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Dolphins come unraveled in second half meltdown with Bengals

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins were anxious to get the taste of their 38-7 whipping by the Patriots last week out of their mouth. And, for one half in Cincinnati Sunday, they succeeded. Then, they played the second half.

The Dolphins took a 14-0 nothing lead out on the field against the 3-1 Bengals and, even, got an early third quarter field goal to go up 17 – 0.

However, from then on, it was an onslaught of Bengal big plays and Dolphins miscues on offense, which caused them to completely disintegrate in a 27 – 17 loss.

Trailing 17-3 in the fourth, Cincinnati marched 71 yards in 8 plays and Joe Mixon cashed it in for an 18-yard score to cut the lead to 17-10. Then, just three minutes of clock time later,  QB Ryan Tannehill who was under duress the entire second half, got hit while trying to throw a screen pass. Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson plucked the ball out of the air and ran it 22 yards for another score.

With the game tied, Miami could do nothing with the ball on the next possession-picking up one first down, but then a 10-yard holding penalty and QB Ryan Tannehill sack eventually forced a punt back to the Bengals.

Cincinnati wasted little time in driving down the field and Randy Bullock gave the Bengals a 20-17 lead with a 20-yard field goal.

Then, yet again, a crucial bizzare’ play got the Bengals an easy score. With the Dolphins getting possession back deep in their own territory, and it happened again:

 

Tannehill was sacked, the ball flipped in the air again and was grabbed by Sam Hubbard, a rookie from Ohio State, who took it in from 19 yards out for the final 27 – 17 margin.

Tannehill threw another interception on the next possession and after getting the ball back on a punt with under a minute ago the Dolphins had the clock run out on them on their final possession as well.

So after their opening field goal in the third quarter, Miami had six possessions and they were: punt, interception for Touchdown, punt, fumble for Touchdown, interception, and end of game.

The Bengals flipped the entire momentum by sacking Tannehill three times, creating the three second-half turnovers and allowing only 112 yards after halftime.

Needless to say coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains have to answer for being able to come up with no answers in play calls and protection for Tannehill (banged up line or not), as they melted down.

It all adds up to a very stinging loss that dropped the Dolphins like an anvil to 3-2 and searching for answers, as they get ready to host the Bears next Sunday

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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