Five Reasons the Miami Dolphins' Season Is Already in Jeopardy

Five Reasons the Miami Dolphins' Season Is Already in Jeopardy
Photo by Morgan Coleman

Between the entire league coming together to push back against Donald Trump's divisive comments last week and the amazing slate of games that took place, the NFL had one helluva showing last weekend.

The Dolphins? Not so much. They had a very bad weekend. One of their worst ever perhaps. So, so bad.

Losing 20-6 to the New York Jets is one thing, but this wasn't just any 20-6 loss, and this year's Jets aren't just any Jets team. The Jets are probably the worst team in the NFL and obviously attempting to tank this season, yet the Dolphins scored only a pity touchdown as the clock expired after calling a timeout down 20-0 with six seconds to play.

Simply put, Sunday was embarrassing for the Dolphins and a real eye-opener for anyone who considered them a playoff team. Abort mission. Lower the flags. Go ahead and RSVP that wedding on a Sunday this fall. It's over. The Dolphins are a mess, and it'll get a lot worse before it gets any better.

Five Reasons the Miami Dolphins' Season Is Already in Jeopardy
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1. The Dolphins' remaining schedule is full of top-tier NFL quarterbacks. If Josh McCown can put up a 126.3 passer rating with zero weapons to throw to on the Jets, what will Drew Brees do to the Fins' defense this week? Or Marcus Mariota the following week? Or Matt Ryan the next? Or Derek Carr, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, and Tom Brady during a four-week stretch in November? It'll be murderous.

Even the quarterbacks who aren't considered dangerous, such as Kansas City's Alex Smith and Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor, will likely have their way with the Dolphins based on how the defense looked in New York. The Fins' defense is a mess, and little to no help is on the way.

Five Reasons the Miami Dolphins' Season Is Already in Jeopardy
Photo by George Martinez

2. The Dolphins don't have the talent or depth on defense to turn things around. The Dolphins' defense is top-heavy: all rush, no cover. For whatever reason, the Fins — knowing full well they have no linebackers and zero depth at cornerback — thought it was a good idea to use their first-round pick on Charles Harris, an edge rusher who is playing less than 50 percent of the snaps thus far and has just a handful of tackles. They also did very little to address their cornerback issues outside of signing Lawrence Timmons, who may or may not ever play a down for the Dolphins.

What the Dolphins have on defense isn't enough now, and it's unlikely to become enough unless some of their young players suddenly turn into above-average NFL players. Teams will eat up the Dolphins week in and week out, putting a lot of pressure on an offense that just doesn't have the look of a unit that will be able to carry the team.

Five Reasons the Miami Dolphins' Season Is Already in Jeopardy
Photo by Morgan Coleman

3. The Dolphins' offense could take a while to get going. Somehow we all forgot that seven preseason snaps would not exactly get Jay Cutler up to speed with the Fins' offense. Many of us also overlooked the fact that the offensive line had some changes that needed to be sorted out, none of which happened in the preseason. We didn't think about the lack of depth at linebacker or know that Lawrence Timmons would go AWOL.

Everything is in flux, and it's unlikely any of it will get sorted out as the schedule grows more difficult. Nobody will stop to let the Dolphins catch up. Actually, just the opposite will happen: Teams will exploit the Fins' weaknesses, like a group of cornerbacks who do little well other than chase people who have already caught the ball.

The Dolphins' defense will probably not stop sucking. The offense will unlikely be able to carry the weight of that sucking. It could be a long season, folks.

Five Reasons the Miami Dolphins' Season Is Already in Jeopardy
Photo by George Martinez

4. Adam Gase doesn't seem to remember how to coach an NFL team. In the first game, Gase called a wide receiver reverse pass-option play that had Jarvis Landry cocking his arm and ready to throw — from the ten-yard line. Why? Nobody seems to be able to tell even two weeks later. Later in the game, as the Los Angeles Chargers rushed to get their kicking team on the field before time expired for the game-winning field-goal attempt, Gase called timeout.

Why, you ask? According to Gase, he made the call so his team could have all of seven seconds to strike back if the kick was good. Yeah, something is off with him. Gase has been the first person to tell everyone he's been off his game this season. He has called two terrible games. He said this week he's "sick of the garbage" he has seen on offense, but he shoulders much of the blame.

Five Reasons the Miami Dolphins' Season Is Already in Jeopardy
Photo by George Martinez

5. No bye week. Thanks, Irma! The Dolphins lost the ability to use a bye week to get their shit together thanks to Hurricane Irma. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dolphins will now play their game originally scheduled for Week 1 on November 19, a week that both teams had previously planned Thanksgiving grocery shopping, island vacations, and lots of rest.

Last season, the Dolphins won seven of eight games to close the year following their Halloween bye week. No such luck this season. Instead, the Fins will close the season with two games each against the Patriots and the Bills, and one each against the Broncos and the Chiefs. It's likely the Fins won't be favored in more than a couple of games the rest of the way. Even the most pessimistic Dolphins fan didn't see that disaster coming just a few weeks ago.


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