In yet another inexplicable play-calling failure, Adam Gase watched rookie RB Kalen Ballage become a man before our very eyes, only to suddenly stop using him. Only Adam Gase pours water on his own red hot players. It makes us angry when Gase does this, but it infuriates us when he does it weekly.
So starting late in the second quarter, Gase (rightfully) kept calling Ballage’s number. He picked up first downs on normal rushes. He picked up big chunks from the wildcat. He made the right calls in his options, handing off to Kenyan Drake for big gains. Down 7-21, we rode Ballage all the way down to first and goal. Then Gase did what he always does. He stopped using his hottest player.
First and goal, Tannehill missed a wide open Drake on his right. Instead of tossing a screen pass to Drake and walking into the end zone, Tanny forced a ball into Nick O’Leary. Second down, again no Ballage. This time, Amendola dropped a pass. Third down, Tanny threw a pig of a pass to DeVante Parker, which shoulda been picked.
So Gase let Ballage carry us into a first and goal situation, and then took him away and put his faith in Tannehill instead. Wrong move.
So then came halftime. On our very first play, Gase used Ballage again, and he rewarded Gase with a 75-yard gorgeous TD run. It was as if Ballage said, “How dare you bench me at the end of the first half. Let me show you I deserve to play.” After he scored, surely now it was time to keep using him, right? Surely Gase realized that the Vikings had no answers for him.
We held the Vikes to a 3 and out and got the ball back. Ballage ran for ANOTHER first down, and we had a new 1st and 10. AND we had all the momentum in the world, down 4 points and driving. With Kalen Ballage looking like Barry Sanders each time he touched the ball.
Unfortunately, Adam Gase did not want him to touch the ball any more. A sack ensued. Then another. Then a third pass in a row failed to come close to a 1st down.
You all saw the game. I am not exaggerating the massive effect Ballage had. Just like when Frank Gore was running over Colts and Bengals and Lions, only to be ignored by his coach. There is something inherently wrong with Adam Gase. He wants to pass pass pass the ball no matter what kind of monumental numbers the RBs are putting up.
Anyway, we punted there, and the Vikes rewrote the rest of the game.
By the way, Ballage got ONE more carry after that. ONE. Gase cooled off his hottest hand, as he has done all year long. Will he face any repercussions from owner Stephen Ross? That’s a joke of course. A bad, unfunny, frustrating joke.
Gase will blame the offensive line. He will blame his friend Matt Burke. Both are culprits in this debacle. But this loss was orchestrated by Adam Gase’s offenbsive play calls. And we know Gase won’t blame himself.