The first week
of the 2020 season is in the books for The Miami Dolphins and unfortunately, they are in all too familiar territory. In their loss to the rival New England Patriots, many questions will be asked, with very few answers. But one thing we know for sure, is that The Dolphins, once again, have a quarterback problem.
Make no mistake about it, Ryan Fitzpatrick (0 TDs, 3 INTs) is the clear starting QB as they lick their wounds heading home to prepare for week two. And Tua Tagovailoa is still the heir apparent (given Fitz’s lack of magic against a weakened Patriots defense, that heir may come sooner than we all thought), but a quarterback problem still exists. And that problem lies with the defense.
For what seems like forever, and with very few exceptions, The Miami Dolphins have struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks. Cam Newton proved to not be one of those exceptions. Instead, he galvanized the aforementioned rule with a dominating performance against Miami on Sunday. The former league MVP was New England’s leading rusher. Gaining 75 yards on 15 carries (5 YPC) and two touchdowns. He was so good on the ground, that it didn’t even matter that he threw no touchdowns in his Patriots debut.
He didn’t need to.
You can make the argument that Cam Newton is Cam Newton, so you have to expect that type of performance from him. But the problem is that The Miami Dolphins face a LOT of Cam Newton in 2020.
Not only will they have to face the actual Cam Newton again in week 15, but along the way, they will also be tasked with containing RPO monsters like Josh Allen (QB, Buffalo). Oh, and reigning Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Did I mention seven-time Pro Bowl QB and former Super Bowl Champion, Russell Wilson? Or how about second-year phenom, Kyler Murray?
Because all of them (and more) are slated to take their own shots at this Miami Dolphins defense that invested heavily in free agents and draft picks this offseason. If you can read that list and not soil your pants with fear, then I applaud you.
Miami is the second youngest team in the NFL. They are also year two of a major re-building plan. Both of those things are factually accurate. But this problem with mobile quarterbacks reaches far beyond this year’s team. It has been baked into the culture of Dolphins football. And that culture is coming back to burn them, time and time again.
In a vacuum, the loss to Cam Newton and The New England Patriots is a blurry spot on the long-term vision for Miami. A simple bump in the proverbial road. But they will need to (quickly)figure out how to stop, or even slow down this new era of quarterbacks. Because if they don’t, that simple bump will turn into an off-road nightmare. And that long-range vision they have, will end up being a mirage.