Just days before Christmas, the Miami Dolphins were supposed to come up with another big win to inch closer to a post-season berth. Instead, they delivered a stocking full of turds in the form of a 27-24 loss in overtime to the Tennessee Titans.
There's plenty of blame to go around for their playoff hopes going tits up. Here are four main reasons:
1. Chad Henne and His Uncanny Ability To Be Totally Brilliant One Play, Completely Crappy the Next: Just look at his stat line: 349 yards, 1 TD (brilliant!) and 3 interceptions (sad trombone sound). Henne shows glimpses of being a very good quarterback. He has all the tools. He has a strong arm. He has a solid work ethic. And, of course, he's a robot. But until he stops throwing interceptions in the redzone and stops staring down his receivers, Henne is going to have days like this. Keep in mind that he's a first-year starter, so patience is key. Also keep in mind that he's a robot and can easily melt your face off with his heat ray of death.
2. Ricky Williams' Sudden Case of Fumbleitis: That's four times in two
weeks we've seen Williams fumble the ball. None bigger than when he
lost it on the Tennessee 25 yard-line just when Miami was driving.
While Ricky finished the day with 80 yards rushing, giving him his
fifth 1,000-yard season, he picked a hell of a time to
start treating the football like it was dipped in syphilis. What's
that? Another 1,000-yard season for your career? Hey that's dynamite.
Hold on to the goddamn football!
3. The Wonder Twins of Suck, Gibirl Wilson and Yeremiah Bell: Wonder
Twin Powers, Activate: Form of Two Safeties That Can't Cover For Shit!
If the Dolphins want to get their young corners Vontae Davis and Sean
Smith help, they need to address the safety situation. Wilson is
constantly lost in coverage, and while Bell is one of the best tacklers
on the team and can dislodge opposing players' lower intestines with
his big hits, he's simply not equipped to cover speedy receivers and
tight ends. And that does us no good.
4. The Wild Pat: During the second quarter of yesterday's game, the
Dolphins had a first and goal from the Tennessee 8-yard line. So what
do they do? They send in Pat White, of course! White was called to run
up the middle behind the right guard on a direct snap. He then
proceeded to just sort of plop forward for a one-yard gain. Down
wasted. Two plays later, the Dolphins are settling for yet another
field goal. It's just inexplicable how Miami keeps sending Pat White
and his prepubescent 120-pound frame under center when all he ever gets
them is maybe a yard per play, two tops. Even more maddening is that he
comes in right when Henne is finding his groove and hitting receivers
for 15-plus-yard gains. At this point in the season, with everything on
the line, there is absolutely no reason to go to a package that hasn't
worked all year. No reason to take the ball out of Henne's hands when
he's beginning to find his rhythm. At this point, we'd rather see the "I'm a PC" guy
from the Mac commercials back there than Pat White.
Still, even with all of the troubles, the Dolphins made a valiant
comeback. 15 unanswered points that tied the game at 24 is
nothing to scoff at. They even won the overtime coin toss. Three plays
later, however, all that went to the crapper when Henne
threw his third interception of the day. Soon after that, Tennessee is
celebrating its game-winning field goal.
Now the Fins have to win their remaining two games, and hope a crapload of things happen in the process to have a chance at the
playoffs. We're talking a Ravens loss to the Steelers, followed by a
Patriots win over the Jaguars, or the Patriots losing their last two
games, and/or the Broncos losing to the Chiefs, and for Tony Sparano to
solve the Hodge Conjecture whilst simultaneously explaining the ending
of No Country For Old Men.
In other words, we're screwed.