There’s humiliating and then, there’s being down 45 – 3 in the first half of your first ever game as a head coach. And, for new Dolphins Boss Brian Flores, it was as humbling a debut on a hot Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock stadium in Miami Gardens, as you could possibly imagine.
From a defense that couldn’t stay in front of or tackle any guy in purple, to an offense that did nothing to assist until it was way too late, a nightmare unfolded in half #1.
Look. It’s not as if the fan base hasn’t been prepared for the last few weeks by the media and observers everywhere, including us at F.F.I., that when you rid yourself of all of your veteran, experienced talent, you’re asking for big trouble.
And the Dolphins not only asked for big trouble, they got married to it against the Ravens and their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
By the time the first quarter was over it was already 21-3 on its way to becoming 42 – 3 before half-time. The former Heisman winning first round pick a year ago, Jackson (above), had roasted Flores’ his defense, or what remains of it, for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone.
If this had been a boxing match, the towel would have been thrown in to stop it. Unfortunately, it’s the NFL, and there were still 30 more minutes of anguish to play, as the Ravens continued to pound Miami into submission in one of their worst home defeats ever, 59 – 10.
Flores was left trying to explain things early Sunday evening, but it’s almost like a trial, where the overwhelming evidence has convicted the defendant in less than hour of jury deliberation. What can the defense lawyer (Flores, in this case) really say except, “we’re guilty.”
Coach Flores meets with the media. https://t.co/YvFwAhV0KA
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 8, 2019
“We talked about playing penalty free, having a clean operation, alignments, assignments…Trying to play turnover free. We didn’t accomplish anything. We talked about starting fast. We didn’t accomplish that.”
When asked later on what he told the team at halftime of the meltdown loss? “There’s a lot we could’ve done better in the first half. My message was, ‘let’s play better. Let’s not have as many penalties, let’s get aligned, let’s tackle, let’s not turn the ball over’….I just wanted us to stick together, play together and fight.”
Little consolation. And it’s predictably what the former Patriots defensive play was left with trying to explain about a 49 point opening day beating.
So, that’s the situation right now in Miami, they’re guilty.
Guilty of not having enough experienced talent to give any fan hope that this will be anything other than what it has appeared to be for the last few months: a “lose at all costs” scenario to have better draft position and massive free agency dollars to spend next off-season.
Guilty of having an inexperienced head coach and staff trying to prepare them, too.
Oh, and did we mention that next week that Flores’ former employer, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, who won 33-3 on opening night over Pittsburgh, will be coming to town?
Talk about another “easy conviction” that appears to be heading their way.
Dolphins gave WR Parker extension- huge raise Friday
The Dolphins have had a mostly awful 2019 season, however, one of the bright spots this year and for their future, has gotten a new deal and a hefty raise.
Former first-round pick WR, DeVante Parker, will be a Dolphin for some time to come after agreeing to a four-year contract extension that could pay him up to $40 million. The deal was first reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, and the Dolphins confirmed Parker agreeing with this video released on social media:
.@DeVanteParker11 is here to stay‼️
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 13, 2019
Parker, who was playing on the fifth year option of his original rookie contract will reportedly get $8 million now to sign the deal and will also receive a fully guaranteed salary in 2020.
Parker has been one of the few bright spots for Miami this season totaling 55 receptions for 882 yards and six touchdowns. The yardage and the TD totals are both career highs for the former first-round pick out of Louisville in 2015. He had a breakout performance two weeks ago in Miami’s 37-31 upset of the Eagles. Parker caught a season high 7 passes for 159 yards and two TDs in the win.
Miami and GM Chris Grier had picked up option on Parker’s original four deal which was paying him $5 million for this season. Grier also has the Fins well positioned under the salary cap this year and next year, as Miami rid themselves of high price contracts for players like QB Ryan Tannehill, DE Robert Quinn and WR Kenny Stills.
The Dolphins do not have much else in terms of receiving talent after having traded away #1 receivers, Jarvis Landry and Stills the last two seasons. And then, Miami saw free agent Albert Wilson suffer a hip injury which cut his 2018 season short, and now, Wilson has been injured much of 2019, as well. Miami had high hopes for big-physical rookie free agent WR Preston Williams, but he tore his ACL in a game in October and is now on IR.
Parker is currently in concussion protocol after last week’s 22 – 21 loss against the Jets. He is officially listed as questionable for this weekend’s game with the Giants.
Fantasy Football playoff “start/sit” advice for week 15
Week 15 of the NFL season brings us the semi-finals of fantasy football leagues. If you are still playing congratulations, you’re almost there. If not, well, then you can always play daily fantasy. This week all three in-state teams have some plus matchups to take advantage of.
The Buccaneers will travel to the Lions. The Dolphins are back in the Meadowlands for the Giants, and the Jaguars travel to the Raiders for the final scheduled game in Oakland.
The Bucs will be going up against the Lions weak defense. The Lions rank 29th overall- 30th against the pass and 23rd against the run. QB Jamies Winston has been dealing with a hand injury, and we now know that he will try to play Sunday. In the event that Winston falters, Ryan Griffin will be one throwing to the Bucs receivers.
If Winston can throw mostly normally, then that opens up more opportunities for Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson. With Mike Evans out due to a hamstring injury, someone will have to step up and take those reps. Perriman has become more and more reliable over the weeks, and Watson rose to the occasion last week with his first TD catch. RB Ronald Jones continues to start, but Payton Barber continues to steal important carries. With both splitting, it will be hard to trust either at this point.
The Dolphins will be facing the Giants on the road and their poor defense. The Giants rank 27th overall, 26th against the pass, and 20th against the run. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been able to keep the Dolphins competitive in a lot of games this season. Last week he failed to find the endzone, but should change that this week against the much worse defense.
The best fantasy player on the team, DeVante Parker, looks to be on track to play in concussion protocol this weekend, but is listed officially as questionable. He and TE Mike Gesicki continue to be the only trustworthy players to play. RB Patrick Laird has had two productive games in a row. If you are running very low on options this week, perhaps he could be a flex option if you’re desperate.
The Jaguars will head to Oakland and will go against another below-average defense. The Raiders rank 28th overall, 28th against the pass, and 15th against the run. The Jags offense has been in a rut over the past few weeks. There is no better time for them to fix that here against the Raiders. Though, they are better against the run, still expect the Jags to run Leonard Fournette 20 times.
D.J. Chark still is yet to practice with a bad ankle, and was ruled out Friday afternoon. That opens up an opportunity for guys like Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley. QB Gardner Minshew will be another quality option to roster in DFS in a game that could end up being high scoring.
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