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Miami Dolphins Season In Total Meltdown After Loss To Jacksonville

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The Miami Dolphins on Sunday morning lost a game to a team that was winless and had lost 20 consecutive previous games. And now the Dolphins have lost five consecutive games of their own.

And if people are not fired or reassigned after this game it will be curious because that would mean the Dolphins are content merely riding out a year in which people will ultimately be fired when it’s all done anyway.

Jaguars 23.

Dolphins 20.

Terrible.

The Dolphins didn’t lose this one because they have less talent. Or less discipline.

They got outcoached at the end.

The Jaguars surprised the Dolphins with a fourth-down-and-eight play with :05 to play in which they converted a nine-yard pass and called time out with one second remaining.

Jacksonville then got a 53-yard field goal for the victory.

How does this happen?

The Dolphins defense on fourth-down was playing off as if expecting some sort of Hail Mary attempt in the end zone. The completion and quick time out was obviously a surprise.

“We didn’t coach it well enough,” coach Brian Flores said. “Have to do a better job in that situation, understand the situation, getting the information.”

Defensive coordinator Josh Boyer needs to account for that.

As it is, Flores did it publicly because coordinators are not allowed to speak after games. But, honestly, it’s time for Flores, who ran the defense in New England when they won the Super Bowl three seasons ago, to retake the reins to the Miami defense.

Because the unit is just curiously bad.

“I’m not doing a good enough job to get these guys ready to play,” Flores said.

The Dolphins on defense, you must know, are the only team in modern NFL history to give up 500 total yards and 5 passing touchdowns in a game. They did this in the first game of the Flores era in 2019 against Baltimore. And they did this last week against Tampa Bay.

So where’s the improvement?

Where’s the growth?

And given the loss to Jacksonville, where’s the strategy and vision?

Yes, the Dolphins were without starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. But nobody cares.

The Jaguars started the game minus two starting offensive linemen and lost another one during the game to a concussion.

“Look, they were dealing with some injuries, too,” Flores said.

Correct.

Stuff happens.

Excuses cannot.

If Flores, who came to Miami as something of a defensive expert, doesn’t want to fix the defense by taking control then what’s the point of having a defensive expert as the head coach?

This is not to suggest the Dolphins lost this game on defense alone. Because the offensive approach late in the game was weird, too.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, coming back from cracked ribs, played relatively well. He completed 33 of 47 for 329 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception.

And yet when the offense needed a big play, offensive play-caller George Godsey relied on someone else.

The Dolphins had afourth-and-1 situation at the Miami 46 yard line. Did the Dolphins let their quarterback possibly decide the outcome of the game?

Nope.

The Dolphins ran journeyman running back Malcolm Brown into the line. He was stopped for no gain.

The Dolphins don’t have a lot of stars. But if they’re going to go away from the few ones they have in key situations, what does that say about the play-calling and the confidence the play-caller has in his best players?

It says the Dolphins need a new play-caller. Because this ain’t getting it done.

The Dolphins, everyone knows, have co-offensive coordinators. George Godsey nonetheless has the game-day play calling duties.

And Godsey’s play-calling was only good enough to have Miami score 79 points the season’s first five games. Well, the excuse goes, the Dolphins were without Tagovailoa.

Yes, kind of like they were without Tagovailoa on that key fourth-down play on Sunday when Godsey took the ball out of his quarterback’s hands.

It has not been nearly good enough.

This, by the way, is the attempt at a solution now. This is not the permanent solution. That would have to likely wait until after the season.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

3 Comments

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  1. Dolphins had three possessions in the 4th quarter. They only scored on the 1st one when they were down 17-13 with 14 minutes left and 91 yards to go.
    The Jaguars knew that they were going to throw the ball. And could not stop them.
    But never fear because Miami stopped themselves in the next two possessions by playing not to lose and trying to run the ball without an OL and without a RB.
    To be outcoached by Meyer is sad because Meyer does not belong in the NFL.
    But Meyer was the best coach in the field today.

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