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Call this the worst west-coast trip in Miami Dolphins history.
Because the Dolphins just completed a two-game swing in Northern and Southern California and didn’t just get swept, but got dominated in multiple ways.
The Chargers did that Sunday night in a 23-17 victory over Miami.
“This is hard to take,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said. “It’s not to our standard. It’s extremely disappointing.”
Chargers Never Trailed Dolphins
No, that wasn’t necessarily a domination except if you look at the fact the Chargers didn’t put a ton of points on the board and their margin of victory was not huge.
But consider the Chargers ran 78 plays compared to only 49 for Miami while nearly doubling Miami’s total yardage compared. Consider that Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 367 yards while Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa managed only 145.
Statistically, this game was something of a whipping.
The Dolphins were out-coached and out-played.
“We need a better performance and it will start with me ,” McDaniel said. “We have a fully committed team and we haven’t executed to our standard the last couple of weeks. So where else to look but myself.”
The Chargers found a way to contain the Miami passing game that came into the game as the second-best in the NFL, averaging 290.5 yards per game.
The Dolphins had less than a third that total before garbage time desperation in the final two minutes to play. And while Miami found a way to get the football to Tyreek Hill on four completions, including 60-yard touchdown pass, the dangerous combination of Hill and Jaylen Waddle was largely contained by the Chargers.
All this and you must remember the Chargers on defense were playing without starting safety Derwin James, starting cornerback Bryce Callahan and starting edge rusher Joey Bosa.
The Dolphins land in South Florida at 7 a.m. Monday morning after enduring losses to the Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers.
In those two games, the defense has given up season-best performances against Herbert and San Francisco backup quarterback Brock Purdy.
In those two games, Tagovailoa played poorly.
Dolphins Tagovailoa Struggles Again
Tagovailoa completed only 10 of 28 passes for those 145 yards against Los Angeles so on his west coast trip Tagovailoa completed only 28 of 61 passes. That’s a 45.9 percent completion percentage.
That’s not winning football.
“It’s very disappointing,” Tagovailoa said. “That’s not our standard.”
Tagovailoa also said “to have gone this weekend and played the way we played, especially on my part, that’s unacceptable.”
McDaniel wasn’t thrilled with his quarterback’s play but said there is more to it and one guy being off target.
“I thought he did some good things,” McDaniel said. “All the incompletions were definitely not all on Tua … But between Tyreek not being able to pick it up and Tua’s throw, bottom line is who cares who’s fault it is. That needs to happen.
“I thought at moments he did do some stuff. He competed. He gave us a chance to win. But collectively … we weren’t good enough.”
The Dolphins travel to Buffalo on Saturday.
The Chargers have worked themselves into the No. 7 spot in the AFC postseason seedings. The Dolphins hold the No. 6 spot.