Say whatever you want about the Dolphins trying to “tank this season,” the actions of the last 24 hours involving their quarterback situation clearly demonstrate that they have no real plan for what they’re doing.
This after first-year coach Brian Flores waffled on his commitment of just five days ago the second-year quarterback Josh Rosen will be the Dolphins quarterback for the foreseeable future, if not the rest of this already lost season.
It turns out that that commitment lasted all of three quarters before Rosen was benched in Sunday’s 17 – 16 loss to the Washington Redskins. That’s when Flores and offensive coordinator, Chad O’ Shea, chose veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and inserted him back into in a role he’s been very familiar with- coming off the bench to try and save the day.
Fitzpatrick did lead Miami to 13 fourth quarter points and had them on the verge of possibly winning the game before his 2-point conversion pass to running back Kenyan Drake fell in complete with six seconds left in the game.
The end Sunday for Rosen came after a second half with a Dolphin’s had punted on three possessions and he threw his second interception on the other one. Fitzpatrick replaced him to begin the fourth quarter and immediately led a nine-play, 55-yard touchdown drive that culminated, when Kalen Ballage scored from a yard out.
But, Fitzpatrick was less than brilliant on either of the next two drives as they picked up one first down, but still punted and then, his third drive resulted in a three-and-out and included a fumbled snap the lost 8 yards.
Fitzpatrick, who had played poorly throughout the Dolphins first two horrific losses to start the year against the Ravens and the Patriots leading to his benching, did rally the team down the stretch. And, he lead the potential game-tying drive in the final two minutes. That’s when Flores elected to go for the win on the two-point play and had it not work out.
So that brings us to Monday’s day after the game news conference. Flores said matter of factly that Rosen “would be expected to start” in this week’s coming match-up at Buffalo:
Dolphins Live: Coach Flores meets with the media. https://t.co/8cO0Bq2mnZ
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 14, 2019
But, then, later when answering another question, that his starter would be based on how the two quarterbacks would practice this week.
We wrote after the week to disaster with New England that now 0-5 Miami has nothing to lose by continuing to try to play Rosen and have him develop and get better.
You know what you have in the 36 year old veteran Fitzpatrick, and he is clearly not the future.
And, Rosen may not be that future, either. However, the waffling of when he might play or start and sending him back to the bench only shows one thing: dysfunction.
Dysfunction, because there is apparently no real plan with what to do with Rosen, Fitzpatrick or the last 10 games of the season.
Dolphins were back to their bumbling ways Sunday
As the Dolphins came back down to earth in a humbling 37 – 20 loss to Buffalo Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, many of the same flaws from their 0- 7 start were back.
Although Ryan Fitzpatrick ended with good numbers and did not throw an interception, Miami lacked offensive punch from the outset.
Miami punted the ball on each of their first four possessions and by the time they had reached the middle of the second quarter, it was already 16 – 0 in favor of the Bills.
The Dolphins could not run the ball as Kalen Ballage had nine carries for only nine yards against what’s a good but not great Buffalo defense. Newly extended receiver Allen Hurns promptly fumbled after a first half reception.
It looked all too familiar to the home fans.
The pass protection was poor as Fitzpatrick suffered seven sacks in the game, and Miami was completely one-dimensional by the time the second half rolled around. Fitzpatrick was efficient in the air at 32 – 45 for 323 yards, but a lot of those yards came when the Dolphins trailed by more than two scores the whole second half.
As for the Bills, they ran the ball just fine with 168 yards on the ground and a 5 yard per carry average. Rookie Devin Singletary of FAU came back to the area and tallied 75 yards. And second year QB Josh Allen showed one of the traits that got him drafted in the top 15, as he scrambled seven times for 56 yards, including a second-half touchdown.
Yes, The Bills are putting themselves in position to be back in the playoffs for the second time in three years, as they completed the season sweep over the Fins.
It’s the kind of improvement under coach Sean McDermott that Miami eventually wants to see with coach Brian Flores. But, days after Flores was doing his best Bill Belichick “we’re on to Buffalo” with media questions, Miami was “on to another loss.”
And, as the Dolphins sank to 2 – 8, their reality is they aren’t talented enough or coached well enough, across-the-board to play good football game in and game out.
Buffalo reminded them of that Sunday.
Dolphins give veteran WR Hurns new deal
In a season that began horribly at 0- 7, the Dolphins have begun to come around and now, put some pieces into place for the future. That includes re-upping a veteran wide receiver on Saturday.
The team announced a new two-year extension for wideout Allen Hurns Saturday. And while it’s only a modest contract, it is a signal but the team is trying to build with at least some veteran players in the future..
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport had the contract details on Hurns is getting a new $8 million dollar extension through 2021:
The #Dolphins signed WR Allen Hurns to a 2-year extension worth $8M, source said. He gets $3.27M guaranteed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 16, 2019
This is a raise over his 1-year 2.5 million contract he signed with Miami on the eve of training camp.
Hurns entered the league undrafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. His best season in North Florida was 2015, where he caught for just over 1,000 yards and 10 TDs. After getting a four year extension from the Jags, they cut him loose to free up cap space after the 2017 season.
Hurns then signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys worth $12 million. However, after he played all 16 games in the regular season with 20 catches and 2 TDs, he suffered a horrific broken ankle in the Cowboys playoff win over Seattle, and was placed on injured reserve.
Dallas eventually released Hurns earlier this year and that’s when Dolphins GM Chris Grier swooped in bring a veteran presence to their locker room on a one year deal.
Hurns, who just turned 28 earlier this week, has played in nine games this season with three starts, including the last two. He doesn’t have more than three catches in any of them and only one touchdown, which came in the Monday night loss to the Steelers three weeks ago. Hurns also suffered a severe concussion against his team, Dallas, in week three.
It is obvious that Miami went on a veteran purge for most of their roster in the offseason and the beginning of this year. And, that included getting rid of veteran speedster Kenny Stills in a huge trade with team-mate Laremy Tunsil to the Texans on the eve of the season.
That brought the Dolphins to number one picks in return. Miami also released veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola in a salary cap move earlier this year.
Miami wants to count on former number one pick DeVante Parker. And, they were also very high on undrafted free agent Preston Williams before he suffered an ACL injury in the win over the Jets two weeks ago.
Finally, as has been the case with Hurns’ last couple of deals, the contract only reportedly has $3.2 million guaranteed and is therefore team friendly to get rid of him, if they choose to do so at any point next season.
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