Miami Dolphins Week 1- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

In one of the strangest years in recent memories, the NFL and the Miami Dolphins are back. The team survived the 2020 offseason. With the Pandemic-altered offseason that included no preseason games and for a team that needed a sense of normalcy to prepare for the season that was in doubt for months, the Dolphins came out flat in game one against New England and lost the first game of 2020. Here’s the good and the bad…and the Offense…I mean ugly from game one.

The Good: The most difficult of tasks to review. I was impressed with the Offensive line. I expected the pass protection to be atrocious, however, outside of giving up one sack and a few hurries, the offensive line held up in pass protection. On the flip side is the fact that the team yet again didn’t generate a decent running game, but we will get to that in a second. A true test for the line will come against the Bills, who have better gap penetrating linebackers that gave the Jets fits today.

The Bad: It has to be the turnstile at the running back position that left fans perplexed as to why there was no consistency at the position. Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin, Jordan Howard, and Matt Brieda all offer something a little bit different to the offense that makes them each have value in their own right. However, at times Howard looked a little like Kalen Ballage did last year, it seemed at times he ran without purpose. Laird and Gaskin got way more touches than I would have preferred. Although Gaskin looked the best out of the four, I don’t want to think that after Myles Gaskin is the best RB in the room when the team passed on players like Todd Gurley and Devonte Freeman. The team has had puzzling encounters with running backs dating back to The Joe Philbin days, and I would have hoped it would change. It looks more of the same. What was bad about the game against New England wasn’t that the Dolphins weren’t able to generate a rushing attack. It was the fact that the team seemed to favor a four-headed attack and that just seemed chaotic and the fact it didn’t work makes it an issue with coaching and personnel changes.

The Ugly:  I’m not as concerned with the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the offense didn’t look good in any phase of the game. Chalk that up to a new coordinator, chalk it up to Ryan not having a great game, or the wide receivers playing like trash. The stats will show that Ryan had 3 interceptions. I contest that two of those were on blatant missed Defensive Pass Interference calls. The offense just wasn’t good, and that allowed Cam Newton and the Patriots to play ball control and run it down the defense’s throat. I’m not ready to hand the keys to Tua Tagovailoa just yet, but man, something needs to change, and soon.

I want to chalk this game up to new C=coordinators and a limited offseason, but its more than that.  This is was a winnable game and the team came out flat. I don’t see it getting any better against an actual defense in Buffalo, We can only hope that the team grows and gets better.