The “but” is that things could be promising. Could be better next year. With a few healthy players back, we might have a home playoff game in Round 1 and not a game in icy Buffalo next time around.
But a “decent” season is not a successful season. Staying close in a playoff game is not winning. Mike McDaniel not knowing how to manage a game might be improved in the off season. It must be. On 4th and inches, for example, with your season on the line and the play clock ticking, simply ask for a measurement. Just asking a question right then stops the clock and perhaps prolongs your season. McDaniel was just lost.
I’ll have a lot more to come in the coming weeks, but for today, the offense came up a play or two short. The defense came up a play or two short.
Mike McDaniel came up many plays short. Targeting Hunter Long as many times as Tyreek Hill is something he needs rubbed in his face all off-season. I’ll do it if the local Miami media won’t.
The offense had three possessions in the 4th quarter and squandered the chance to advance. The defense had three shots at the Bills in the first quarter and squandered then all into 17 Buffalo points.
Like I said, a lot to take in and digest. I’ll write more soon.
I said last week that all I wanted was to at least MAKE IT into the playoffs, so I will be content with that. Not a happy ending, but a promising start to the McDaniel era all things considered. Even though I put a ton of blame on him for this game. More to come…
P.S. Still waiting for the explanation of why Josh Allen was allowed to shove Christian Wilkins to the ground after the play was over, and then Wilkins, not Allen, got a personal foul. Maybe Mike McDaniel should ask more questions. Why can’t the NFL make that reviewable. Simply look at the tape to see who started it.
Boy I’ll say it was great to see the Dolphins play as hard as they did. There were some big catches not made that really was the difference. I’m not talking about the early ones to hill and waddle when they were looking right into the sun, even the bills recivers had issues but the one on third down to Gisiki thst went right through his hands, the one to hill that hit him in stride on the hands and a few others. In the end it came down to the eaither Tua retired or the NFL wouldn’t let our starting QB play. I believe it’s the latter of the two but we will know soon. I think the NFL wants nothing more than Josh Allen to be in the Super Bowl. The fins almost upset that plan anyhow and damm good for them. I heard McDs halftime interview and I was embarrassed for the team. He sounded like he was just clueless, similar to his game management. He did do a lot of different things today including getting receivers in motion a lot. The defense came to play and you have to feel good about how they closed the game out, yes they gave up points in the beginning but they had a short field after the interception early on. All in all I thought this game would be a blow up and it wasn’t. I was proven wrong. If McD can grow up a little and add some more experience to the coaching staff and we get healthy and can stay relatively healthy I think we have a good base for next year. Also I don’t feel terrible with Skyler in the #2 spot. I would like to see Miami go after another 1st round qb to hedge against Tua retiring or having to sit out half of next year. This was certainly entertaining and way better than losing to the jets and not making the playoffs!
Starting with your last point, I agree 1000%. Losing to the Bills in a playoff game is not satisfying, but just compare that to the depression we’d all be feeling if we lost to the Jets and had to watch the Bills play the Patriots instead of us. I’ll have a lot more to come, and last night I was somewhat content with a season in which we made the playoffs. I was also content with the rookie mistakes that Mike McDaniel made in the game yesterday, with his time management and playcalling. But now, after hearing his excuses, I’ll be commenting more this afternoon. Rookie mistakes are fine, but did you hear his excuses? It’s sort of like he’s not recognizing the mistakes at all, and blaming stuff like crowd noise and communication issues. That’s like a drunk driver slamming into a car and saying, “it’s not my fault. there were other cars on the road that day”
Anyway, I’ll have a bunch of upcoming columns on the season in general, but first I have to write a painful column about how we blew this game. We where at midfield with two minutes left and only down three points.
I am proud of the dolphins and their performance & fight vs. Bills.. Nobody was predicting a close game, including this blog.
Considering the injuries and known weaknesses, i thought the defense played well and did what they needed to help us win. Bravo
Our offense still struggles at times. Should have played it safe on that 3rd and 19 with a short dump pass to RB instead of Long pass for a pick (same situation as the Teddy B pick six versus pats)
I would have preferred that Skylar ran more, that’s how you extend drives. QB scramble runs.
Skylar’s pick didn’t bother me, surprisingly. If that pass was incomplete, then we punt from our own end zone. Either way, the Bills began a drive from our territory, so it was 50-50. And yes, I did predict a blowout loss and I too am proud of our Dolphins. But we came so close, and that makes it harder to swallow that a blowout . We didn’t lose because the Bills are too good. We lost because Mike McDaniel choked and blew our final drive.
Play of the game was Waddle gaining 14 on a 2nd and 15 play (below). ALL YEAR LONG, the Dolphins succumbed to this trap. “Okay,” is McDaniel’s philosophy. “Third and one is an automatic first down, so now I can start thinking about what to call next.” NO!!!!!
