Miami Dolphins: Time for an interconference call to get the loss behind us

Oct 1, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel on the sidelines
Oct 1, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel on the sidelines / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday in South Florida, the Miami Dolphins look to bounce back from their first loss of the season as they host the 1-3 New York Giants. A playoff team a year ago, Brian Daboll’s club is off to a horrendous start. The team has been outscored a combined 122-46 in their four games and those 46 points are the fewest in the league.

A year ago. McDaniel’s team lost three of its five interconference games. There were wild wins at Detroit (31-27) and Chicago (35-32) in consecutive weeks (8 and 9) but losses vs. Minnesota (24-16) in Week 6 and at San Francisco (33-17) in Week 13. There was also a 26-20 home setback to the Green Bay Packers on Christmas afternoon in Week 16.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was inactive for the clash with the Vikings but played in the other four interconference tilts. In the wins over the Bears and Lions, he connected on a combined 46-of-62 throws (74.2 percent) for 684 yards and six touchdowns without an interception. Tagovailoa was also not sacked in either victory.

It was a much different story from the Niners and Packers. The talented signal-caller combined for three touchdown passes and five interceptions in those losses. Tagovailoa barely completed 50 percent of his passes (18-of-33) at San Francisco and threw just as many TD passes (2) as picks. He was also sacked three times and lost a fumble.

Against Green Bay, there was that first-quarter 84-yard touchdown connection with Jaylen Waddle. That was his lone scoring pass of the afternoon despite the fact that he finished with 310 yards through the air. Tagovailoa was sacked twice and would serve up three interceptions in the fourth quarter.

You would think the Dolphins would get well this week, but this is a funny league and an even funnier game. After the tilt with the Giants, there’s a second straight home game as they face the Panthers. That's followed by a prime-time battle with the Eagles at Philadelphia. Will McDaniel’s club have a better showing vs. NFC teams this time around? Miami’s defense must start playing better football.