Rather than my typical diatribe about all the many things the Dolphins and Mike McDaniel did wrong vs. Baltimore (and there were tons), I’m going to focus on the positives and the potentials.

We have a game next weekend, at home, that will secure us the #2 overall seed and at least one home playoff game. That’s the focus.

Everyone will think I am nuts, but the Raven loss was CLOSER than it appeared on paper. 56-19 is a blowout, but it was closer than that if we eliminate just a few bad plays. Just a few.

Tyreek Hill and Chase Claypool dropped easy TD passes right in their hands. That’s 7 points twice that became 3 points. 14 points became 6, and we left 8 points there. Backup tight end drops the 2-pt conversion right in his hands? Another two points. 10 more points we coulda had. 56-29 is still a blowout.

But now look at the end of the first half. In a frustrating and maddening mistake (which I won’t focus on), the Tua/McDaniel braintrust hurried to run a play before the 2-minute warning. God knows why. But if we simply wait for the warning and huddle up, there is no way Tua throws such a garbage pass. And no way the Ravens score those 7 points. Even if we eat clock and get a FG & keep them from scoring, it’s now 49-32.

Let’s also say our garbage special teams coverage didn’t give up an 80-yard return right after halftime and we held the Ravens, it’s now 42-32.

A 37-pt game could have actually been a 10-pt game if not for a few chokes and a few unnecessarily hurried plays.

If Chris Brooks doesn’t fumble again late and gives the Ravens 7 easy points, their total would have been 35. Now, 35 points is still too much to give up…but if we eliminated just a few of our huge mistakes and turnovers, they don’t get near 56 points.

The defense looks lost. We had no answers. McDaniel himself is the cause for losing Chubb for the year, and he can’t point fingers.

But as far as our offense? They can and will do better.

We have a home game coming up, and the offense knows what happened to Chubb Sunday. Tua knows where Jaelen Phillips is. Tyreek Hill knows where Xavien Howard is.

Our offense knows that they need their game of the year coming up. I will not be surprised if we fight like hell and put up numbers like we did vs. Denver this year.

Watch and mark my words…our offense is coming out with a vengeance, and Tua / Hill / Claypool will no longer hand a free win to the opponent like they did Sunday.

We have only 3 touchdowns in our last 10 quarters. Two and a half games with only 3 TDs total. I just don’t see that holding up any longer. And I think we’re gonna come out in a fury with all our offensive weapons on full display.

9 Comments

  1. Author

    I watch Jevon Holland’s video cast episodes each week. It’s interesting how the players feel just like us fans. “We thought we were gonna come back. We just needed a stop. Then the offense turned the ball over. Then we couldn’t make any plays.” he’s really honest !
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqjqSYU3L-g

  2. Good insight as usual. I had a very bad feeling about this Buffalo game but your analysis has brought me back some hope. Emphasis on “some.” If you haven’t watched Hard Knocks, McDaniel does say some inspiring things to keep his team focused. They had a good practice before the Ravens game. We do need to fight like hell to win this one. On the Joe Rose show, they said about the same thing – to fight like hell, but, that it is a winnable game. Phins Up!!!

    1. Author

      Both the Bills and Dolphins have been scoring in the 20s lately, so both offenses are overdue to explode. Being without 3 All Pro starters like Howard, Chubb, and Phillips really helps the Bills. They are missing key pieces too, but their advantage is that their guys have been missing a while and they’ve adjusted and got used to it. We’ve been without Howard and Chubb for one game, and nobody stepped up in the Ravens game. Perhaps another week of prep will be just what we needed. We have responded well after a loss all year long, and we need one more time! And I keep coming back to the Dolphins beat the Dolphins last weekend. Yeah, the Ravens are great, but we would have lost to ANYONE with the way our offense just kept dropping balls and unnecessarily throwing it to the wrong team. Did we lose due to schemes and X’s and O’s and just brute force from a better team? No. We lost due to gigantic mistakes.

  3. Admin, I admire your creative effort at keeping positive on what otherwise was a disaster.

    Here are three positives (from a glass-is-half empty kinda guy):

    +running game: Achane had a productive game, they were using the pitch play alot, which i had not seen too often previously, and that play worked out well for the most part. More of this, please

    +Spreading the love: on the first two drives, I thought the offense looked great, Tua was hitting wide open receivers not named Tyreek. More of this, please

    +McDaniel pre-game prep: it was obvious from the first two drives that McD designed a very nice scheme that worked. This is what he does well. It worked until it didn’t. and that is where the Dolphins and McD struggle (In-game adjustments).

    1. Author

      Agree to all your points. Imagine those three things you mentioned COMBINED WITH Hill and Claypool not dropping easy TDs. And combined with Tua simply letting the clock hit the 2-minute warning, etc. We had a lot of positives in that game, but too many negatives.
      I don’t see our ragtag third string defense stopping Josh Allen. But I can envision a fired up offense who is pissed and ready to take it to an overconfident team.

      1. I am not sure we win a shoot out with Bills, because our depleted defense will get tired and perform like last week (or end of Titans game). so I wonder if slower, more time consuming drive execution is the path to victory (like the game winning FG drive against the Cowboys). this strategy keep Phin defense off the field as much as possible!

  4. Author

    And one more reason for me to be a bit confident is that our opponents think it’s a Dolphins’ weakness to point out that we only beat one winning team. All our other wins have been against doormats. True. But you know what else is true? We beat the doormats we were supposed to beat (minus the Titans). We’re not the ones who lost a gut-wrencher to Denver because we had 12 men on the field. We didn’t lose to Zack Wilson for God’s sake. Didn’t lose to Mack Jones.
    We beat the vast majority of teams we were supposed to beat. The Bills lose those games

  5. A Trend that I was not expecting:
    + Tyreek chokes in big games (Drop TD passes in Ravens and Eagles game, strip fumble TD return in Chiefs game)
    + has Tyreek narrative of achieving 2000 yards and 20 TD’s distorted our offense play selection into over targeting Tyreek? Note two Interceptions last week were passes to Tyreek. the last one, there were five Ravens in the vicinity. is this also why McD has proclivity to call the fade route on a 1sy and goal?

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