Luckily his residuals from starring in the Addam’s Family are still coming in. Meanwhile, I have this update to take care of, so on to a review of the Dolphins so far and a review of my preview of them. (Kind of meta, though not really.)
In the preview I wrote about things that were fairly obvious:
“The real concern on offense is the line… Brandon Albert is a stud at LT but will be trying to return from ACL and MCL surgeries and might not hold up. The rest of the line is a guess. I’m going with less than adequate, which means Tannehill will continue to be among the most harassed and sacked QB’s in the league.”
“The linebacking corps is a train wreck. Last year, Dolphin linebackers had real trouble with strong running games and talented tight ends, in other words, all the good teams in the NFL, and with no upgrades it looks like that trend will continue.”
Despite these glaring problems, like many other fans, I fell for some of the offseason hype of adding Ndamukong Suh and the further maturation of Ryan Tannehill. I didn’t suggest playoffs, but I did go with a 9-7 record. Oh, for those golden days of giddy optimism. So where are we now?
Let’s start with defense and consider the big addition of Suh and his contributions to the Dolphins so far.
That makes 2 stomps to go with 0 sacks for the season.
As for the rest of the defense, the Dolphins have allowed opposing offenses to score on their opening drives in all 4 games so far. Only the Redskins failed to score a TD, but were able to kick a FG back when kickers were still doing that. The defense has allowed 77 first half points and yields almost 400 yards a game (399.5). Registering only one sack and very little pressure in those four games has allowed opposing quarterbacks to have career days, including Blake Bortles battling boisterously to a 102.2 rating and Tyrod Taylor tooling a toasty 136.7. All of this is good for 30th place in total defense, just ahead of Cleveland and Oakland.
Over on offense, the Dolphins have fared a little better, ranking 23rd in total offense, but scoring an average of 16 points a game when your defense allows 25 points is not a formula for success. The running game has been non-existent. Lamar Miller leads all rushers with 131 yards. That’s not a per game average, that’s his total in 4 games. Ryan Tannehill has proven to be what most thought he was, adequate, but with a porous line and no running game, he isn’t going to make up for weaknesses elsewhere. He also may be somewhat of a tool, but that seems to be part of the job description and given all the other problems with the team, this one will have to wait.
Overall, the Dolphins are a train wreck. Closed room meetings have been called by players and even folks in London know not to take the team seriously.
Meanwhile off the field, things continue in the same vein. Here’s Miko Grimes, wife of now injured cornerback Brent Grimes and former host of a local Dolphins radio show, getting arrested by
Reno 911 Miami Police during the Buffalo game.
In putting together my preview I failed to recognize that the Year 4 protocol was in place. Most years, the Dolphins surge to midseason competence and pull close to .500 by late November, encouraging fans to start tracking the wild card race and figure out playoff scenarios before the inevitable late season collapse. But every fourth year or so (see Wannstedt, Dave; Sparano, Tony) the Dolphins go into all out dumpster fire mode. It’s usually preceded by bringing in high priced free agents who will help the team turn the corner (see Williams, Ricky; Marshall, Brandon) except the corner they turn isn’t from mediocrity to excellence, but from the road into the ditch we like to call shit creek. So what happens next?
Last time this happened, the Dolphins promoted secondary coach Todd Bowles to step in after Tony Sparano was fired. Well respected by the players, Bowles restored a little sanity and some pride to the team, leading the Dolphins to a 2-1 record to close out the 2011 season. A number of folks believed that should have earned him the spot full time, but wiser heads prevailed and brought in Joe Philbin. Now we have tight ends coach Dan Campbell stepping in. Well respected by the players, Campbell hopes to restore some sanity and pride to the team. My guess is the Dolphins win a few games, maybe get to 5-11, though 3-13 seems more likely. A big coaching search will ensue and Stephen Ross will fly around the country to get rejected by big names everywhere (though apparently not Jim Harbaugh) until settling on an untried coordinator who will proceed to bring in an entirely new system that will require new personnel and take a couple years to fully install, thereby bringing about 3 seasons of 8-8 to be followed by another dumpster fire. Ah, the circle of life…