There has got to be some major gripping in the state of Florida today, where the best football team in the state, the Jaguars, lost 36-30 to Washington, the second best team, the Dolphins, lost to the lowly Texans 17-15, and the Buccaneers have yet to win a game. The big story right now has to be the lackluster play of Miami, who were thought by many to be the best team in the AFC East as they entered the season. Many stated that with last seasons strong finish, and the pickup of quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the team was ready to make a run at the Pats for the division title. Through the first four weeks of the season, nothing could seem further from the truth.The Dolphins sit at 1-3, and easily could be 0-4 if it were not for a close win at home against an 0-4 Titans team last week. Sunday they went to take on a team whose defense had allowed all kinds of points and yards over the past few weeks, yet could only muster 15 points, and had to score late just for the shot to tie the game. Instead of coming up with a solid play call on a two-point conversion, coach Nick Saban outthought himself, and ran some sort of trick play where running back Ronnie Brown took a pitch, turned around, then tried to throw the ball for the two points. The ball was tipped by #1 pick Mario Williams for the Texans, and the pass fell incomplete, and the Texans held on for the win.
Saban has to be feeling the heat today, and despite the loss and now being two games back already of the Pats, does not appear to be in panic mode just yet. “This loss was disappointing, but I still believe in this team,” the coach said in his postgame press conference. “I think we have good players, but we need to play and execute better with more consistency and eliminate the bad plays. No one is pointing any fingers, we just know that we have a lot to work on.“
Some of the headlines from the papers in Miami today seem to think otherwise that the Dolphins are going to turn things around in 2006. Miami Herald: “Dolphins’ Offensive Woes Hit Bottom Against Lowly Houston.” The article started out “Miami flubbed a questionable two-point conversion pass, continued to have offensive line problems, and didn’t show any urgency until late.” Ouch. How about the Sun-Sentinel’s Monday headline – “Dolphins Fall Flat…Again.” My favorite has to be the Palm Beach Post’s morning headline: “Not Two Good: High Expectations Quickly Fading.” There was also a commentay in the paper claiming “State of Dolphins: One of NFL’s Worst.”Despite all the writers and radio hosts jumping on the bandwagon to bash the team, Saban is still in this teams corner, and if they can weather the early storms they are going through right now, they still have a chance to turn things around. “We‘ve had a sense of urgency since the first game. The coaches are not pleased about this loss,” Saban said Sunday. “The players aren‘t pleased about it. They‘ve been working hard, and it‘s frustrating that they haven‘t had more positive self-gratification for the work they‘ve put in. We have to be responsible for not executing today. We‘ll take a look at what‘s wrong and fix it.“
They had better get started on getting it fixed today, or the 2006 season is only going to get a lot worse. As are the headlines.