1. Waddle should be coached to fight for that extra yard no matter what. Nothing on earth can stop you from lunging forward another yard. Our season is on the line.
2. McDaniel calling a disastrous run up the middle for Ahmed next on third and one, which only got stuffed. Meanwhile, Tony Romo is screaming at the TV (as was I) for play action. The Bills’ entire D was set up to stop that run, and a play action would have easily picked up the first down. This is 101% Mike McDaniel’s fault and his fallacy as a coach. It’s correctable with experience, but he has to own this and not blame others.
McDaniel is rightfully taking a roasting all over the sports world for his clock management with our season on the line. Dozens of videos from people like Chris Simms (whose opinion I really don’t value) to Rex Ryan (whose I do).
McD’s excuses made his errors worse. “Someone told me it was first down when it was really fourth. I don’t know who it was” Rex Ryan was really animated, saying as a head coach you have to know these things yourself and prepare for different scenarios. And then to say that somebody told me false information, but I don’t remember who it was?
McD also blamed communications issues because of a rookie QB and new linemen. And the crowd noise. Guess what? That same rookie has been playing in important games for 3 straight weeks. You’ve had plenty of time to work on this. And the crowd noise? Did you expect those fans in Buffalo to sit down quietly for you?
Like with any player, Tua included, I support these guys but I blast them when blasting is due. And despite all the of the dropped passes earlier, it came down to 3rd and inches and then 4th and inches. And Mike McDaniel simply wasn’t prepared to be an NFL head coach in those two scenarios.
Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and hearing his excuses worsens the flavor.
I hear ya Admin but it sounds like MM was gagged by the league. He knows exactly what happened but wouldn’t tell the truth. If it was one of his staff they’d be fired by now. Also the refs did reset the play clock why? Even worse MM still didn’t get the call in fast enough which happened a few times throughout the game. Playing 3rd stringer doesn’t help as communication can get muddled. Either way I know if Tua was in those problems wouldn’t have happened and worst case Tua would have got them to the line on time as he knows the plays.
On another note Sky had Hill over the middle on 4 and 6 but didn’t throw it instead ran outside and threw to Gesicki. Fine you say but Gesicki ran an out route that they haven’t completed to a TE ALL season! Gesicki could have ran a slant, curl anything but an out that never works for them. Of course the ball was there and he dropped it. I’m moving on from Gesicki not because of just that but he’s been ineffective all season and then drops a season ending makeable catch.
Lastly for those that don’t want to pick up Tua’s 5th year option its projected around 22 M. Where on earth are you finding a replacement for that cheap. You must roll the dice and bring in a good backup. You already have Sky who should improve so why not draft another QB to groom. I would hope out of 3 guys some of them will make it through the season next year and hopefully it’s Tua!
Okay, I never thought of the possibility of MM knowing what happened but unable to speak about it. That is a very possible scenario. I still like my idea of simply asking for a measurement. 4th and inches. Just ask the ref.
Calling 3 TO’s in the 2nd half – All of them for not getting the play call in and the right subs in, is (as Romo termed it at the time) – “Inexcusable”
Not only is that something you can work on and easily fix, but it had been an ongoing problem for Several weeks, and cost the team both penalty yards And 2nd half TO’s – which are precious gold in the NFL. All of this falls squarely on McD, and all the other teams in the league will fix that problem sooner than later, knowing it will cost them, if they don’t.
And regarding the QB situation, they sure in hell better find a very capable, near starting QB ( behind Tua ) because he will very likely be starting Many games next season – count on it !
Before Sunday, I would have jettisoned Skylar Thompson. But he showed me something against the Bills. He has faults, but he was not scared of those Bills. Bring him back as the #2 (he already knows the system), and just keep some practice squadder around. Teddy B was a good idea in theory, but he couldn’t produce anything.
Disagree on Skylar. This guy has heart but is so far behind in his ability to see the field that I dont think he can ever develop. Hope I’m wrong. He needs to be 3rd string and a good back up is required. Oh, and Teddy Quitwater should never step on another football field again.
You’re not wrong. But I think his ability to read the field is hard to determine, because we only see the TV feed. Yes, there were a few plays when Hill seemed open and Skylar missed him, but that happens to all QBs at times. I honestly think McD is more to blame. You just cannot run your base offense with a third stringer. You MUST call different plays for Skylar than for Teddy or Tua. Watching Skylar move to his right and wait for the TE to run left to right…it seems like we ran that same play a thousand times, and it never worked once. I’m not saying he is a future star (like everyone else was saying after he excelled in preseason), but I’m saying he deserves to compete for the #2 role. At least compete for it.
