While the referees stopped the game so that Patrick Mahomes could be fitted for a new helmet and then called Wilkins for roughing when he tapped Mahomes, and while the NFL allowed the Buffalo Bills to get an extra day of practice and rest because of some cold weather, the Miami Dolphins received no such unfair advantages.

They then proceeded to go out and end their own season.

Okay, so right off the bat, I’m not blaming the NFL or the refs for this loss. Our offense has been dead in the water since Black Friday, and no one came up with any innovation at all. No one stepped up. No one even LOOKED LIKE they wanted to stand up and fight.

Sadly, my final memory of the 2023 season will be our offense hustling and running hard…after yet another three-and-out. They were sprinting to the sidelines to bundle up in their winter jackets.

I saw more hustle from the Dolphins when they were racing for the heated bench than I did on the field.

There’s a lot to discuss and a long off-season to discuss it. But the one thing to leave you with for now is that our collapse is on Mike McDaniel, the offensive “genius,” first and foremost. Blame also goes to the offensive players, starting with stars Tua and Hill, who both had gigantic costly errors in the most important games.

I love the defense. Love how they stepped up. Only 2 TDs allowed vs. KC. Only 2 allowed vs. Buffalo the week before. And remember…this is a defense where we literally had guys coming in off the streets. At one point yesterday, I saw Ramsey and Seiler out there as our only starters.

We literally had 2 starters and 9 unknown backups out there on some plays…and yet they kept us in the game. The offense had 10 starters, and couldn’t do a thing. I know the Tua haters are gonna chirp, but it’s McDaniel’s fault.

We started a drive at our own 10 and, by rushing the ball finally, we moved into KC territory. Facing a 2nd and INCHES, McDaniel of course called for three consecutive passing downs. Series over. Game over. Season over.

We were down 10-7 at the time. A handoff on 2nd and inches likely gets us a tie game (and we’d get the ball back after halftime). Better yet, with some momentum, maybe we go up 14-10 at the half, with all the momentum in the world.

But Adam Gase–sorry, I mean Mike McDaniel–called or pass plays when we needed an inch. He cost us this season.

More to come.


  1. Hard to find anything to disagree here. Unfortunately all game long I kept seeing dolphins players ham it up with the kc players like, “hey buddy I know our seasons over and I don’t care” I don’t remember ever seeing OJ doing that with jets players in a meaningful game down by three scores! I can’t imagine Shula not benching guys for that blatant display of “I don’t give a sh-tness”. But the biggest offender, Hill, gets to play a pro bowl and hear all offseason how he was the best receiver this year. Meanwhile we finally saw McDaniels pissed off and screening at the refs about a BS call but that came in the 4th quarter after the game was all but over. The blatant holding call on 4th and forever when KC was out of field goal range and Mahomes ran for 72 yards (exaggerating intended) didn’t upset him at all! Hopefully this off season McD will go look at all the holding that wasn’t called this year and get pissed because he needs to challenge the refs every time or we will see it all next year to. Jimmy Johnson always berated the refs for it and once said post game that if they don’t call it you have to get in their ear or they’re never going to call it! No matter what you think about jimmy he was right about that! In other great news the Panthers for some reason unknown to me interviewed our OC Frank Smith (how many of you knew he was our OC) so hopefully that idiot is gone next year and replaced by someone with experience who doesn’t just suck up to McD and tell him how wonderful the 5 wide set is at picking up 3” rather than handing the ball off to say, anyone!!!!! Lots to rant about but I’ll leave it here! Oh ya and the idiots at the Miami herald had some BS piece today on how the defense didn’t do enough!!! Am I the one who is insane? Stop the madness please!!!

