Delaying the Inevitable

With one swing of his right leg, Jason Sanders made the biggest kick of his Miami career to punch the ticket into the playoffs for the Dolphins. We all wanted to see it go through the posts. It felt good! We didn’t care how hideous it looked or how short lived the elation would be. The Dolphins are playoff bound and it feels good. The game itself was a brutal watch. Both offenses stalled and sputtered while sincerely struggling to move the ball or put up any points. It felt like when you got in your driver’s seat and smashed down on the gas but forgot that you left your car in neutral. It felt like when you wanted to send an important text but forgot to hit send. It felt like watching an old school SEC West or AFC North matchup with anemic offenses and dominant defenses.

No Mistake Skylar….

Skylar Thomas had either been coached to or decided that he was going to not make any mistakes in the form of turnovers to that vaunted Jets defense. Skylar was not going to throw any passes over the middle. Skylar was not going to let it rip unless he was absolutely sure only his guy had a chance to make the play on the ball. It usually led to him either not seeing Tyreek Hill and Waddle consistently getting open behind the Jets defense or just deciding to pat the ball instead of letting it rip. It was hitch after hitch and standing and hoping and waiting before the ball would come out late or not at all. There were so many defensive holding penalties that could have been called against the Jets DB’s but were not called because the pass was never thrown.

Skylar was more comfortable with waiting for his receivers to come back to the ball. He preferred for the play to break down because of pressure around him which allowed him to leave the pocket and try to make the throw on the run while his receivers were forced to abandon their called route in the huddle and just ad lib on the fly like we all used to do back in the schoolyard, backyard, or playing in the park days. As much as the offensive line was much maligned, they did a pretty decent job considering they had to block for insanely extended periods of time with how long Thomas was holding onto the ball in the pocket. Somehow, they only managed to allow one sack after it was all said and done. Give them a round of applause for their effort because they are a unit that has been decimated by injuries.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson (19) gestures as he calls a play at the line of scrimmage during an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)

McDaniel is Still the Man.

I could feel the fanbase becoming increasingly frustrated with the offense and specifically with Mike McDaniel, but that is what it looks like when you are playing with a rookie quarterback who is afraid to make a mistake and being strictly conservative. So, coach McDaniel leaned into his roots and ran the ball to the tune of 162 yards on 32 carries. It worked with helping the Dolphins win the time of possession battle and restrict the number of offensive possessions by the Jets. It helped keep the defense fresh. It helped put the Dolphins in position to score on the game winning drive.

Did we really root for the Bills?

It was an odd position to be rooting for the Bills, our division rivals, to beat the Patriots to get into the dance. The awkward juxtaposition of rooting for the Dolphins in the stadium while having to watch the Buffalo game on our mobile devices because they refused to put up the score in the stadium. For those watching at home, it was the weird split screen experience of watching the Dolphins try to win on Fox while cheering for the Pats to lose on CBS. The past two seasons we came into the last week or penultimate week of the season in control of our own destiny in “win and we’re in” situations. We folded terribly in both instances. I joked with a friend prior to the game that maybe this season with us not being in control of our destiny would prove to be the occasion that we would finally get in. Those words would prove to be prescient.

Unfortunately, we were not able to get the job done on the road against Tennessee last season or against the Bills in Buffalo the year before that. Yet here we were being thrust into the postseason because of the Bills, knowing that getting into the playoffs would likely mean a third match against the Bills in Buffalo the following week. In two games this season the combined scores of Buffalo summed up to 51, the Dolphins 50. This matchup produced two tight and entertaining games that went down to the last play in the regular season. However, the sobering thought that Tua would likely miss this game due to not advancing in the concussion protocol made the celebrations of making the playoffs as brief as they were cathartic. We all stood up in our living rooms or sports bars around the country and began texting our fellow Dolfans with tears of joy emojis because we all know what the collective suffering is like when you’re a supporter of this team. Then the inevitable text messages of us asking each other if we felt that Tua had a shot at playing put a damper on our festive moods as time ticked further from the win on Sunday and closer to the game on Wildcard Weekend.

Deja Vu.

So here we are, making the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and just like in that season we enter the game against a much better opponent that we had beaten earlier in the year but now we have the task of trying to do it again without our starting triggerman. No Tannehill last time. No Tua this time. We have delayed the inevitable end of our season by one week as the outcome of this playoff game will likely be the same as the last one against Pittsburgh. It will be a debacle of decisively discouraging proportions. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

Defense Needs to Perform.

The way the Dolphins defense has performed on the road and their inability to sack quarterbacks all season long does not set up a good prognosis for this upcoming game in Western New York on Sunday. The Dolphins defense has struggled getting pressure on quarterbacks and mobile quarterbacks have presented an even more difficult proposition for us all season. Josh Allen will be ready for all of our blitz packages and our defense won’t be able to hold the Bills to just 6 points to give us a chance to win. Last week the Dolphins defense did not record a single sack on the statue of Joe Flacco in spite of the fact that the Jets were playing with three backup offensive lineman and single blocking Brad Chubb and Melvin Ingram with great success, even on obvious passing downs.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb (2) gestures as he walks off the field during an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)


It is with great sadness and sorrow that I report we are facing the delayed yet inevitable conclusion to the eventfully fun sensationally scandalous and streaky season that was 2022-2023. The epitaph on the gravestone of this campaign will read “here lies this season that began with such promise and ended with such pain” What a pity. The celebrations for making the playoffs are now over and we are now faced with the reality of wondering what is next for this team? The player personnel staff of the Dolphins went all in this season as they saw a wide-open league and a chance to make a Super Bowl run like the Philadelphia Eagles similarly had planned. During training camp when Philadelphia and Miami held joint practices, the Eagles sports writers were truly surprised at how evenly matched the teams were in some regards and how totally dominant the Dolphins were over the Eagles in other areas. That was the first clue that we may have something special brewing this season.

Unfortunately, injuries in our defensive secondary, offensive line, and injuries in our quarterback room derailed the season and jump started a carousel of revolving players at key positions where teams hoping to win it all simply can’t afford to have attrition at those positions. We will have time to opine on what will happen in the offseason and try to predict what moves this now cash strapped, and future draft pick bare team can do to try to make improvements. We will have plenty of time to discuss what could be next for Tua and if the concussions will define his career moving forward or shorten it. For now, we will enjoy the last game of the season, for our beloved Dolphins are in the playoffs.  Try not to cry every time the Bills score, and Skylar is unable to respond on Sunday because the outcome is inevitable.

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Hello fellow sports fans! My name is Joseph Jordan. Welcome to our page. Welcome to our website. I hope you are as deeply passionate about sports as I am. Julien and I have spent a lot of time writing our sports opinions on Facebook over the years. … Read More>>


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