Let’s face it. It was a dismal day all around. We had 4 different scenarios to make it into the playoffs, and none of them occurred. Meanwhile, the teams that only had one scenario or two…they made it.
I was tied up today with a move and missed my first Phins game in about 5 or 6 years. Looks like I didn’t miss much. I watched my DVR just now, and it was embarrassing. Too much to cover, but let’s give the main points.
- When your playoff life comes down to a 1-15 team beating the division leader, you’re always in trouble. The Jags made it interesting for a few minutes, but folded as expected. The late game was our final hope, and now it’s all over.
- Brian Flores MUST get the Dolphins to remember how they were treated today. Up 30 points, and the Bills decided to run up the score with long bombs. It’s legal. But it’s also something the Dolphins damn well better remember next year.
- Different coaches manage differently, and those differences screwed the Dolphins twice over. Mike Tomlin believes in letting his scrubs play. The NFL allows it, and I really cannot blame him. But something didn’t feel right with the Steelers laying down the way they did. I hope we get some revenge on Tomlin for his decision today. The Bills’ Sean McDermott believes in letting his starters play. You saw the results. The Dolphins were outmatched in every phase, and it wasn’t luck or refs or bad breaks. They simply played horribly.
- While I’m a Tua fan, I don’t candy coat his performance…whether it’s today or during 2020 as a whole. He was horrible. He got some nice wins that were mostly due to our defense. He took sack after sack and seemed to be lost in the pocket. He coughed up the ball on his first pass attempt in his first start. Let’s face it; there were a lot more negatives from the kid than positives. Justin Herbert clearly was the better draft choice.
Now that I wrote all of that, there is no way I’m giving up on the kid. The star quality is still there. We can only hope he remembers today’s performance and it motivates all through the off season. He was not the reason our season is over. But he did nothing to extend the season either. My overall grade on Tua is a D; he didn’t fail but he didn’t do enough good. Pains me to grade him so low because my expectation and excitement were both at an A+ last draft day.
- Speaking of the draft, it took a miracle finish from Ryan Tannehill and the Titans, but they secured the #3 pick for us with a win over Houston. Now the speculation can begin.
I don’t think we draft a QB. Tua is no Josh Rosen…where they give him a one-and-done opportunity and then dump him. No way.
So let’s assume the Jags and Jets go QB…who do we select? What position? While I’m intrigued with WR DeVonta Smith (and my regular readers know I’m opposed to drafting a WR too high), this one has exceptional talent. And we saw how bad we struggled without quality WRs.
Penei Sewell intrigues me too. Even though we have an up-and-coming offensive line, Sewell instantly upgrades that line. Tua had zero protection most of the year, and it’s hard to pinpoint the line breakdowns because they occurred too often to keep track of. Another monster lineman and then moving Jessie Davis to a backup role could be a gigantic upgrade. Also, Ted Karras was outstanding all year long, but he may not be back.
And finally there is Micah Parsons, a big mean rushing linebacker who could become the difference maker we desperately need. Even when a guy like Andrew Van Ginkel or Kyle Van Noy had an outstanding year, they are not the type of men that an opposing coach needs to game-plan for. Parsons is.
- I think the 2021 Dolphins can improve to 11-5 or better. They can also slip, and injuries and intangibles wreck a season fast. But honestly I see them as a 10-6 team again next year. But a playoff team. 10-6 is a great record, but this year we were competing with all those other 10-6 teams in the AFC, and we lost all the tiebreakers. The NFL’s antiquate scheduling screwed us as well. The Steelers, Browns, and Ravens all made the playoffs…and their NFC “opponent” this season was the NFC East. That’s essentially 4 free wins that the AFC North received and the AFC East did not. Add two games against the Bengals, and you see the disparity. When the AFC teams all compete against each other for those 3 precious wild card spots, the NFL owes it to basic fairness to have them play the same teams. The league continues to rotate NFC divisions every 4 years, and it becomes the luck of the draw. The Dolphins lost their playoff spot to the Ravens, Colts, and Browns. How many times did we play those teams? Zero.
In any event, the point of my rant is that we can be 10-6 again next year, but this time we’l make the playoffs. Because there’s simply no way those other so-so teams are gonna be 10-6 or 11-5 again.