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      Being angry at the refs or the NFL itself should have started before the game. Stephen Ross could have at least ASKED to move the game. The NFL always says that player safety is paramount, and asking guys to play a sport in 20-below weather is disgusting. Or–if the NFL feels that it’s fine to play in that weather–then at least be fair about it. At least make the Bills play in that weather too. It doesn’t hurt to ask, or demand, a change. Ross never complains though. Has anyone ever seen a football helmet become so brittle in the cold that it literally breaks? THAT is imminently dangerous, and proof that the game should have been moved to warmer daytime. If Tua’s helmet was smashed, I guarantee you that the refs would have made him come out for a series and go to the blue tent to be sure. But with Mahomes…they stop the clock and let him take his time. Where was McDaniel’s anger then?
      Does that kid coach even know the rules? The refs are NOT authorized to stop the clock for an equipment change, and yet they did. Not a word from the media or from Ross.

  2. A disappointing end to the Season that started off very exciting and enjoyable. The scab Defense played well enough to keep us in the game. Bravo Defense!

    My first wish: Can we be please ban Hard knocks from Dolphins world for a few years? Next season, we need a more serious endeavour from our players, Hard knock turns the environment into celebrity camp.

    And it is not Tua hate, it is just reality that
    Tua is an Average QB. Time to face that reality Tua fans. He is too short, does not a have strong arm, not very athletic (can’t scramble), and has trouble reading the defense, and is probably one more concussion from retirement.

    McDaniel built and designed this offense to maximize Tua and what we witnessed this season is the maximum potential of Tua (in that regard, McDaniel succeeded). This offense is based on timing and accuracy which requires perfect execution to succeed. Thus, the offense has a limited window of opportunity – when a defense hurries it (blitz) the play fails, when they slow it down (take away 1st read) the play fails. This is why it works against poor defenses, but fails against good defenses.

    Tua is a nice kid and good man, but I think Dolphins should move on after his fifth year option.

    1. Totally agree…great guy and team player but will not get this team to a championship and high level play ( i.e. Mahomes etc.) for years to come. Move on me find “the guy”.

      1. You guys make it sound like it’s so easy to find a Mahomes. Remember 20 years to find a top ten QB but he’s toilet paper now? PFF ranked 6. Play calling or oline have no effect on the O only the QB? I don’t disagree they should keep drafting QBs no matter who they have in an attempt to improve but in the meantime you don’t throw away what you have when you have playoff shots right now. I’d be pissed off if they did this…

  3. Complaining about officiating, or the weather, doesn’t mask the real issues with this team. The media has hit the nail on the head…..the Fins are paper tigers. They can beat up the Little Sisters of the Poor, but cannot compete with the big boys. KC played in the same conditions as us, and they schooled us in every respect. Tua has hit his ceiling, and no amount of scheming by McDaniel can cover that up. He simply is not in the same class as Mahomes, Lamar, Allen, or even Stroud. The coaching can help or hinder that, but it cannot change the fact that he is not good enough to get us a Super Bowl. Make him play on his 5th year deal, and start looking long-term elsewhere.

  4. I’m starting to come around to the same conclusion about Tua but I have to see him next year. Every year he has improved so I don’t know about him hitting his ceiling yet and yes coaching will help or hinder but phinsfan points out that Tua isn’t in the same class as Mahomes, Lamar, Allen, or even Stroud not because he doesn’t have the talent, come on guys he can toss the ball. What he doesn’t have is the leadership or the fire! Neither can be taught and I don’t see it in Tua and for that reason I’m ready to move on if he doesn’t improve in those areas next year.

    1. Author

      I think his hesitation kills him, and that ruins his confidence. No one in the NFL is better than Tua when he’s in his groove. But when it’s not there, it’s bad. Last night, he threw 5 or 6 horrible passes on the WR screens alone. Wide open guys like 25 feet away just waiting for the ball…he was either leading them too far or throwing grounders. Granted, even when those passes were completed, the KC defenders were there and waiting. That’s on McD. But he bad passes themselves were on Tua. Missing an open guy on a WR screen might happen a few times a month to other QBs. But when Tua is rattled, that sticks with him and he throws bad pass one after another. In addition to ju jitsu, he needs to study mental toughness over the off season

