Forgive the Dolphins is they are feeling like they’re having a little “Deja Vu.” That’s because for the second straight week, they will be right back at the Meadowlands, as the visitors. This time, against the Giants.
However, we’ll further forgive the Fins, coach Brian Flores and the fans, if they aren’t quite over last weekend’s trip to “the Big Apple.”
Questionable calls and decisions by the coaching staff have plagued the Dolphins all season. And in the 4th quarter, just when it seemed like they were going to make another one that could cost them the game, they called time out and ended up making the right call.
That’s when Miami, trailing the Jets 16 to 15 and sitting around the 28-yard line, was about to go for it on 4th and one after just hitting a 53-yard field goal earlier. But, after thinking about it, they sent Jason Sanders and the field goal unit on, yet again, with him kicking a 37-yarder… That made it six field goals on the day for the Dolphins, and they finished with an amazing seven made field goals, setting a new Miami Dolphins record.
Going into Week 14, the Dolphins were scoring 16.67 points per game. Prior to their showdown with the Jets this weekend where they covered the spread at SBR best sportsbook, the Fins were putting up 16 points on the road, but now they have managed to increase that number to exactly 17 points per game on the highway.
They did everything they wanted and needed, made the Jets use all three of their time outs and then put up that last field goal to take the lead… but still blew it on defense on first down of the next possession when Darnold threw the ball from the 20-yard line to Smith and coverage went for the deflection instead of a solid tackle in-bounds and the Smith ended up getting a long reception with a chunk of yards after the catch.
Then, a big and controversial pass interference that we wrote about Monday that wasn’t called on the field to keep the drive alive. Then with nothing left on the clock, Jets kicker Sam Ficken boots a field goal to win the game 22-21. Miami lost, but again, they didn’t get beaten by the Jets, they beat themselves with silly mistakes on the final drive.
The Giants have struggled all season. They had a brief moment of hope early in the year when Daniel Jones had a couple of good games. But since then, they have been tail-spinning in a downward spiral. They went back veteran Super Bowl winning QB Eli Manning on Monday night, and looked good for 17-3 third quarter lead. Alas, they allowed the Eagles to tie them late and beat them with a TD in overtime.
That pretty well sums up the sad state of the Giants, who may be parting with coach Pat Shurmur soon.
The G-men are putting up 19 points per game overall, but they fall to 16.66 points per game while at home and allow almost 26 (25.66) per game. Meanwhile, the Dolphins allow 27.33 per game on the road.
So we have what amounts to a less than 1-point scoring differential. This one could be another battle just like we saw last weekend against the Jets.
As we mentioned, the plus side for the Dolphins is it’s the same stadium. It isn’t like they have to go to a different venue on their back-to-back road games, and they should be familiar.
Now, let’s see if Miami can put the ball in the endzone this week.
Dolphins coach Flores already dealing with lots of 2020 changes
For almost every NFL team not named the 49ers and the Chiefs, the draft evaluation process is now well underway, and most all teams are represented now in Mobile, Alabama for this weekend’s Senior Bowl. That includes, the Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and his staff (some of them brand new), who are taking it all in.
And on Monday night, Flores met with the Dolphins assembled media and beat writers about the changes that have already taken place within his coaching staff and how it will shape this offseason.
First, Flores took the drastic action of firing first-year offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea, whom he had brought with him from the Patriots this past season. Part of that decision was based on Miami’s poor play offensively, but a bigger part is the person that Flores could bring in to run his offense.
That’s former Cowboys and bills head coach and longtime NFL offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey.
As we wrote when these moves were made earlier this month, Gailey has a long-standing relationship with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Gailey was his head coach in Buffalo and also his offensive coordinator with the Jets, photo above,. It also further signals the Fitzpatrick apparently will be heavily involved in the 2020 offensive plans.
Speaking to the media and with the quotes being relayed via Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post, Flores emphasized that Gailey’s in-game adjustments and his ability to teach is what appealed to hiring him,
“He does a really good job of adjustments in-game,” Flores said. “If you’re playing cover one, he’s got cover-one beaters, if you’re playing zone, he’s got zone-beaters. If you’re diamond front he’s got his diamond runs. He’s a good coach that way. I think he’s seen a lot of football.”
“I know he’s a great teacher,” Flores said. “Just in my conversations with several players and coaches that have spent time with him, and that’s obviously very important. The first thing I should have said is that.”
