Following a 0-7 start to the season, everything recently had turned to butterflies, lollipops, bubbles, and rainbows for the Miami Dolphins thanks to straight wins over the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Brian Flores got a celebratory Gatorade shower after the Jets game, and Dolphins players no one had ever heard of got interviews with ESPN after the Fins pulled off a surprise win over the Colts last week.
Suddenly, the plucky Bad News Dolphins weren't such a joke anymore and hadn't yet been eliminated from playoff contention. Watch out, NFL! This Brian Flores can coach! These players want to win!
But yesterday against the Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins recalibrated themselves, fell back to Earth, and put another loss firmly in the bank: 20-37. A couple of weeks ago, securing a loss in the name of #TankForTua meant a lot more, but losses no longer have a clear meaning owing to a serious injury Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained the previous day.
Tua started the game 9 for 9 passing for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 16, 2019
Then, up 35-7, Alabama kept passing and he suffered what appears to be another serious injury.pic.twitter.com/kUwukyIw7x
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For many Dolphins fans, securing the first overall pick and the chance to draft Tagovailoa was what the entire season was about. All of the losses and the trading of fantastic players for future picks were worth it if the team was able to snag a quarterback compared to Seahawks future Hall of Fame QB Russell Wilson. That won't happen in 2020, or probably ever, thanks to a gruesome hip injury that has put Tagovailoa's career in jeopardy and left many wondering if he'll enter next year's NFL Draft.
With the Fins sitting at 2-8 now, their season feels a bit emptier. There are definitely fewer bright spots to take from a 20-37 loss to Buffalo in November. Miami will still be in a position to draft a terrific player in June, but now that a train has flattened the excitement of #TankForTua, it's a lot tougher to get behind the putrid season the Dolphins put together.
Purpose or excitement be damned, the Dolphins will play the Cleveland Browns this weekend. The schedule says it's a thing that's supposed to happen, so it shall be. Dolphins fans will have to keep a closer eye on college game days to find another player on which to pin their hopes.