Failure In Frankfurt

Failure In Frankfurt

Another road game, another loss for the Miami Dolphins as the high flying squad from Miami dropped to 6 wins and 3 losses on the season after falling at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in Frankfurt Germany. The national media narrative is that the Dolphins have not beaten a team that has a winning record and that the combined win-loss record of the teams that the Dolphins have beaten is very poor. This is a bit of a misleading stat considering that coming into week 9, only 14 teams in the NFL had a winning record and almost everyone had played teams with mostly losing records. That fact was not unique to Miami since most of the league has a losing record. While it is also true that Miami has yet to beat one of the teams perceived to be the best in the league, another fact that has been overlooked is that the 3 teams Miami has lost to are teams considered to be at the top of the league talent wise and all 3 of those games have been on the road.

Going back to last season the Dolphins seem to always have to play these tough games on the road. Against Baltimore, against Cincinnati, against the 49ers, against the Chargers twice, against Buffalo 3 times in the last eleven months, against Philadelphia, and against Kansas City. All of these games have been on the road in the past season and a half. The Dolphins will have to travel to Baltimore again this season and the only top contending non AFC East team that will have to come play in Miami is the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve. It feels like a statistical anomaly that all of these big games have to be played on the road. With that said, it is not an excuse. Miami has to be better in these road games. Communication has to be better. Pre Snap penalties have to be reduced. We have to execute better when the crowd noise is not beneficial to us. If you want to get to a Superbowl and you are not beating the top tier teams during the regular season that means you are going to have to play some playoff games on the road. Now is the time to get better at being a more efficient and productive road team. With that said, the Dolphins have been competitive in all but one of those games, so the myth that the Dolphins can’t compete with these elite teams simply is not true.

The media narrative does not matter because the playoffs don’t start tomorrow and this team has a chance to get back all of its horses from injury. If we can get Hunt and Wynn back from injury on the offensive line along with keeping Connor Williams and Terron Armstead healthy, this offensive line could get back to top form blocking like they were at the beginning of the season. It’s simple, when Tua does not get sacked we win. Also, the big return would be Achane. He is by far the best running back on our team and has game changing home run hitting field stretching speed. We need Waddle to be fully healthy and get back to the form that he was playing at last year when he was a borderline all-pro receiver. So far this season has been one to forget for Waddle, but we know what he is capable of when he is on. We need Tyreek to cut back on the drops. Hill has been amazing this season and is a legit MVP candidate. However, he has had some big potential game changing drops against Philadelphia and Kansas City that need to be mitigated for a hall of fame receiver like himself.

Tua also needs to be better in these big road games against elevated competition. Since the big game against the 49ers last season, Tua seems to get jittery in big games against sticky coverage and makes some uncharacteristically bad reads and bad or inaccurate throws. Tua had Cedrick Wilson wide open for the game tying touchdown against the Chiefs on Sunday and miscommunication caused that to be a big missed opportunity. Tagovailoa also had Waddle wide open for a touchdown earlier in that drive and completely did not see him, throwing it to Smythe for a short gain instead. These are mistakes Tua rarely makes at home but seems to happen more often when he is on the road in hostile environments. He has to clean that up if he wants to become the big time quarterback that we all know that he can be. Tua in my mind is still leading in the MVP race but if he wants to win a Superbowl he has to catch that snap on 4th & 10 instead of fumbling it and give himself a chance to make a clutch throw.

Mostert has been running the ball well this season, but the fumbles could come back to bite us. He has to stop putting the ball on the ground. Protecting the football is the number one priority. With that said, the Dolphins are still number one in the division and only one game back for the top seed in the AFC going into the bye week and the Miami defense is on the rise. The Miami defense is finally healthy and Lord Fangs called a pretty exceptional game on Sunday, shutting out KC in the 2nd half completely. It was their best performance of the season against the best quarterback in the league which is a great development considering how easy the first drive looked for Mahomes and Kansas City. This Dolphin team can be special in the winter months of the season, but we definitely have to clean some things up after the bye week because the schedule gets significantly more difficult from there. Fins up!

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