In regard to McDaniel’s play calls, I really hope he spends the offseason working on the actual verbiage of the plays themselves. All year long this has been an issue for Tua, Teddy, and Sky, the plays just take too damn long to get in. By the time the play comes in and they find it on the wristband it feels like there’s always about 10 seconds left on the play clock. Add to that all the motion that exists in his offense, and it’s a recipe for disaster. I am confident that he can get this fixed for next season, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a huge disappointment all year. For the game itself, I am extremely proud of the team for the heart they showed. I am not one for moral victories, but this could really be a catalyst for great things to come
I’m hoping for the catalyst too. One thing I’ve pointed out for 4 straight years–but won’t have to again anymore–is that every year our guys on offense have to learn a new system. Now they don’t. We finally have continuity, which will help with the verbiage.
The Phins must be extremely aware of the sophomore jinx. “Oh, we made the playoffs. Next year will be better because we have some experience now.” NO! It won’t be easier next year just because of we made the playoffs. You have to work twice as hard to maintain that. Every year it seems that the same old 6 teams make the AFC playoffs, and the 7th team is the one fluctuation. This year was our turn, but there are no guarantees we’ll be back…unless we work our asses off.
I remind everyone that Sparano and Gase BOTH made the playoffs in their first year, never to be seen again. There are no catalyst guarantees.
This will be debated and heavily scrutinized in the coming months, and it Should be – because the QB in the NFL is the most crucial position on every team.
I would like to see them keep Skyler as the 3rd QB on their 53 roster, and strongly pursue a quality back up to Tua – like a Don Strock. Knowing how tenuous Tua is, I wouldn’t want a practice squad level QB as our 3rd stringer, because based on what went on this past season, that 3rd QB will likely see a lot more PT than most think, and Skyler certainly can compete (and maybe earn the #2 spot). But in today’s NFL, I think you now have to have 3 QB’s – all capable of leading your team to win games, regardless of whatever injuries arise in the very long season.
10-15 years ago, the NFL allowed a team to have an emergency QB that didn’t count as a roster spot. He could dress on game day and be ready. But they changed that rule and you’re only allowed to dress 48 men. Most teams dress 2 QBs. The Dolphins had to dress 3 on many days, because of all the injuries.
I guarantee you–and I bet your life on this–If Mahomes or Allen got hurt, and then their backup also got hurt, and then the backup’s backup got hurt…in that case the NFL would instantly change the rule and allow you to dress 49 men.
The owners and the NFL can EASILY afford the salary of an extra few players. Why not allow a team to dress 50 men or 53? That way you can safely dress 3 QBs, plus have a few extra backups at other positions. College teams have 497 men on the sidelines, and the NFL only allows 48? Insane!
Yes it’s nuts especially with the stumble spotter in the stands to not have more players on game day. Miami will always have to have three QBs dressed. Most teams will now.
As per signing an experienced QB like pornstar Jimmy or drafting another young QB to groom I’m leaning towards the latter for a few reasons. First Sky showed he can be a capable backup possibly more over time. Second if you draft you may find another potential future starter hedging your bets and save money which can be used on other positions such as oline, DB or LB. Guys like Jimmy cost money and won’t be a possible solution to starting QB if Tua fails. Thoughts?
QB will be discussed all year long, but I also think we might do better once we get some guys on D back. And we add a few more D pieces.
We put up 31 points. That should be enough to win a playoff game. We lost because we gave up 34.
We tied the game right before halftime with 30 seconds left. We had the biggest momentum swing of the entire year, and our comeback from 17-0 was complete. But that lasted 20 seconds. Boom boom boom, the Bills hit 3 passes and were in FG range. Wonderful prevent defense. We went into halftime losing. We gave up those three points in a hurry. and we ended up losing by those three points. That was the ball game.
Similarly, when we took the lead at 24-20, we again had a gigantic swing of momentum go our way. The Bills then answered with aggression, and our D answered with complacency. That blew up the game as well. Before you knew it, our 24-20 lead was a 34-24 deficit.
Stop ONE of those touchdown drives or stop that ONE field goal before halftime, and we’d be heading to Missouri right now…
I’m beyond pissed they wouldn’t let Tua play for reasons of opined enough about already but I agree with both of you. Keep drafting QBs even if in later rounds and keep building your he defense. On offense what we have is going to continue to get better. McD will keep getting better, I believe the coaching staff will add some experience, did you see one of our offense coaches declined interviews today for an OC position, that’s a very good sign! As the offense gains experience and runs the same playbook over multiple seasons they will get better. The defense was the huge disappointment to me this year. X-man was the biggest! He has made claims of playing out of position, I don’t know studs are studs no matter what so we will see. A few guys healing up and a few additions at LB would be nice especially if we could get a little more LB speed!
Lot of players will be coming back on D next year including rookie Tindall hopefully he will improve and see the field more he has a ton of speed. Ogbah will also be back to improve the pass rush. Never mind all the secondary or if Byron is cut his cash can be used to bolster those weak areas.
On offence the same thing some guys back but they can draft and use some cash for that oline. Gesicki probably not back use that cash at TE or draft one.