Dolphins 6 (7-5)
Ravens 38 (7-5)
Like a newly minted 21 year old on a Sunday morning after the late night celebration, the aftermath of the Dolphins performance is best flushed down the toilet. They may not have spent the evening sleeping next to the porcelain bowl containing all things sewage, but you wouldn’t know it based on the outcome.
From the opening gun, the Dolphins proved inferior and now drudge up talks of a fraudulent pretender for the next six days.
The middle of the defense was softer than Charmin, the passing offense had a mean regression and the kicking game continues to be an adventure.
I’m sure the last thing you want to do is to read 2,000 words about this atrocious loss, just as the last thing I wanted to do was to re-watch this game to tell you about it.
But let’s be better than the Dolphins. I will make it brief, but here are the individual reviews from the game.
Ryan Tannehill had accuracy issues and I think something can be said for the pressure he felt going down by three touchdowns almost immediately. That’s not to remove any blame from Tannehill, his second interception was a horrendous throw well behind Jarvis Landry.
The running game looked as impressive as it could facing a 24 point deficit. Jay Ajayi ran his ass off and was nearly impossible to tackle on a couple of occasions. His balance was on point, he displayed that fierce competitiveness throughout the 60 minutes, and he caught the ball extremely well.
The offensive line got schooled in this game – particularly Laremy Tunsil. We knew about Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams on the interior of the Ravens defense before the game, and we’re even more familiar with the two on Monday morning. They beat Tunsil, Anthony Steen and Jermon Bushrod like drums all game.
Ja’Wuan James got embarrassed and tossed aside on one play by Elvis Dummerville and I thought Terrell Suggs won his match-up with Branden Albert.
Devante Parker was hampered by his ailing back and should’ve caught the early touchdown pass that was perfectly located at the pylon. Kenny Stills was mostly invisible and Jarvis Landry had 11 catches, but most of those were essentially hand offs.
Dion Sims made a couple of nice catches and the rest of the tight ends were ineffective if they were even on the field. I didn’t even notice Marqueis Gray or Dominique Jones on the live watch through save for one play action rollback.
This was a nightmare showing against a horrifically bad offense. Joe Flacco has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL for two years and the Ravens run game has been non-existent all year as well.
That didn’t stop the former Super Bowl MVP from carving apart the middle of the Dolphins soft zone coverages. Tight ends weren’t chipped, linebackers jumped up too high in the hook zone and there was money to be made underneath the safeties all game.
Bacarri Rambo and Michael Thomas had woeful games rotating alongside Isa Abdul-Quddus (who continues to be a home run free agent signing for me.)
Byron Maxwell and Tony Lippett struggled at the line of scrimmage with Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman. Bobby McCain had some good moments but, as I expected, Kamar Aiken gave him some issues.
Kiko Alonso is getting a lot of hype for some big plays, but he continues to be a liability in coverage. Neville Hewitt did a nice job celebrating some tackles 10-15 yards down the field (seriously, what the hell is that?), and Donald Butler and Spencer Paysinger may as well have been wearing purple jerseys.
Mike Hull played a pretty good game without any falloff from when Alonso left the field.
The defensive line created pressure when Flacco hit his seven step drops, but he rarely did that. It’s hard to evaluate the play up front because the Ravens, A.) Rarely ran the ball and, B.) Were getting the ball out far too quick for them to make an impact in the passing game.
Vance Joseph got his ass handed to him with no ability to make in game adjustments and no answer for the Ravens quick strike attack. They began to send some blitzes later in the game that disrupted the flow but it was far too little too late.
Special Teams (Andrew Franks):
I never go into special teams talks but I need to say something about the kicker. I wanted him cut this off-season, I wanted him cut in August and he continues to prove that I’m not wrong into December. Adam Gase has opted for punts or keeping the offense on the field three times this year when a field goal from under 55 yards was a possibility.
His miss on the first drive set a precedent for the game and the Dolphins never regained any momentum. He’s completely worthless. His long field goal is 41 yards. FORTY-ONE! His try from 46 wasn’t even close. Justin Tucker could make 46 yarders with his left foot.
The Dolphins sucked yesterday. It’s best to just crumple that game up and discard it like yesterday’s newspaper. These games will happen sometimes and it’s just a bummer that it happened in what amounted to a playoff atmosphere.
I’m not going to go into over-reaction mode and claim the season is over. This doesn’t discount the Dolphins six game winning streak, it doesn’t change the fact that they are just one game back of a playoff spot.
All this loss does is essentially eliminate the Dolphins’ margin for error. Beating Arizona, the Jets and Buffalo is now a must in these next three games.
If that happens, the Broncos will certainly slip up with their treacherous remaining schedule.
On to Arizona.
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