Sometimes, expectations come crashing down in a way faster than some ever expected.
After most were expecting the Dolphins to finish with some type of mediocre record, I guess you could say there really were no expectations for this team, unless you were an optimist like me.
I called for the Fins to be a healthy 3-1 entering the BYE week, and as always, my team proved me dead wrong.
This team is nothing like I thought it would look like this season. The playmakers are not making plays. The veterans are not showing the proper leadership to get the job done. The coaching is not using the players in the right schemes, and most importantly, Chad Henne is not playing like he showed during the pre-season. The list could go on and on, as the Dolphins continue to sink into the depths of NFL nothingness.
With each passing week, something new pops up that sparks even more disappointment into the fanbase, whether it’s an injury to an up and comer (Daniel Thomas), or the continued mediocre play by several key players (Henne, Brandon Marshall and Jake Long), or the complete meltdowns of the defense, something always prevents Miami from coming away with a win.
All of these facets of the losing theme this season came into play on Sunday against the Chargers.
The defense played tough all the way until the fourth quarter when a stop was needed. While they failed to generate any pass rush whatsoever, and Sean Smith gave up a couple big plays to Vincet Jackson, the “D” kept the game close, which is really all you can ask out of a unit that has played nothing short of disappointing this year, after being expected to be the rock of the team so to speak.
With the defense finally putting in a performance that gave the Fins an opportunity to at least tie the game, they failed to score touchdowns inside the redzone for the fourth straight week. Is the offense allergic to touchdowns this year all of a sudden? Seriously, why is this happening when we have all of the necessary weapons to succeed inside the 20 yard line?
With the redzone woes and defensive deficiencies during the fourth quarter, it all has to come down to coaching, something that has been a hot topic in Miami over the past two weeks.
The team has the week off this week, then face the New York Jets in New York on Monday Night Football the following week.
After this being the perfect chance for Stephen Ross to ditch Sparano and bring in an interim head coach, he decided to look the other way, and it appears Tony Sparano just may make it closer to the end of the season than we all previously thought.
But with his starting quarterback, cornerback, running back, and left tackle all banged up, the odds are stacked against him to get any momentum going. But then again, Sparano does consider making a field goal after squandering field position in the redzone a change in momentum for his team.
This Chargers defeat summed up the whole first quarter of the season thus far. The Dolphins can get some facets of the game going, but when the adversity comes in the fourth quarter, and they are forced to put up or shut up, this team packs it in, and expects their initial effort to be enough.
Yesterday against San Diego, the team looked to pack it in. No stat can explain that. No quotes from the press conference after can explain that, it’s just the difference between a team that can come out on top, and possesses the mental toughness to contend for the playoffs, or a team that will contend for the #1 overall pick in the draft, something Dolphins fans have been turning their heads toward as of late.
With the BYE week upon us, now comes a lot of questions to be posed, and a lot of speculation to stir around South Beach. With Miami idle this week with an 0-4 record, there should be a sour taste in their mouths. The Chargers game was easily winnable, and half of their gamers were either hurt, or just didn’t show up. That all comes down to coaching, and the team now has an extra week to gameplan for the Jets. If Sparano cannot pull this one out, his tenure in Miami just may be over sooner than he would like.