This one hurts.
All week long, I warned against a let down, and boy did it come! A 3-6 team with a bust at QB (who’s playing with sore ribs and a shaky knee). They’re missing their one and only decent defensive player in Von Miller. They’re on a terrible skid and playing with zero confidence, having lost recently to the lowly Falcons, among other teams. Did I mention how bad Drew Lock is?
Despite all that…
The Dolphins offense started off slowly and never recovered. Tua’s first two passes were overthrown when he had Jakeem Grant wide open down the left sideline…twice.
The O line was nonexistent today. Six sacks is unacceptable. No running lanes to speak of as well. A few nice plays sprinkled in there, but nothing was enough.
Tua played horribly, and his incorrect decision-making really hurt the Dolphins. There were at least a dozen plays where he could have tucked the ball away and sprinted ahead for a first down. Instead, he tried spinning away, and just bumped into more and more Broncos.
When he was able to rarely escape, he jogged right or left…still looking for receivers. buying time with his arm cocked to throw it. On occasion, he found someone for a short gain. But usually he was just flushed out wide and threw incompletions. This will be corrected with experience. But when the running lane is there, you have to take it. Josh Allen does it. Certainly Russell Wilson, DeShaun Watson, and Lemar Jackson do it.
Don’t try to buy time and settle for two-yard dumps to Malcom Perry. Instead, burst past the defense and slide for a first down.
Hell, even Fitzpatrick did it. Fitz rushed for a first down on one play and on another, he got hit for a penalty. He was barely in the game, and he got two first downs, simply because he tucked the ball away and ran. He didn’t try to perform miracles. He barely played a quarter, but his play was more meaningful than anything Tua did all day unfortunately.
On a day when Brian Flores was outcoached and outclassed, the only smart decision he made was to bench Tua. We needed a spark. It’s not permanent, and you go right back to Tua next week. But mid-game, Flores made the right call. I wish he did it earlier myself, and in our live gameday chat, I was calling for it. It’s a spark for the team, not a punishment for Tua.
As bad as the defense was, they only gave up 20 points. Xavien’s deep interception gave us 7 points, which means the offense only got 6 points on their own. A disgusting showing. Tua stunk up the joint, and Chan Gailey’s blocking schemes contributed. During the week, I wrote several times about how Gailey was excelling at pass protection, running many many plays with extra blockers. Today, there was none of that. 5-wideout sets all day long. That left only 5 blockers in, and Denver had a field day. Gailey tampered with success and it cost us badly.
Tua’s inexperience was mostly to blame though. Denver ran the same defense when Fitz came in, but Fitz escaped the rush every single time. That comes with experience, and I can’t emphasize that enough. Tua MUST comprehend that, and soon. He needs to STEP UP (like Fitz excels at) instead of spinning right and left. Forward, son, forward.
Now for the defense…
Our running D has been bad all year, but today seemed like the worst. We couldn’t stop the most basic plays that Denver ran, and yet they only gave up 20 points. The team remains mum on Christian Wilkins, but it’s becoming evident that he is sorely missed. The Chargers ran easily against us last week too.
On the game’s first series, we ran our confusing cover-zero D. Denver missed their first 6 passes. Then–for some odd reason–we switched to a base defense, and the Broncos destroyed us. Again, we tampered with what was working perfectly, and you saw the results.