It’s been more than a day to process what happened to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and it’s fair to say that Miami is at best an average football team. That’s what they are and that’s what the majority of the league is. Realistically there are truly only about 6 good teams in the league and the Chiefs are doing everything they can to be regulated to the average pile. Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, Seahawks and Saints round my list of other teams that are above average. I know the Seahawks lost but they’ll be a team that will figure it out by the end of the year who will be jockeying for a bye.
So when Miami is firing on all cylinders, they’re an average team. Capable of beating anyone on any given day but more than capable to getting blownout by a bottom dweller. Sunday night was a perfect example of their average to below averageness.
They came in fresh off the Ajayi trade, a trade that everyone with a brain led to my appendicitis, and went with the 2 headed v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶t̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶c̶r̶e̶a̶t̶u̶r̶e̶ monster in Damian Williams and Kenyan Drake. Honestly, the effort they put out was what I expected. I figured that Miami’s offensive line which has been terrible at opening holes for Ajayi would do better with Williams and Drake in the backfield because why the hell not. Classic Miami conundrum. Can’t run the ball with a very good back, but can get decent yardage with 2 unknown, lesser talented backs. The running back duo ran hard, caught the ball well and held their own except for the Kenyan Drake fumble. That wasn’t fun but this was. Check out the effort of Jarvis Landry
The offense however still had problems generating points in large part because every time they had kind of solid gain there was a holding penalty. It eventually got to the point where I was just doing the Steve Spurrier lip flailing move over and over again. I stopped being mad about it and just accepted it as part of my life and there was nothing me or anyone else on Earth could do to stop it.
Cutler finished with his best day as a Dolphin. 300 plus yards, 3 scores and no picks. He did a ton of checking down to the backs. Apparently Miami has no interest in throwing a pass more than 15 yards, ever. I have to chalk that up to Gase being petrified of the idea of letting his shotty o-line block for more than 2.5 seconds by design. Has to be the only logically reason right. I mean you don’t bring Jay Cutler in to throw short routes with that receiving core and that kind of arm. Right? Right?
Defensively, Jared Cook showed everyone why you should definitely think about adding him in your fantasy leagues. But that’s what Jared Cook has done his entire career. Shows up for 1 game, looks great, dominates people, then you don’t hear from him again. Like a salmon, his sole purpose is to work one time and then die. Like Miami has my entire life, they had no gameplan for stopping Cook. They’ve never been able to guard TEs regardless who has been on the team. What was surprising was that a defense that has been playing pretty stout was atrocious on 3rd down. Oakland went 8-13 on the money down. That’s not going to get it done. Also, it didn’t help that Marshawn Lynch got in a groove during the mid point of the game. I swear that guy never practices or when he does it’s against high schoolers but man that cat can ball. He had Miami look foolish on a few runs especially the 22 yard TD run. A guy that big who runs with so much power shouldn’t be able to do this
Where Miami truly lost the game were the 3 possessions they had in the 4th quarter down 20-16 at around midfield where they went absolutely nowhere. So disheartening to watch. They had momentum each time but a penalty or Juwan James got injured and immediately his backup gave up a sack to Kahlil Mack. That sucked. The Raiders scored again and even though Miami got a late score to go down 3, that was pretty much it. We did however see an amazing catch by DeVante Parker
It’s obvious to see that Parker needs the ball more. Design plays for him and actually run them in a game. I’d go with that. He really could be a top flight receiver.
The world gets too see Miami for the 3rd week in a row when they play the Panthers next week on Monday night. They’re 4-4 and are in the fantastic zone that they’ve been in my entire life and that is “in the hunt.” It’s a great place to be in. Every week regardless if you win or lose you are in mathematically still in the playoff talk until around week 16. They need a win in the worst way. They have to win 6 games out of the next 8 to make the playoffs. I don’t think they can do that. They still have to play the Patriots twice and there is no way they go to Buffalo and win because that’s not something they can do. But who knows. No one thought there was a chance they could make the playoffs last year and they did. Sports are weird. We’re on to Carolina