Sunday Analysis as We Head into the Patriots Game

Here it is mid-December, and the Dolphins get their first homestand of the season.  Not a typo.  The NFL schedule-makers, combined with Stephen Ross’s apathy, made the Dolphins travel every single week this season, except for this weekend.   Either flying to a road game or flying home from a road game, we were always on the move.  Stephen Ross even decided that he wanted us to play one such home game in Europe, lucky us.  The traveling is no excuse, but it sure doesn’t help.  There’s something markedly unfair about giving a team ONE and only one weekend without traveling.

I expect the Dolphins to play a lot better vs. the Pats than they did a few weeks ago.  I think an upset is even possible. Improbable, but home field for a prime time game could spark the boys.

As I’ve said often this year, the 2017 season has seen the most poorly inconsistent officiating I’ve seen in many years.  Sadly, only calls in the big, meaningful games get any attention.  For example, I’m still waiting for Adam Gase to question the NFL about why Ryan Fitzpatrick was ruled down by contact after he bumped into his own teammate.  If that play happened in a Dallas-Pittsburgh game, Roger Goodell himself would be leading the inquiry.

This week’s outrageously bad gaffe was in the boring Bills-Colts game.  The Colts won the game 8-7, after they scored a 2-point conversion late in the game.  But wait!  30 seconds after the Colts were celebrating, the refs huddled up.  Then, without a flag being thrown, the ref said there was offensive pass interference on Indy.  Dolfans are far too familiar with this call.  Sometimes you’re allowed to block defenders, sometimes not.  It’s whatever the refs fell like in a particular week.   It doesn’t matter if you’re one yard from the line of scrimmage or 5 yards, the refs call what they want.  Except if you’re New England, then you always get the call no matter what.  The Colts got screwed out of a win, and the brutally incorrect officials will get a free pass because no one one earth (except myself, a glutton for punishment) watched that game.

The Bills won with their 3rd strong QB.  The Packers won with their 2nd stringer.  A good day for backups.  Oh, and Cincy is laughably bad.

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  1. I saw that play as well and couldn’t believe it as the guy was within a yard of scrimmage as they had cleared the line. Meanwhile NE had one earlier in the year that was around 2-3 yards and the refs didn’t call the TD back. Of course brady was yelling at them so after they huddled up they proudly said there is no flag for offensive PI. It’s just sickening.

    1. Author

      I’ve always said that inconsistency is worse than incorrectness. The refs are human, and will make bad calls. But when you view something is a penalty one week, and then say it’s legal the next? that inconsistency kills things. The Colts committed no foul and were robbed of a win. And now the Bills are on a huge emotional lift and will be psyched to play us when they should instead be down and heartbroken.

      1. Yep sickening. That PI on Howard was sick. He’s getting hands to the face and somehow they call him? It’s like they can’t stand brady losing. It would have been anhilation if they didn’t give them a few gimmes…

  2. Dolphins offense has looked a lot better with drake as the feature back than ajayi this year. Also showing there isn’t as much of a need to get anothe running back this offseason. Even if miami loses Howard has shown some amazing growth in the back half of this season and is really proving me wrong. Him Jones and McDonald are a good start to a solid secondary.

    1. I’m still drafting a RB but later on.

      CB is fine they get Lippett back and Tank is pretty good. Maybe safety if anything for depth.

      LB will be needed as well as McMillan coming back.

      TE is needed but I’m still looking at oline although they have played decent the past few games surprisingly.

      QB should also be grabbed after the first unless someone slides to them. My two cents…

      1. For me it’s oline (almost need 4 new players, 2 new guards, a new tackle and a new center) than linebacker than tight end. Maybe tight end before linebacker because Thomas really does suck if Miami had an athletic tight end that could make plays in space this offense could be dangerous. Oh and they better the sign Landry, if they don’t this team can go fuck itself

        1. Oline for sure but they shouldn’t need 2 OG 1 will do. Agreed on a C and another OT couldn’t hurt. LB getting old and DE couldn’t hurt either Wake is getting up there. Lots of needs hopefully fill some in FA.

  3. Btw last night is why I was so high on Adam Gase. That offense is unstoppable when executed correctly, he constantly puts drake, Landry, and Thomas in great match ups. Thomas sucks and he couldn’t take advantage of anything so Miami obviously would benefit from getting an athletic tight end. Last night was legit one of the first times this offense had variety, punch and creativeness. Maybe Gase was right he finally has players who undestand the system and he can run the full playbook. Either way if Miami can do this consistency and get better when tannehill comes back gase will prove us all wrong. This game and the Denver game make me cautiously optimistic about this teams future. There finally letting Howard play press man coverage and he has shut down Demarius Thomas and Brandon Cooks to great wideouts.

    1. They definitely needed RB’S who can catch they tried with Ajayi but he couldn’t handle it. Took away the playbook. You really only have playaction or run with Ajayi and he would have wanted a raise next year. Sucks but it is what it is…

    2. I agree, the question I have now is why did it take half the season to figure out that you have a great mismatch with Drake. I doubt that there is a single team that will be able to cover him out of the backfield. Look at how this mismatch opened up the entire field. This really resembled Thurman Thomas with the Bills and the difficulty teams had covering those guys.

      1. That’s true and a good question, my best guess would be a combo of jay ajayi and tannehill getting hurt. Ajayi made the offense a power running game when gase is really a spread you out kind of guy so that limited the progression of the playbook. And tannehills injury combined with Moore and cutler both starting games this year has prolly slowed it down to.

        1. Author

          I don’t think it related to the players themselves. Whether it was Drake or Damien or Ajayi or even Senorise Perry, moving a RB out into a WR position is something Gase should have been doing for the past 2 years. Other teams do it to us, and they’re usually successful. Better late than never, and I’m glad to see it working. Also on a related topic, getting a TE matched up with a LB in coverage is beneficial to the TE 99% of the time. Gase does a good job of that, except that Julia Thomas drops everything thrown his way. TE production is down because Thomas sucks, not because Gase’s scheme sucks.

  4. Also to end my rant if it weren’t for a few terrible calls in the Bucs and Raiders game this team could legit be 8-5.

    1. No doubt they left wins on the table for various reasons. It really is too bad as they look more like a team now D has picked things up too.

      1. Yea but if they win out there’s still a decent chance of making the playoffs, the afc is terrible this year so don’t write them off just yet.

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