Well…it’s a win. It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win in this league, and you never apologize for a win.
With that said, though, that was ugly football by the Miami Dolphins. And while we celebrate the win and going to 7-3 on the season, let’s not be naive and understand all of the warts of this Dolphins football team were on display today.
And those warts still haven’t been cleaned up by Mike McDaniel and this coaching staff as we are at Thanksgiving. This leads to the question, will they ever be cleaned up, and is this just who this Dolphins team is?
Wart #1: Speical Teams
How does Danny Crossman stay employed? He has been awful from day one. He was hired in Miami with the previous head coach, and it keeps getting worse week after week. Today, we had a missed field goal from Sanders, not one but two penalties on Dolphins kick coverage units, and Jake Bailey outside of his final punt was god awful.
I know the Dolphins don’t like to invest in kickers, punters, guards, and running backs, but truly, regarding the punter and kicker, the Dolphins stink. Jake Bailey is a roller coaster, and from kick to kick, he is either horrible or, at his best, just average. Sanders inside of 50 yards is okay; from 50+ (even though he hit one today), he is terrible overall.
I know making a chance in late November won’t happen (although a strong case could be made, it should) with any of these 3 (Crossman, Sanders, and Bailey). But when we get deeper into the regular season and the playoffs, as Dolphins fans, we just have to hope the special teams don’t cost us a game. Because we know they do little to help us win games.
Wart #2: Mike McDaniel Playcalling on 3rd and 4th and 1
The Dolphins entered this game 3rd overall in the NFL in rushing. Before last Sunday (when Miami was on a bye week), they were #1 all season in rushing. That is why it is so frustrating to see Mike McDaniel on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 to NOT run the football and just run these goofy passing plays that never seem to work.
Football is a simple sport; sometimes, you just do the obvious, and it will work. There is no need to outsmart everyone; just run it and have faith in your offensive line and running backs.
Wart #3: Tua is turning it over too much
Calm down TuAnon…nobody is attacking Tua. But gotta keep it real and call it as I see it; Tua has 8 INTs and three lost fumbles this year for 11 total turnovers. That is too many through 10 games. Again, for the Dolphins to make a deep playoff run, Tua has to protect the football better.
All of these warts you can overcome when you play the god-awful Raiders, Giants, Patriots, and Panthers. Do you want to know why we lose vs teams with a winning record time and time again? All of this stuff above.
So yes, we celebrate this win vs the Raiders, but we also should be concerned that its late November and the same issues and mistakes happen time and time again. And if Mike McDaniel doesn’t fix some of these things soon, it will be the reason we don’t reach our ultimate goal this season.