The Dolphins surprised some today with how close they were to beating a quality team. They were on the verge of an upset, so close, head coach Tony Sparano could probably smell it. So close, Stephen Ross was most likely cringing at the thought of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck slipping away with every Reggie Bush first down.
The Dolphins again had this game in the bag, but let it slip away with poor play in the fourth quarter. The pass rush failed the team. The quarterback play let the team down. The offensive line let the team down. The coverage units let the team down. This was yet another complete meltdown by the Dolphins. They continue to show that they do not below anywhere near a playoff conversation. It is quarters like todays fourth quarter that have some fans praying for Andrew Luck, that have fans starting “Suck4Luck” Twitter accounts. While the players don’t like all of this talk, what have they shown the fans that indicates anything other than the fact that they aren’t anything that resembles a quality football team?
Matt Moore is a fighter. Reggie Bush showed today he can get the job done based on his raw athleticism alone. Today showed that the left side of the line is the side to run behind, today showed that the right side of the line should be completely ignored. Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess showed that they can make plays when given the opportunity, for Marshall it is only a matter of focusing on football and none of the off the field stuff that he has dipped his nose in lately.
There were some positives in this game throughout the first three quarters. Moore made plays when called upon. The Dolphins scored a touchdown on their first drive, thanks to Moore, and the team was 4/5 on third down conversions at one point. The first three quarters showed the fans that this team can play with the good teams of the NFL. But the last quarter also showed that the Dolphins do not have the line or the quarterback to win them games, only simply contend.
While Tony Sparano will say how much heart and dedication and character this Miami team has, at some point they need to show us that they have resiliency and the will to win, and get the job done. That is what fourth quarters are all about, showing the world that they can pull out the close games, and that they can win games when the going gets tough. So far this season, that has been anything but the case.
Next week brings the Kansas City Chiefs. The Dolphins gave me some hope for a couple wins this year after all with their showing today, it is just those pesky fourth quarters that continue to be a thorn in the side to this team.