Dolphins Hush Doubt Of Fans, But…
Doubters weren’t crazy, but their doubt overlooked a crucial point
Sunday’s victory over the Jets, along with wins over the Titans and the Falcons, have quieted all but the most ardent doubters of the Dolphins. But despite these wins, the doubters had legitimate gripes. The only problem with their doubt was that they missed a key point.
Adam Gase is as good or better (depending on your level of doubt) than any coach since Don Shula… and no, I’m not suggesting he’s on par with Shula–just everyone after him. Despite Gase being a bit bull headed in his schemes and play calling and some personnel decision (i.e. inside draws and screens to Landry to nauseum, and Julius Thomas starting game after inept game), he and the team grows, learns, and adapts as the season progresses.
This is the second season we have witnessed this. And a strong part of this good coaching is the ability to over come adversity and to learn. Call it a skill, or a mindset. or even heart, but whatever you call it, don’t call it luck. Having won 12 games in a row when the margin is seven points or less in a year and a half, this streak isn’t an anomaly, this is part of this team’ makeup. And however you slice it, this asset stems from good coaching.
Just FYI, the NFL record is 14 consecutive games.
But even though there has been success against the odds, an ability to grow as the season progresses, and the art of learning to win from behind is crucial, the Dolphins have lingering issues that have been a primary reason why they were in the hole to begin with.
No doubt Miami needs to fix some things, just as there’s no doubt they are tough as nails
So just as Phinsnews held off calling 2017 a dead season before and after the Titans game, we are maintaining the same steady perspective now.
Here are two improvements Miami must make in order to continue their success against the string of better team they will soon be facing. If they don’t fix at least these two issues, the doubters will have one leg to stand on.
Penalties: Just as a lack of penalties in the 2nd half of the last 3 games was a major contributor to helping Miami win, penalties the 1st half put them in hole or prevented them from getting an early lead. Last season Miami was in the top 10 in most penalties committed. This year they have 42 in 6 games. Extrapolate out to 7 games, they’d have 49 tied with the Steelers for 11th worst. An interesting note, Miami has the least amount of Offensive Holding penalties in the league, so there’s hope.
Dropped Passes: Jay Cutler had 180 passes before getting knocked out with 20 drops in 5 1/2 games. With 30 passes and 3.3 drops per game, Miami is dropping over 10% of their catch-able passes! Last season they were ranked 21st with 2.8.
It doesn’t take pay per head software to realize that Miami will suffer from lack of talent in some key spots all season. That can’t be changed until the Offseason. But all teams have lack of talent somewhere on their roster. The good teams learn to mitigate that lack of talent through smart and disciplined football. If Miami can add brains to their heart, a strong Post Season is a strong possibility. If they can’t resolve even these two elements of their game, all the heart will eventually succumb to sloppy play. Go Fins!!!