In life, in work, and in football, there are a couple of things that go hand in hand that I have a very hard time with stupidity and the lack of common sense.  After the Ravens scored their 6th touchdown to go ahead 42-19 with just over 9 ½ minutes remaining in the game, the game result was no longer in doubt.  A loss was a forgone conclusion.  Yes, the Dolphins rallied to beat the Ravens after trailing 38-21 last year, so I can understand the slightest bit of hesitation about not sitting your starters.  However, common sense tells you it is okay to lose the battle today because you can still win the war next week.  And the best way to win that war is to have the healthiest possible team on the field, ESPECIALLY your star players.

And yet, Mike McDaniel failed to see the big picture.  He failed to see the long-term objective, which was and still is to win the AFC East and capture a home playoff game.  But instead, he had a myopic view and kept his focus on the game at hand.  The game in which he trailed by 25 points and whose defense hadn’t stopped its opponent all game long.  And so, he kept his starters on the field until it was literally painfully obvious his team was not going to win this game.  And what happened?  Tua kept getting hit, sacked, and eventually hurt his shoulder, scrambling on a meaningless 4th and long.

It COULD have been a lot worse.  It looks like Tua did not sustain a serious injury. But wouldn’t you think the alarm bells went off in McDaniel’s head that told him, oh hey, we can’t afford any MORE injuries to our stars? I better waive the white flag and rest my starters.  But no, Out came the defensive starters, who remained out there down 49-19 with under 4 minutes to go in the game.  And we all know what happened.  Bradley Chubb suffered a non-contact injury and is reported as a torn ACL and is lost for the season.  Utter stupidity and totally unnecessary.  At least McDaniel basically admitted his mistake in his post-game conference, saying, “I wish I had a time machine for sure.”

Way way way back on August 11th, I wrote the following:

That brings up an extremely important component that is a must-have for the season to succeed.  No, it’s not Tua.  It’s not Coach McDaniel, Coach Fangio, offense, defense, or special teams.  The answer is quality depth.  Unfortunately, there really is no escape from injuries during the long and arduous NFL season.  Every team must deal with them, and the degree of quality depth often decides whether a season is a success or a failure. And can Eli Apple show his number one draft pick talent that has not materialized so far in his career? 

I don’t imagine there was a single soul who thought that leaving the starters down 25 or 30 was the prudent play.  Nobody would.  It makes zero sense.  And yet it happened, and winning that war is in serious jeopardy principally because of the team’s injuries.  I’m sorry, coach, your thought process has sabotaged what had been a successful season.

From a game perspective, the offensive mojo was never the same after Tyreek Hill dropped a sure touchdown that would have put the Fins ahead 14-7.  On the defensive side, the mojo was lost after star cornerback Xavien Howard was lost for the game with a foot injury in the first quarter.  That brought Eli Apple onto the field, and the game was never the same.  With Apple on the field, the defense reverted back to what it was before Jalen Ramsey returned from injury eight games ago.  Gone was the top 5 defense with Ramsey and Howard on the field.  In its place was the bottom ten defense that could not make up for opposing quarterbacks attacking Eli Apple, who still cannot cover NFL wide receivers.

It is a sad state of affairs. In a game that started out so well with the offense marching 75 yards for a touchdown in 8 smooth plays only to get outscored 56-12 the rest of the game and, more importantly, losing two more vital starters.  I think this week’s GBU list reflects such a state of affairs.


  • De’Von Achane. Hats off to the rookie who filled in more than admirably for Raheem Mostert.  Achane ran 14 times for 107 yards good for 7.6 yards a tote.  He added four receptions for another 30 yards and a touchdown.
  • Kicking game. Though it hardly mattered, Jason Sanders hit both his field goals, and Jake Baily averaged 52.7 yards on his three punts.


  • Let’s just skip right to the Ugly, shall we?


  • Coach McDaniel. For the reasons explained above, the coach gets the first slot in the Ugly column.  In addition to all that, the game turned on yet another poor decision.  Down only 21-13, Miami had the ball and had just gained 31 yards on two plays and had the ball on the Ravens’ 44-yard line.  As was the case last week against Dallas, one would think that the Fins needed to score and leave the opponent no time left on the clock.  So why were they in a hurry-up mode?  Why didn’t they let the clock go to the two-minute warning?  Why try to hurry and run a play a second prior to that warning?  Normally, you would see Tua try to draw the defense offside and let the clock go, but on this occasion, they ran a rushed play; Tua stared down his receiver and was picked off.  The Ravens go right down the field, and instead of a possible 21-20 halftime game, it is 28-13, with the Ravens having all the momentum. I’m sorry, Coach Mike, you got an F this week.
  • Vic Fangio and his cast of thousands. The Ravens saw something on tape.  They ran the wheel route time and again against linebacker coverage, the beneficiary of which was Ravens’ running back Justice Hill, who caught 5 of them for 64 yards and a touchdown and had another 25-yarder called back.  Tight end coverage? There was none.  Ravens’ TE Isiah Likely literally walked into the end zone uncovered.  In fact, of the Ravens’ 8, count ‘em 8, touchdowns, I think 6 of them were to wide-open uncovered receivers.  All told, the defense allowed 491 yards, including 160 rushing at 5 yards a clip and 331 passing yards which resulted in a perfect QB rating for Lamar Jackson.  By halftime, it had already allowed 246 yards passing and 313 total yards, and an incredible 11.6 yards per play.  Unheard of.  And not much better in the second half.  Coach Fangio, you get an F.
  • By my count, there were two sure touchdowns dropped and a dropped two-point conversion.
  • Eli Apple. See above.  Josh Allen is already drooling.
  • After the first drive, Tua was a mere 18-32 (56%) for 176 yards and two big interceptions.  What happened to that swagger and confidence after the first drive?  It vanished quickly and never appeared again.  He missed several open receivers and struggled with his progressions amidst pressure.  The offense only managed one touchdown in the second half.
  • Injuries (repeat from last week). This has become an epidemic and unfortunately, this team is not remotely close to the team that has its full complement of starters.

The Fins limp into next week’s regular-season finale against the rival Buffalo Bills in the aforementioned war to win the AFC East.  If the Fins lose, they will fall to the 6th seed and likely have to travel to Kansas City in what could easily be a one-and-done scenario.