I was lucky. I got to go the game yesterday. I should have stayed home. Don't get me wrong. It was fun. I had a great time, great seats, and man was it HOT! Nothing new for Florida. Floridians kinda get used to the heat, but the game itself was dreadful.
On the wall of the Davie Complex, which is the practice facility, is a mission statement, more or less. It says: "SOUND SMART TOUGH". The Dolphins played TOUGH yesterday, but the SOUND & SMART part passed them by.
They were not sound in any phase of the game. The coaching staff wasn't sound because the team after having a week off looked like they were still on vacation. The opening first quarter was as bad as you could imagine.
Starting the game out with a motion penalty by Jonathan Martin after a nice gain by Miller of five yards, negating those five yards. Then Tannehill threw what could have been one of the worst passes I have ever seen at a live game for a pick six. Tannehill was looking right at the defender that was covering our receiver. I don't remember who our receiver was on that play, but I can tell you this he was NOT open. Not only that, but Tannehill threw a beautifully soft pass right to the defender that stepped in front of the receiver and pranced into the end zone for a 7-0 lead not one minute into the game. Did I say that was one of the worst passes I have seen thrown at a live game?
That's okay, the SMART part is coming next. Not! Miami quickly gets the ball back and makes some headway down field, but then must punt. Fields comes through as he usually does and uncorks a punt that the returner allows to hit the ground. The ball just takes off and the Dolphins down it around the 10 yard line. But wait, one of the Dolphins special teams mavens runs out of bounds on that play and is the first to touch the ball. So the Dolphins must re-kick after a five yard penalty, and the Bills end up with the ball on the Dolphins 46 yard line, which equaled a nearly 50 yard penalty. Yeah I know, SMART. The Bills promptly turn that into a touchdown for a 14-0 lead.
I think Tannehill most likely played the worst game at quarterback that I have ever seen in person, and I have seen some bad performances over my many years. His pick six throw was bad, but he also had another interception that killed a scoring drive at the Bills four yard line. When he threw up a lollipop pass for another receiver that nearly made me throw up. Well those things happen, right? But wait, he isn't done yet. With about three minutes left in the game he fumbles the ball that rolls all the way to the Dolphins 46 yard, where the Bills recover the ball, roll up two first downs, take the time down to 35 seconds, and then kick a short field goal for the lead.
So I'm thinking well this game is over. But Thigpen has a great return and the Dolphins have the ball with a short field. All we need are two first downs and Sturgis will have a chance to put the game away. First down: we get nothing. Second down: nothing. Third down: nothing. But then Hartline comes free in the corner at about the six yard line. Tannehill throws a pass that is about four yards beyond Hartline and the game is over. Basically through the entire game Tannehill misfired, was off target, threw interceptions, or fumbled the ball and the game away. Sorry everyone, there is simply no other way to view this game.
The Dolphins running game looked pretty good, and if they stayed with the run a bit more maybe the score would have been different. Who knows? Daniel Thomas had a very nice game and Lamar Miller nearly broke a play off for a touchdown.
Which brings me back to the coaching staff. We had a number of third and short situations and didn't convert any of them. In all of those third and short situations the coaches didn't call one running play. Every third and short that I remember was a pass play. We were 3 of 13 on third downs. We lost the turnover battle by 3-1. We out gained them in the running game, but had five less carries then they did.
SMART SOUND TOUGH
Not on this day, baby!