The bottom line is why take a quarterback in the mid-late rounds of the Draft if you don’t love him?

Now, do I think Miami should have drafted more quarterbacks in the past? Yes. But just focusing on last year, I would much rather have third-round pick Jerome Baker or seventh-round pick Jason Sanders than any of the quarterbacks that were available in rounds 3-7 last year.

If Gase didn’t love any of the QB’s there later in the Draft, there’s no point in reaching for one.

Plus, holy injuries. This is the worst luck that I have ever seen when it comes to injuries for the Dolphins. It’s jaw-dropping how many key impact players Miami has lost this year either for the season or multiple games.

Offensive Injuries:

Starting TE, Marqueis Gray: I-R

Starting Center, Daniel Kilgore: I-R

Starting Guard, Josh Sitton: I-R

Leading WR, Albert Wilson: I-R

Backup TE, A.J. Derby: Missed 6 games

Starting QB, Ryan Tannehill: Missed 5 games

WR, DeVante Parker: Missed 5 games

Starting Left Tackle, Laremy Tunsil: Missed 1 game, status for Indianapolis undetermined

Starting Right Tackle, Ja’Wuan James: Missed 1 game, status for Indianapolis undetermined

WR, Kenny Stills: Missed 1 game

WR, Jakeem Grant: Out indefinitely with achilles injury

Defensive Injuries:

DE, William Hayes: I-R

DT, Vincent Taylor: I-R

LB, Chase Allen: I-R

CB, Cordrea Tankersly: I-R

DE, Charles Harris: Missed 5 games

Safety, Reshad Jones: Missed 2 games

DE, Cameron Wake: Missed 2 games

CB, Bobby McCain: Missed 2 games, status for Indianapolis undetermined

That’s six starters out for the season, another four starters that have missed at least five games, including the most important piece of the puzzle in Tannehill, and another five starters that have missed more than one game.

Yet, Gase has Miami at 5-5 and tied for a playoff spot.

And when nearly everyone was healthy the first three games of the season, the Dolphins went 3-0 and put up two of their three highest point totals of the year.

I understand, there are zero NFL teams that are completely healthy right now. But the amount of unfortunate breaks Miami has received to impactful players is just ridiculous at this point.

There are many debates that are going to surround the Dolphins until week 1 of the 2019 season. Will Matt Burke be fired? Will Tannehill be the quarterback next season?

Will Adam Gase be fired? … should not be one of them.