Dolphins Have a Second Half Eruption

First things first, I love Brian Flores. Watching our football team’s leader march across the field to give Zac Taylor a piece of his mind was beautiful to see. How many times have we seen the head coach refuse to stick up for his players? Or how many times have we seen the rest of the team refuse to stick up for each other? Not this coach and, not this team. It’s about damn time!

Now that I got that off my chest…

Sunday in Miami felt like two different games. Coaches and players alike often talk about a play-by-play mentality. That is certainly what happened this week. The entire first half felt Miami was underperforming, a step slow, not on the same page, and it showed on the scoreboard. Miami trailed the Bengals 7-6, heading into halftime.

I think I speak for all fans when I say I would love to have been a fly on the wall in that locker room. Whether it was Brian Flores or a team leader that opened the can of whoop-ass on the team, it worked. The team needed to be reminded they were 7-4 playing against a 2-8-1 team without their promising rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. They were the better team and needed to start acting like it. So often, we have seen Miami play down to their level of competition, and that felt eerily similar to what was unfolding.

Miami amassed 155 yards in the first half for 6 points. That is not what you would call “ideal.” 68 of those yards came on one drive, ending in a Jason Sanders field goal.  Miami seemed to lack a sense of urgency offensively, and even Tua shared that sentiment in a post-game interview. “I need to help our guys start faster offensively,” Tua says. The young rookie taking responsibility for the slow start is encouraging. But what’s even more encouraging is how he responded in the second half.

In the first drive out of the half, Tua engineers an 8 play 75-yard touchdown drive that takes just 3 minutes and 25 seconds. The drive featured a no-huddle offense primarily that Tua showed mastery over. It was the kind of drive that many fans have been clamoring for. Ending in a beautiful lob pass to Mike Gesicki in the end zone, who had himself a monster day. Chan Gailey let Tua run the offense at an uptempo pace that clearly caught the Bengals defense off guard. Hopefully, we see more of that sprinkled in going forward.

The defensive performance also improved in the second half. 1 sack in the first half compared to 5 in the second half. They only allowed 34 yards in the second half as well. It was as if Brian Flores and company were reminded they were playing the Bengals. When this defense is “on,” they are a borderline dominant unit.

With the Chiefs coming to town this week, Miami will need to play as they did in the second half of Sunday’s game. Here’s to hoping the team starts fast, keeps going fast, and ends faster. That’s what will be needed to defeat the defending world champion Chiefs.