      1. I absolutely agree…… his confidence is easily rattled and he then needs someone to lead him. And that’s fine but not in a position where you need a leader! Mahomes helmet gets broken in two does he lose all confidence and start looking around for direction? No he was directing everything! That’s leadership and Tua doesn’t have it at all! Josh Allen when he gets hit does he get rattled, when his passing lanes are blocked and he’s flushed from the pocket does he get rattled? No he directs the team and wills something to happen! Take any of the top qbs and you can find similar leadership qualities. Hell chad Pennington had it! Too bad he didn’t have Tuas talent! Tuas just not a leader no two was about that anymore

  5. Tua’s inability to read defenses and change plays at the line of scrimmage really hurt the team as well. The mental capabilities are perhaps the most important quality to evaluate, when searching for a franchise QB in the hardest position to learn in all of pro sports. Some QB’s have eventually improved their mental capabilities with (a lot) of experience, and some just never are able to fully grasp all of the mental requirements it takes to be successful at that very highest level.

    1. Maybe Tua has lost mental acuity as a result of two to three concussions. it seemed like he was better at reading the field before the concussions.

      Or maybe it’s simply concussion PTSD and he avoids sack at all costs (passes to quickly, or does not hold the ball for one more second to make a 2nd read pass) .

  6. Author

    Watching the Steelers/Bills game. Bills had third and one, and they ran for first down. Pitt had 2nd and 1, and they ran for first down. It’s THAT easy. It really, truly, honestly is. When you need to gain 36 inches and you call rushing plays, they work.

    1. yeah, that one series at Chiefs 44 where we had 3rd and one, then 4th and one, and Dolphins called the side pass on both plays. Tua could not make either of those passes. embarrassing

      1. Author

        I can’t and won’t defend him, especially on those passes you mentioned. Maybe he was too stubborn to tell McDaniel that his hands were too icy. Maybe he didn’t comprehend that you have to adjust your mechanics when throwing a rock-hard football. Or maybe he just choked while throwing some extremely short and easy passes. No matter what the excuses, I still say that McDaniel has to recognize that. Down only 10-7 and driving to the Chiefs 44…. I think that was the series when Waddle gained 9 and a half yards on first down. We faced second an inches…and McD called a pass play. Awkward screen to Achane that was incomplete. 3rd and inches, and we passed for a first down, but Wilson was lined up illegally. Week 19, and he still doesn’t know the rules. Two more incomplete passes, and our season was over.

        1. OMG, look at the wide open field ahead of Achane on Tua’s bounce pass!

          222Upload Attached

          1. Author

            There is indeed room in front, and it was a horrid pass to a man 10 yards away. KC led by 10-7 at this point, and this was the dreaded 2nd and inches play that cost us the entire game. A shitty pass, but a worse play call.
            KC has defenders ready to pounce, and we have one blocker at the MIA 45, who would surely miss his block like we always do. 🙁
            But, no excuses. Look at all the defenders between Tua and Achane. Zero. A wide open lane to throw it 10 yards to a wide open receiver. He he missed badly. Game over.

            1. Ya that’s bad but at least the weather was horrible. He could have also went deep there as there was a guy streaking down the sideline not sure if Hill or not. But but but we keep saying if you need an inch and its cold out why not just fall forward and live to fight another set of downs? I would have rather seen a bomb then a dump off to the RB due to risk/reward but hopefully they learn. Must learn!

              1. Author

                Yes, someone is running a slant. He is on the KC 48, just under the “C” in their logo. WIDE wide open. If Tua puts in on that guy, there is only one man to easily beat, and he’s all the way back at the KC 39, probably an easy TD. Definitely an easy first down. Still, not as easy as falling forward, which I always advocate for.

