No one can forget Jim Mora’s press conference tirade when asked if his Indianapolis Colts and if you try our friends at Coors Light made sure we wouldn’t forget when they added the clip into their commercials. The way he said the word “Playoffs” is exactly how I am saying it because after the Dolphins were embarrassed by a bad Buffalo Bills team they somehow find themselves in the driver’s seat for the sixth and final spot in the AFC.
All that needs to happen for the Dolphins to make it is they need to beat the Jets at home then have either the Bengals or Chargers win and they are in. Do the Dolphins deserve to be in the playoffs? I don’t think so as they have more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese but the teams they are competing with for that finally spot which are the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers are no better. Before we take a look into this weeks’ matchup against the Jets let’s look at what went wrong in Buffalo. This was a huge game for the Dolphins so you would expect to see them come out with a great deal of intensity and fire but that wasn’t the case. The Buffalo Bills not only beat the Dolphins, they beat them up as well. The Bills were far more physical and just pounded the Dolphins up and down the field all day long. I understand that the weather conditions were less than ideal with freezing rain but that didn’t slow down the Bills’ offense. Here are the five things I saw go wrong in Buffalo……
1-Joe Philibin: How the team comes out is a direct reflection on the coach and it is clear that the Miami Dolphins were not ready for this game. If you wonder why this Miami Dolphins team lacks that intensity that the great teams have all you have to do is take a long hard look on the sidelines and look at Joe Philibin who looks absolutely baffled. This team has way too much talent to underachieve they way they are and I think the Dolphins should take a long, hard look at replacing Philibin at the end of the season.
2-Pass Protection: What a horrible day for the offensive line. I love when people get on Ryan Tannehill for having an “inaccurate deep ball” when the guy has absolutely zero times to throw the ball. As soon as the ball was snapped against the Bills Tannehill’s pocket was decimated and enormous amounts of pressure came. This was the offensive line’s worst game of the year and it is time these five guys check their man cards because there is no way you let your quarterback not only get sacked seven times but get hit every time he threw the ball. I am calling out Bryant McKinnie especially as he is a veteran who got flat out embarrassed.
3-Linebackers: Phillip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe were signed to replace Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett and this has been a major fail. Wheeler and Ellerbe were exposed in a big way yesterday. They couldn’t find the ball and missed tackles all over the place. Ellerbe has potential and is at least a solid player but there is no hope for Phillip Wheeler. Meanwhile in Arizona Karlos Dansby is having a career year.
4-Brian Hartline: I like Brian Hartline I really do and I think after next week we are looking at back to back 1,000 yard seasons for the former buckeye but on Sunday the real Brian Hartline didn’t show up. He dropped at least four passes and one was a perfectly thrown ball from Tannehill that would have went for 50 yards and possibly a touchdown if Hartline were to outrun Buffalo cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
5-Running Backs: One of the biggest lies in the NFL is that Lamar Miller is an every down back in the NFL. He and Daniel Thomas have no vision and go down on initial contact nine out of ten times. Even worse than their running ability is their pass protection as they were responsible for at least two of the Bills’ sacks on Ryan Tannehill;
In the big picture the loss might actually help the Dolphins because the Chargers win allows the Dolphins to win a three team tie-breaker over the Chargers and Ravens. I expect the Dolphins to be very motivated at home next week against the Jets and have a poor taste in their mouths by how they were treated by the Bills. The Jets have a talented front consisting of Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Quinton Couples which will not be an easy task for the pathetic Miami offensive line. Last time the Dolphins played the Jets Miami broke the spirit of Geno Smith and completely dominated the football game but to expect is win isn’t safe. The Dolphins have to bring their “A” game to beat the Jets but when it is all said and done I fully see the Dolphins heading to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in the AFC Wild-Card game.