Just a couple weeks ago, Miami Dolphins fans had so many reasons to be optimistic about this season. Everything from the head coach to the seats in the stadium
Two weeks into the season, you can go ahead and put all your hopes away. The Dolphins are still the Dolphins. I'm sorry, those hopes will have to sit one more year in the drawer.
So what the hell exactly happened to the Miami Dolphins? Why do they sit out of the AFC East lead after two games? The answer is a few things — a few bad, in retrospect, totally predictable things.
5. Arian Foster's connective tissue is still made of dehydrated mangoes.
Arian Foster left Sunday's game very early and is likely to miss next week's game against the Cleveland Browns with a groin injury. Who could have predicted Arian Foster would be prone to injury? OH WAIT, LITERALLY EVERYONE! Foster wasn't exactly breaking rushing records with the Dolphins, but Jay Ayaji and Kenyan Drake are about as green as it gets.
4. The Dolphins were able to hide their lack of NFL corners for exactly four quarters.
If you thought witnessing the vaunted QB-WR duo of Jimmy Garoppolo and Chris Hogan slicing up the Dolphins secondary was bad, wait until they face teams with actual proven NFL talent. When Byron Maxwell wasn't busy getting kicked in the forehead or face-smushed, he was doing a whole lot of nothing to help stop the Patriots passing game. Death by seventeen-yard passes, that's how the Dolphins died Sunday. They'll be lucky if it's that slow and gentle when they face the Bengals Andy Dalton and AJ Green in Week 4.
3. Adam Gase brought Joe Philbin's offense to Miami.
Gase might end up being a great coach — and this is a way too early indictment — but through eight quarters, his offense looks exactly like Joe Philbin's. And Tony Sparano's. And Cam Cameron's. And Nick Saban's. Just a bunch of short passes and prayers. No innovation. No misdirection. No trickery.
That's the most frustrating thing about this season so far, the lack of change. Change for the worse would at least feel like there were some growing pains necessary to turn from a boring offense to a dynamic one. This just looks like Gase picked up the Dolphins old playbooks and said, Yeah, let's do this.
2. The Dolphins still can't stop the run even when they know it's coming.
Once the Patriots were on their third-string quarterback, everyone in the stadium knew they were about to hand the ball to LaGarrette Blount 30 times, and they (almost) did. Blount had 29 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown Sunday. Most of this came late, after the Dolphins had knocked Jimmy Garoppolo out of the ball game.
With the result on the line, the Dolphins expensive front seven did nothing to stop a hulking back behind a mix-and-match Patriots offensive line. Same old Dolphins.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. The Dolphins still aren't protecting Ryan Tannehill.
Through two games, the Dolphins have given up five sacks. That's on pace for another terrible season of offensive line protection of Ryan Tannehill. This QB has been sacked more than any other in the NFL over his career, which is unacceptable considering all the resources the team has put into the line.
If the Dolphins can't run the ball or protect Ryan Tannehill, this could become a 3-13 season fast.