The Miami Dolphins were riding a high, with Tua Time leading the charge, the defense looked invincible and the lack off real talent on offense was being masked. But then they went to Mile High and faced off against Drew Lock (or Jeff Driskel, same person) and looked like an easy win. Sadly that was not the case as the Miami offense looked horrendous and the run defense took the day off which led to an ugly loss.
On the Defensive side
The Miami defense has been the best in the NFL for a few weeks as they shut down such teams as the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Jets, and the LA Rams. The defense has been heavily reliant on getting turnovers (something that is not sustainable) and being able to tee off on QBs when playing with a lead. This week however, they faced a new threat in a solid run game which they had no answer for. The Broncos ran for 189 yards on 5.7 yards per carry. They got an early pick on Jeff Driskel (or Drew Lock) but after that, Lock didn’t have much trouble throwing the ball and it was just Denver being Denver that kept it from being a blowout. The Miami defense did do enough to win. Only giving up 20 points should guarantee a win unless Nick Foles is your QB. The defense had an off day but the nice thing about this defense is even on an off day, it puts you in a position to win…unless Josh Allen is the opposing QB.
The Offensive Offense
The Miami offense has been very odd this entire year. The run game has not been there for most of the year. They are dead last in yards per attempt and only Houston and the Bears are worse in yards per game. The passing game has been a little better, averaging 214 yards per game (good for 26th) and 7.2 yards per attempt (good for 19th). With Fitzpatrick at QB, the offense has been boom or bust as while he is the most used to the Chan Gailey offense, he is still limited at QB and only can do so much, which leads to bad plays and Fitztragic. With the switch to Tua, it became even more noticeable how much lack of talent the offense had. The only receiver that looks to be starting caliber is DeVante Parker with the rest of the guys look to be backups at best. Tua’s offense in college had at least 4 1st round caliber receivers. His offense in Miami only has the one. Chan Gailey looks to be only able to develop a high flying offense with Fitz at QB and no one else and it shows as Tua looks less like a top 5 pick and more like an Adam Gase QB.
Against Denver, it became very obvious it was going to be a long game on offense when the very first deep ball fell incomplete as it looks like Grant slowed down on the route. The whole game any deep shot to Grant did not connect as it looked like they were not on the same page. The offense ran a lot of hitch or curl routes but didn’t really run anything to attack what isn’t a great defense. Tua was getting pressured almost immediately even on simple passing plays which threw the offense off. It didn’t help that the run game was missing too though that has been the norm all year. Chan didn’t do a good job of scheming guys open and even on simple plays, there were defenders right next to the receiver to tackle him. It was a really bad designed gameplan which is either to mask how little talent the offense has, or Chan has not been a good playcaller since 2015. When Tua was in, he was either getting immediately pressured or having to make throws into coverage because no one was getting open and it led to a bad game for Tua. Some will say this proves Tua stinks (same people who thought Josh Allen would never be good after his rookie year) and others will say the Fins need to waste a 1st round pick next year on a QB.
In the 4th quarter they finally decided that Chan can only scheme for Fitz so they put Fitz in who led a FG drive because he just didn’t care. Fitz was more comfortable in the offense and was able to get a drive moving into FG range, something they haven’t done for most of the game. However on the final drive, Fitz was who we thought he was and made a crucial game ending interception to lose them the game. Fitz gave a little spark but he still was not able to overcome the horrible gameplan on offense and how bad the offensive line was, but he made things exciting.
In conclusion, this was a letdown game by the Dolphins. After experiencing a high from Tua Time, it all came crashing back to the Earth. The defense didn’t have their usual multi turnover game and the offense was…the offense. I’m glad Flores announced they would go back to Tua because I don’t think this game was Tua’s fault as the lack of talent on offense really shows and Chan is not a good playcaller. The Dolphins are still in the thick of things and I expect the defense to keep them in games. The key will be whether the offense will adjust or will it just be even more 20-13 kind of games because the offense struggles to move the ball.
In other news, the Jets are on their way to 0-16, showing that the floor of 2 wins was too high. Gase has done his job and I believe the Jets should reward him by giving him an extension.