On Monday night, rookie QB Will Levis flexed his muscles in the final four minutes of the game and the Miami Dolphins did nothing but watch. This should be a big lesson for the Dolphins.
It isn't like good teams or great teams don't lose in the NFL. They do.
- The Jets beat the surging Texans on Sunday.
- The lowly Cardinals beat the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the year
- The previously unbeaten Eagles at the time, lost to the Jets
- The best team in the NFC, the 49er's lost to a Kirk Cousins-less Vikings team.
Losses happen and for the Miami Dolphins, the loss on MNF was their bad-egg game of the season. Or at least they should hope so.
Miami hadn't lost since they played the Chiefs in Germany and their wins were pretty decisive. The thing is, the Miami Dolphins have been skating around the NFL for a few weeks now. Last night, the ice broke.
After the game, Bradley Chubb told the media "I’m not sure what happened but obviously we weren’t on the same key, and we’ve just got to find ways to be better in those situations," regarding the defenses play in the final four minutes. He also said that the team was very aware of the playoff scenarios. Great teams don't look ahead and Mike McDaniel's team was caught looking ahead.
As a result, their 3-game lead in the AFC East is now two games. Their hold on the top seed in the AFC is now a 2nd seed. All because they didn't take the Titans as seriously as they should. Nearly 14-point favorites, the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, looked like a team buying into their own hype.
Only the Dolphins can make this loss a statement. A turning point in their season. They host the Jets next week. The Jets are perfectly content to play spoiler and beating Miami at Hard Rock would be an incredible feather in their hat.
Following the Jets game, Miami plays the upper echelon of the NFL. They host the Cowboys, travel to the Ravens, and host a Bills team that could make a big run for the division. The Bills schedule becomes easy after this week's game against the Cowboys. Miami's does not.
If Chubb and company have explored all the potential scenarios then they have to know last night did them no favors and created a lot more possibilities and not all of those are positive ones.
Miami's back isn't against the proverbial wall but they are being backed into a corner. Monday night was ugly. The Jets took notice. The rest of the AFC will as well.
The Dolphins will either use last night's embarrassment to their advantage and come out of the game humbled, or they will learn nothing from it and lose to the Jets, Cowboys, Ravens, and watch the Bills come to Miami with the AFC East division on the line.
This loss must be used to their advantage, they have to learn from it and they need to be motivated by it. If they can't, it will happen again...and again.