  7. Well Gier just said his goal is to sign Tua long term so here we go! Another lost decade

    1. Author

      I just don’t think the situation is that dire. I really don’t. We lost to some tough teams during the past 3 games. But at least we didn’t begin 10-0 and fizzle into a playoff blowout loss like the Eagles. At least we didn’t earn the #2 seed and a home game and then lose to a team that barely squeaked into the playoffs. Dallas vs. Packers.
      Don’t forget the success we had when we were going well. We had the Bills beat until a special teams collapse. We had the Titans beat until Chubb took off his helmet. I STILL say we were going to win a slugfest at Baltimore until Hill dropped the TD right in his hands in the endzone, which immediately took away all our fight and momentum.
      The last three losses were the result of the offense’s inability to maintain drives. I feel that the play calls were the primary cause of those failed drives. I WANT TO have confidence that McDaniel will see this and improve. I’d like to see him and Tua come up with things together in the off-season. No more practicing ju-jitsu. How about practicing scramble drills?

      1. Lot of great comments and I agree with Admin a few tweaks and better injury luck and this team does very well. Results could be a lot better next season. Definitely fix special teams and short yardage. Both killed them down the stretch. I don’t want to overreact they did play in brutal weather against the defending champs. Number two D. Now if in Miami and healthy could have easily been a different story.

        As per Tua I’ve always said keep drafting QBs you never know when you will hit and can improve. In the meantime you don’t want to throw away a pretty damn good player who can take you to the playoffs. I’d trade back in the first round this year unless something crazy falls to you. Use the extra pick on a QB. If you hit then you get the cap reset. Otherwise there are a lot of holes to fill they simply don’t have enough picks to take flyers on positions of no need. Interior oline should be upgraded for sure.

        1. Author

          I like where the defense is. Would like (not love) to have Wilkins back, if he realizes that he is a steady (not All Pro) player and he agrees to be paid as such. If Wilkins wants zillions of dollars and goes elsewhere? Not a gigantic loss. Again, the last 2 weeks our defense faced elite offenses and only gave up 2 TDs each. WITHOUT Holland. Without Phillips. Without Chubb. Without X Howard. Without DeShaun Elliott one game. Without Baker and Van Ginkel and Ogbah. We had 3 starters and 8 unknowns out there, and they held their own. Really really proud of how our D played the last 9 games of the year, minus the Ravens game. if we can keep the game closer with 3 starters and 8 backups, then we can afford to lose Wilkins.

          Offense is a different story. As always, offensive line will be a priority. Continuity is important, so I’d pay to keep Connor Williams and Robert Hunt. Armstead may retire, so I’d pay to keep Kendall Lamm. I’m happy with our skill position players, but it’s up to McDaniel to develop a third WR threat among the guys we already have. We need a go-to guy and go-to plays for times when Hill and Waddle are jammed up. McDaniel needs to do this. It can be Ingold or maybe River Craycraft. If you remember Jim Jensen, that is who we need. The problem this year was the go-to third-option receiver changed too much. Cedric Wilson? Berrios? Ingold? Achane? We had no single, reliable back who Tua could count on. That has to change.

  8. Regarding the OL (perhaps the biggest priority in the offseason) – As good as they are, Connor Williams and Armstead have repeatedly shown, these past few seasons, that they just aren’t capable of avoiding injuries and missing Way too many games, throughout the long season. Every team has OL’s that miss a game here or there, but those 2 (in particular) from their history, are not capable of being able to start enough games anymore – and they aren’t getting any younger. Successful teams are able to keep their OL intact for the most part, for the majority of their season.

  9. have any of you seen this video? Kurt Warner analysis of the Germany game.

    Tua is struggling with Football 101. I have not seen any improvement since that game.

    Dolphins should have him play out his 5th season and prove himself before extending or giving a long term deal. He Has too many short-comings and limitations. Also, I don’t see any fire in him. Flores was right.


    1. Author

      That was yet another game where our Defense played its heart out, only to be screwed by the offense. Hill gave them 7 points by fumbling right into the arms of one of his former Chief friends, and then the fastest man in the NFL refused to go tackle the guy. We ended up losing by 7. That was the one game when Mike McDaniel needed to go back to the drawing board and re-tweak the offense. But he kept it all the same.

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