The Miami Dolphins fell 23-20 to the New York Jets on Sunday after Jets kicker Nick Folk made a 33-yard field goal in overtime.
I won't spend much time addressing the numbers and stuff like that right now. Just know that Ryan Tannehill had a pretty good game. He threw an ill-advised pick-six, but we knew that mistakes like that were going to happen this year. He's still developing. We can't expect him to be perfect.
The most crippling blow to the Dolphins this week was the loss of Reggie Bush, who I would argue is the most valuable non-quarterback in the NFL to his team. Reggie Bush truly is our offense. He makes it run smoothly and successfully. Losing him for the second half changed how Miami approached the game. I'm not saying that Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller are bad running backs, but they aren't on Reggie's level right now. Not many players are, and losing him was the worst thing that could have happened. Thankfully, Bush's injury doesn't appear to be anything too serious. I'm hopeful (and expecting) that he'll be able to return next week.
I'm finally getting to stomach to write this now at 2:45 in the morning, and I doubt that many of you will even end up reading this post. This was an excruciating loss. There's no other way to put it. Losses like these make you break things and say things that you wouldn't normally say. Losses like these are the ones you can't get out of your mind. They suck. No other way to put it. You run through everything that happened and try and put a finger on why they lost and end up being more and more frustrated.
Should we place all of the blame on Dan Carpenter? Do we blame Joe Philbin for calling a timeout right before Nick Folk's first attempt in overtime was blocked? How much do we blame Ryan Tannehill? After all, he did throw a touchdown pass to Jets safety LaRon Landry. What about the poor offensive game plan and play calling in the second half? Do we blame Kevin Coyle and/or the entire Dolphins defensive line for not getting enough pressure on Mark Sanchez?
I think we have to spread the blame, and I think that most people would agree with me on that. I refuse to put the largest portion of the blame on anyone other than Dan Carpenter, though. Carpenter missed two field goals that would have won the game for Miami. They weren't chip shots (he missed from 47 and 48 yards away), but he's paid big money to make those and he didn't. Blame whoever else you want, but the fact of the matter is that the Dolphins set Carpenter up well four times and he wasn't able to capitalize twice, including one opportunity that would have instantly won the game.
I don't know if I want us to get rid of Carpenter or not. As soon as the game ended my instant reaction was obviously that we need to let him go, but I feel like that would be too much of a knee-jerk reaction. Carpenter has been pretty good for the Dolphins for a few years now. Do I feel like we could do better? Yes, but I don't know if there is anyone available right now that would be an upgrade. We might have to actually draft a kicker this offseason.
My only other concern is the lack of pressure that Miami is getting on the quarterback. Our defensive line has been amazing at stopping the run, but they have been unsuccessful at getting to the quarterback for three games now. I'm going to try and pinpoint exactly what the problem is, because something needs to be fixed and I want to know what that thing is.
Other than Carpenter and our lack of quarterback pressure there isn't anything else that sticks out to me as a big problem. I really thought that we played better than the Jets and that we should have won this game.
Such a frustrating game. If Carpenter's kick were a few feet to the right then we'd be sitting in first place in the AFC East. Instead, here we are in last place. It's agonizing how such a small distance changes everything. If he makes that kick everyone is talking about how Miami has been a surprise this year. Instead we get to hear second-guessing and see our team at the bottom of the standings.
That's it for now. Hang in there guys.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.