Flores also is dealing with having lost defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, whom he allowed to take the same job with the New York Giants. Instead of going outside for his replacement hire, Flores instead promoted from in-house with defensive backs coach Josh Boyer getting the promotion and much more responsibility.
As for Boyer, Flores said Monday night from Mobile,
“He and I see things through the same lenses,” Flores said. “A lot of ways. He coached corners and I coached safeties and we spent a lot of time together. Defensive philosophies and fundamentals and techniques, the things we teach. We’re very much on the same page.”
Defense is obviously Flores’ specialty and Boyer is following his same path from when they were with the Pats. This, as Flores ascended from DB coach to defensive coordinator two seasons ago before getting the Dolphins job.
Miami will obviously have to remake their roster with numerous premium draft picks they acquired for this year and next year, plus, significant money under the salary cap for free agents.
And, all of that evaluation, including with Senior prospects practicing and playing this weekend, is now underway.
’85 Dolphins were part of dubious AFC playoff history
The Tennessee Titans are looking to make NFL playoff history and join four other teams as the only ones to ever win three straight road games and make a Super Bowl. That’s when they take on the Chiefs Sunday afternoon in Kansas City.
And, longtime Dolphins fans will remember that they were on the wrong end of one of those teams who pulled it off for the first time in NFL playoff history 34 years ago.
That’s when a Raymond Berry coached New England Patriots team behind Tony Eason at quarterback and an opportunistic defense stunned the seemingly invincible passing attack of second-year quarterback Dan Marino and Don Shula’s Dolphins in a shocking 31 – 14 upset at the Orange Bowl.
To set the scene, New England had already upset the New York Jets at the Meadowlands in the AFC Wildcard game and then, gone out to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and defeated the Raiders, who were the number one in AFC seed, 27 – 20.
The Dolphins, who were the AFC Champs the previous year behind Marino’s record-setting passing season of 1984, had struggled just to make the Championship Game a year later.
That’s because the Cleveland Browns actually led Miami the previous week 21 – 3 in the third quarter before Marino and the offense kicked it into gear for 21 unanswered points and a comeback 24 – 21 win.
However, on this day, they made simply too many mistakes and New England made them pay, including grinding the clock with over 40 minutes of possession to shorten the game.
Patriots ran for over 250 yards on the withering Dolphins defense and Miami had six turnovers in all including two critical Marino interceptions in the defeat.
New England surprisingly led 17 – 7 at the half, when Miami’s rookie kick returner and former Gator Lorenzo Hampton fumbled, while being tackled. A few plays later New England scored on a 4th and goal touchdown pass from Eason to Robert Weathers with a stunned Orange Bowl looking at a scoreboard that read 24 – 7, Pats.
Marino led the Dolphins down the field and looked like he was going to get them quickly in the end zone and right back in the game. However, he threw a critical bad pass that was picked off by Fred Marion at the New England goal line to keep the Dolphins off the board.
New England worked another four minutes off the clock before missing a few goal, but most of the damage had been done with most of the third period was erased with the Dolphins down by 17.
The Patriots Mosi Tatupu iced the game with a 1 yard touchdown midway through the final period and New England was on its way to a Super Bowl matchup with the Chicago Bears.
As you probably know by now, the ’85 Bears with their devastating “46 Defense,” Hall of Famer Walter Payton and brash quarterback Jim McMahon destroyed New England in the Super Bowl two weeks later.
Still, 1985 version the Patriots will always be remembered as a team that was able to pull off three straight wins away from home, including the shocker that ended Miami’s bid to capture the World Championship.
If you are wondering, the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Green Bay Packers have also all since done this “road trifecta” in the NFL Playoffs. However, in all three of their cases, they finished what the Patriots could not, by also winning the Super Bowl.
The most recent was the Packers and their 2011 postseason run that saw them defeat the Steelers to win the title.
So, on Sunday, it’s former Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Derrick Henry and the Tennessee defense’s turn to try to match what four others have done before them.
Miami Hurricanes3 days ago
Not so fast on QB D’Eriq King coming to Hurricanes?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers4 days ago
Bucs Evans got respect from LeBron James Saturday night
NFL Draft1 week ago
Interesting NFL names- new players at Tuesday Shrine Bowl practice
Jacksonville Jaguars1 week ago
Former Jaguars coordinator DeFillipo already lands in Chicago