The Miami Dolphins have shown a knack all season for hanging with good teams only to vomit into their own pants when the game is on the line. It happened last week against the Patriots and it happened again yesterday against the 49ers as the Dolphins lost 27-13, despite being a field goal away from tying the Niners for much of the game.
With over 4 minutes left and down 20-13, the Dolphins had the ball and a chance to tie the game late after a pass interference penalty put them in Niners territory. However, poorly thrown balls by Tannehill to Davone Bess and Marlon Moore (who had a chance to catch his throw but dropped it) on third and fourth down, respectively, ended any hopes for a comeback yesterday afternoon. When the fate of your team rests in the hands of any other team's fourth and fifth receiver, your chances aren't very good and that's where we are today with your Miami Dolphins. Living on moral victories since 1984!
Let's hit some of the highlights:
- Special teams -- as we cautioned in our preview -- again played too much of a role in this game. First, the Dolphins had a chance to pin the Niners at their own second yard line late in the second quarter after a Brandon Fields punt was seemingly downed by the Dolphins' Jonathan Freeny. However, Freeny held onto the ball and casually strolled near the goal line like he was out on Ocean Drive on a Sunday with a fresh Call A Cab in his hand. Instead, it was called a touchback since Freeny unknowingly grazed the goal line. D'oh! Then, a third quarter muffed punt return by Marcus Thigpen gave the Niners the ball at the Dolphins' 9-yard line, leading to an easy one-yard touchdown run by Miami's Frank Gore.
- With a depleted (but previously shitty anyway) offensive line, Ryan Tannehill faced constant pressure all day en route to a middling 17-for-30, 150 yard and 1 TD performance. Tannehill's best drive of the day came on the Fasano TD drive but, again, the kid did not make plays at the end. It doesn't help when your wide receivers are garbage and you're counting on Davone Bess to go deep buuuuuut, you know, JEFF IRELAND.
- Again, a solid performance by the Dolphins defense up until the end as they kept the offense in the game for much of the afternoon. Kaepernick was held in check for the most part (until his late 'fuck you' 50 yard TD run), Frank Gore was held to 63 hard-earned yards (though he did notch 5 yards per carry, as he is wont to do) and Michael Crabtree grinded out 9 catches for 93 yards. Still, the defense held their own and Cameron 'The Kraken' Wake had three sacks on the afternoon to tie his career high (14) for a season. Wake was straight up nasty and you almost feel bad for the guy for not being on a better team.
- LaMontelle Pussyhammer (aka Reggie Bush) is getting less and less time on the field as the season goes on (we even saw flashes of Lamar Miller!!!) but he still managed to put up some solid numbers on the day. LaMontelle had over 100 all purpose yards between the running game and the passing game and flashed some sick moves later in the game. Sup, girl.
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Look, Miami's a "nice little team" sometimes but the talent level is not there consistently. Furthermore, we don't see why anyone should have belief based on our recent history to entrust this front office with rebuilding the team again when it failed to do that over the LAST 5 seasons. Nothing The Brass has done over the past five seasons suggests we should have any confidence in their ability to right the ship. Atlanta, San Francisco, New York Giants - these are good teams with smart people guiding their decisions. The Dolphins have people that ask you if your mother is a whore. Big difference. The team's motto at this point should be: The Miami Dolphins: It Gets The Same?
The Miami Dolphins take on Chad Henne and the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at 1 p.m. The Ghost of Daunte Culpepper awaits.