It looked for a while at the Miami Dolphins might get their first win of the season, but then, they remembered they were the 2019 Miami Dolphins.
Despite getting their first two touchdown lead of the season on two Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown passes at 14 – 0, Miami did nothing offensively for the next three quarters. And, that allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to score 27 on answered points for an easy 27 – 14 win.
Of course the latest Dolphins defeat, dropping them to 0 – 7, is exactly what ownership and the front office actually want- lose as many as possible. This as, the Dolphins continue to “Tank” in 2019 in an attempt to get either the number one or number two overall pick in next year’s draft.
Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph shook off an ugly concussion from three weeks ago throwing for 251 yards and two touchdowns leading their the comeback. Running back James Conner also added 145 yards and another score in the win.
Miami jumped all over the Steelers taking advantage of an interception by Rudolph. Fitzpatrick threw a 5 yaard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson to give Miami their first first-quarter lead of the season in game number seven.
When Fitzpatrick hit Allen Hurns for another 12 yard score later in the first, it was the first time this season the Miami had been up by double digits in any game.
However, the momentum swung back in Pittsburgh’s favor, including a coaching scheme disaster on defense late in the first half. With under a minute to play and facing 3rd and 20, Miami chose and all-out 8-man Blitz against Rudolph. And, he burned it hitting WR Diontae Johnson with a slant pass and he raced into the end zone from 45 yards out cutting the lead to 14 – 10 at the break.
That moment simply added to the bumbling season of the 2019 Dolphins, who earlier on Monday traded away another veteran player, when they dealt Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals.
Connor capped a 53 yard drive with his 9 yard TD run early in the fourth to put the game away. Oh, and former Dolphins #1 pick DB, Minkah Fitzpatrick, whom the team traded to the Steelers last month, had two picks to rub more salt in the Miami wounds.
Now, with Tuesday’s trade deadline looming, we wait to see if more veteran players are dealt by GM Chris Grier, as the team heads to a 1-15 or 0-16 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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