The Miami Dolphins came back to earth with a dreadful performance against the Buffalo Bills after winning two games in a row. Frankly this game was over before the 1st quarter ended. The Dolphins got punched in the mouth, bullied, and had no life at the line of scrimmage. It was a disappointing game after the team won 2 games in a row and played the Bills tough in a month in which they should have won. I was thinking they had a chance coming into this game, but instead it was back to reality. Every time the Dolphins had a chance to get back in the game, they found a way to screw things up whether it be fumbling the ball without being touched after a big gain or a killer penalty, even if it was a horrible call, that could have ended a Bills drive or given us a big gain. It just wasn’t our day.
The biggest difference in this game, as compared to the first game against the Bills, was the offensive line. The first possession the line was getting pushed around had a sack and a negative play in the running game. In the first game, the Dolphins as a team ran for over 100 yards, but only 23 yards on Sunday. The Dolphins had decent running lanes in the game in Buffalo, but not on Sunday. The Dolphins also gave up 7 sacks and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was under duress all game long, whereas the first game he wasn’t sacked once and had a clean pocket to throw. Maybe the Bills underestimated the Dolphins in the first game and adjusted or we just got back to our pathetic play in September. The bottom line is offensive line was pathetic all game long. Everyone wants to talk about finding a quarterback next year well maybe finding more physical linemen should be as big a priority as well next year because it doesn’t matter who your quarterback is if the line plays like they did Sunday then they have no shot to succeed. This defensive line for the Bills is going to be together for the next few years so we better get reinforcements if we are going to have any shot against them.
The other big difference in the game was the play of the defense. The Bills ran all over the Dolphins to the tune of over 160 yards. The defense also didn’t apply any pressure whatsoever on their quarterback Josh Allen. Now Allen has accuracy issues and it showed at times on Sunday, but if you have 4 to 6 seconds to throw the ball sooner or later you are going to hit throws. The defense was lucky Allen was off on some throws and held them to field goals or the score would have been much worse than 23-14 at halftime. The Dolphins have been able to stop the run consistently for years not since Tony Sparano was our coach and the Dolphins also need to continue to find players to set the tone on the defensive line. Christian Wilkins has played well, but he’s a rookie and is going to have his ups and down the team must find more players. The team also must find more players to generate a pass rush. Allen wasn’t sacked once all game long or pressured at all. He had all day to throw the ball. Heck he could have drank a whole keg and still had time to throw the ball that’s how bad it was. Allen is going to get a lot of credit for his game today and he should, but any quarterback could have looked good the way our defense played today. Charles Harris has been a bust and it’s time the Dolphins move on from him and find other players that can put pressure on the quarterback.
The Dolphins this off-season must continue to look for a quarterback no question about it. The other thing the Dolphins must do this off season is look for tough maulers in the trenches. The Dolphins are going to have a lot of resources available to them between salary cap space and draft picks that they should be able to do this. The Dolphins the last 10 years or so has struggled against tough physical football teams. They have a label pf being a finesse team and that is something head coach Brian Flores is trying to get rid of, but if he is going to shed that label general manager Chris Grier and his front office staff have to find more players if they are going to move forward. Otherwise the Dolphins are going to be a soft football and just get by.