So the Dolphins blew it again, huh? Miami has lost five straight games after starting the season 8-3 and now need help to reach the playoffs this season. 

Their most recent loss to the Patriots boils down to an incredibly underwhelming offensive performance. Miami lost 23-21, but the offense was responsible for seven of New England’s points (pick six), and their last touchdown was basically a garbage-time touchdown. 

In reality, Miami’s offense produced 14 points while the game actually mattered. The stats don’t look much better either. They produced just 247 passing yards on 40 attempts (6.6-yard average) and just 86 yards rushing on 27 attempts (3.2 yards per attempt). 

So what went wrong? We’ve discovered four reasons for Miami’s struggles on Sunday, and we’ve decided to break them down. 

1. Turnovers 

Miami only had one turnover in the game, the aforementioned pick-six, but it was a costly one. The Dolphins were up 14-10 late into the third quarter, and the INT gave the Patriots their first lead since 7-0. 

What makes this specific turnover so frustrating is Teddy Bridgewater — a veteran QB — should’ve been capable of deciphering what New England was doing. 

Basically, the Patriots drop into what’s called “Tampa-2” post snap. It sets two-deep safeties and then typically has a middle linebacker running straight back to cover crossers and seam routes. 

However, New England decides to use safety Kyle Dugger, who has two interceptions already this season, as the dropper. Dugger drops from the line of scrimmage all the way back to the deep middle and feels the crossing route coming and jumps it. 

How Bridgewater doesn’t see Dugger here we’ll never know. He had time to scan the field, and Dugger was still dropping when Bridgewater hit the top of his drop. 

The picture changed on Bridgewater post-snap, which is hard to deal with sometimes. However, this should’ve been an easy game of Where’s Waldo because any defender sitting in that zone makes it an easy decision to look elsewhere. 

2. Bridgewater Is a Coward 

Bashing Bridgewater doesn’t exactly feel fair, but Sunday wasn’t his greatest day. The throw above might’ve been one of two aggressive throws he made all day on Sunday, and he got punished for it. 

However, there were a number of throws he just refused to hit, limiting Miami’s big play ability against the Patriots. 

The one stood out above the rest. The Dolphins run a clever flood concept against the Patriots’ quarters coverage on this play. They use Tyreek Hill as a running back, and he runs a deep-out route. 

Durham Smythe comes in motion and ends up being the intermediate target, and Mostert runs to the flat as the checkdown option. 

Watch Hill win at the top of his route. He’s so fast he eats up the cushion the Patriots’ safety had in seconds, forcing him onto his heels with inside leverage. Hill breaks outside and has a ton of room by the sideline. 

Instead of trying to create an explosive play, Bridgewater checks down and takes the easy throw. We lamented Tua Tagovailoa for not throwing this concept earlier in the season, so it’s only fair to stay consistent. 

It was an all-day affair for Bridgewater though. He might not have enough arm strength to continue playing in the league after this season if he’s shying away from these throws. 

3. Run Blocking Was Brutal 

Miami fans have been crying for Mike McDaniel to run the football more for weeks now, and he decided to listen on Sunday. The Dolphins’ 27 rushing attempts was tied for their season high. 

Unfortunately for everyone involved, it was the wrong week to tie their season high in carries. Miami’s run-blocking was a mess. Whiffs, bad angles, not movement, and poor judgment is littered across the film. 

The team was missing Terron Armstead but his replacement, Kendall Lamm, while not great, wasn’t a liability out there. 

The same can not be said for Liam Eichenberg in his first game back from injury. The play above is a great example of something he struggled with on Sunday — framing blocks. 

Watch Eichenberg pull across the offensive line and just completely miss Matt Judon. Judon proceeds to blow up the pulling tight end, who in turn, gets slammed right into the running back resulting in a negative play. 

It’s just bad football, and there was plenty of it to go around on Sunday. It wasn’t just Eichenberg, but he was the most consistent repeat offender. 

4. Pass Protection

Last but not least we have pass protection. Given Miami was playing multiple backups at one point, the offensive line actually protected well for most of the game. That’s why it’s so far down on the list. 

The play above was one of the few poor reps while Bridgewater was still in the game, but it’s a good example of how Miami’s day was going on offense. 

Connor Williams, who has had a great first season with the team, gets beat by a nasty arm-over move. It’s just 1v1, and he lost. It’s okay. It happens to everyone. Ho-hum let’s move on to the next one. 

What makes this play so interesting to highlight is if you watch closely you can see Robert Hunt (#68) come over and attempt to block the rush, but he instead literally pushes Williams to the ground instead. 

Now, the rusher has a completely clean angle to the quarterback with zero resistance. This is obviously just a mistake, but Miami made so many of these self-inflicted errors all game. 


If you grouped all of their mistakes into one category it would read “shot self in foot.” Most mistakes are like that, but most of the time the other team makes a great play. 

The 49ers and Chargers out-schemed and outplayed Miami’s offense and the QB played his worst ball of the season. The Buffalo game was a game where both teams played well. The Packers game was, well, the Packers game. 

Those teams did good things and Miami beat themselves. Against the Patriots, Miami just beat itself. New England didn’t do anything special on defense and didn’t receive an elite performance from their “star” quarterback. 

Miami just couldn’t execute on Sunday, which is what makes it the most frustrating loss during the current win streak. 

If Miami wants to beat the Jets, they’ll have to clean up some of those mistakes quickly.