There was a time when kicker Dan Carpenter was responsible for the majority of the points the Dolphins scores, and could be relied upon to line up and bang out a field goal -- from seemingly any distance -- with a twirl of his flowing locks. That time is gone now.
The Miami Dolphins lost to the New York Jets yesterday (ahem, the dirty, stinkin' fuckin' Jets) 23-20, causing you to contemplate ways in which you can somehow distract every annoying New York transplant you know living in South Florida just long enough so you can pour Visine into their morning coffee.
It's one thing to lose to the Texans, because who gives a shit, everyone knows our team sucks; but when Tony Sparano (in his first return as Jets offensive coordinator/field goal setup extraordinaire) is fistpumping the ever-living shit out of your team in your stadium, that gets a bit personal. It took me some time to find a video to encapsulate that unique postgame feeling, but I think I may have found the perfect clip to explain to my children just why and how I became a Dolphins fan:
The Dolphins lost because they have little-to-no talent at wide receiver, little-to-no talent at defensive back, unimaginative (and unintelligent) coaching and play-calling and a rookie Quarterback the coaches have apparently too much or too little faith in (and often having too much when they should have less and vice versa). The Dolphins know they can run the ball, yes, but they have no idea what their identity is in crunch time, and if you don't know what that is, you are completely hosed in the NFL.
Come walk with me as we shit on some turtles:
Davone Bess (5 catches for 86 yards) was the only highlight in the passing game -- and this was even after Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis left the game with an injury. Outside of Bess' day and Hartline's lone 41-yard catch to set up the tying field goal, the Dolphins receivers might as well have been prepping for the Emmy's with a trip to Publix. Jeff Ireland and crew failed to address this in the draft, so here we are: dropped passes and sad little Dolfan children crying themselves to sleep at night.
The Defensive Backs? HYENA FARTS. Santonio Holmes shreeeeddded our DBs all day long with his Lexington Steele-sized member, crushing us with 8 catches for 147 yards. Mark Sanchez played like Mark Sanchez, but not more horribly than the collective improv comedy troupe efforts of Richard Marshall (burned toast with roughly 77 penalties called on him to boot), Sean "Thank God These Guys Suck More Than I Do Or I Would Have Been Destroyed Several Times Today" Smith and Nolan Carroll, AKA Penalty Jones. That second-round pick Ireland is holding in his back pocket for next season must feel really special to the guys on the defensive line!
Ryan Tannehill had a pretty dreadful day himself, going 16-for-36 with 196 yards, no TDs and one pick-6 where that abhorrent 'roid-case/celebrator of Reggie Bush's injury LaRon Landry (I remember what you looked like when you came out of college, asshole) cut in front of Fasano to intercept RT17's pass and waltz into the end zone. The rest of Tannehill's afternoon was pretty crappy as well, considering he has about two guys to throw to and one of them was sitting in the locker room. The interception, of course, was followed by a fumble from Daniel Thomas (a man who reportedly has duck vaginas for feet) that hopefully caused the eyes every last Dolphins zombie that STILL BELIEVES IN JEFF IRELAND, BRO, JUST WAIT to melt into a seething, organic sludge.
Straight stupid. The Dolphins entire game plan farted out the stadium the minute Reggie Bush went down to injury on a play where it would have made equally more sense to have your Tia Cuca run the ball. Just before the half and with only seconds to go, Coach Joe Philbin elected to keep Reggie Bush in to help run out the clock (taking a knee would have worked just as well) and that genius move paid off in an injury to the only real playmaker the Dolphins can reliably count on leaving the game.
After that injury, the game plan fell apart as the Dolphins opened the third quarter with the Tannehill pick-six, the Daniel Thomas fumble and a nagging inability to consistently move the ball with any authority for the rest of the game. If not for some poor officiating resulting in a few pass interference calls and a Fasano catch ruled in, there was no flow to the gameplan. This all culminated in a bizarre series of events towards the end of the game where Philbin held all three timeouts as Tannehill struggled to get us downfield (with no run plays called despite Miami having nearly 200 yards on the ground), two fades to Hartline that resulted in incompletions, and a Carpenter 41-yd kick to send us to overtime. This was followed by Philbin's dastardly plan to try and use all his timeouts with about 16 seconds left before OT as if he were some kind of evil Scooby Doo villain thinking we'd never remember he'd sat on them this whole time! "Yeeeaaah ... and I woulda gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" said Philbin after the game.
In OT, the Dolphins managed to stop the Jets first drive and take the ball all the way down to the Jets 35 on the long Tannehill-to-Hartline pass. Once there, the Dolphins suddenly became sheepish on offense with a couple of runs for little gain and an incompletion when they needed to be more aggressive and get the lately-inconsistent Carpenter a bit closer. After failing to do so, Carpenter missed from 48 yards out and the Jets took over, driving the ball down to the Dolphins' 15 yard line. Of course, this clusterfuck laundry list was only exacerbated by Philbin icing his own team in calling a questionable timeout just as Jets kicker Nick Folk had his first 32-yard attempt miraculously blocked. After that genius move, Folk simply lined it up to try again from the same spot and nailed the game winner.
The Dolphins lost this game because of their lack of talent and poor coaching decisions down the stretch despite playing an opponent mired in their own crapfest lacking one of the league's most feared players on defense due to injury. It was a unique opportunity to beat our biggest rival at home, in the September heat, before our schedule gets incrementally more difficult and share first place in the AFC East.
Instead, we gotta hear it from these New York assholes all day.
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Fuck you very much, Jeff Ireland.
The Miami Dolphins Defensive Back Improv Comedy Troupe travels to Arizona to take on the 3-0 Cardinals next Sunday. Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m.