As an older millennial . . .
/Wakezilla dodges batteries, tin cans and feces thrown at him
I was trained to hate MASH, particularly the theme song because it signified the end of two wonderful hours of Simpsons and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air syndicated episodes on CBC. Unfortunately, this song best describes how the Miami Dolphins’ season has gone thus far: Everyone keeps getting horribly injured and it’s a damn shame because these players are actually putting forth effort and are playing for each other.
Unlike this idiot who said the Dolphins were awful and there is no hope to be found, I am here to say that this is the first Miami Dolphins team in over a decade to show legitimate glimpses of competence and maybe, MAYBE might be good enough to take the P*triots dynasty down in a couple of years once their core defensive players mature.
Here’s a quick recap of what has happened so far. (These were written down within 24-48 hours after the game)
Week 1: W 27-20 vs The Tits (1-0): It took an act of God and Blaine Gabbert to play a half of football for the Dolphins to survive the longest game in NFL history. The defense was excellent in this game. Their 3 picks allowed the offense to get their collective shit together in order to narrowly escape defeat. This was an ugly game where neither team deserved to win. However, Los Tits are employing Blaine Yo Gabba Gabbert to play quarterback in 2018, so screw ‘em.
Week 2: W 20-12 @ Jests (2-0): Turns out the Jests weren’t ready to take the next step towards cromulence this season. Once again, Miami’s offense was ass, but the defense saved the day with two key picks against Darnold. Early in the season, it seems like Miami’s defense, which I predicted was at least a year away, seems up to the task.
Miami’s offense, however, continues to look more limp bizkit than an actual NFL offense.
Week 3: W 28-20 vs That’s My Raiders! (3-0): Thanks to Jon Gruden, Tannehill had his first solid game of the season (17-23, 289 yards and 3 TD). However, Miami’s injured body count is starting to pile up. In this game, they missed Reshad Jones, who would have been assigned Jordy Nelson. Consequently, Nelson had 174 receiving yards. With that said, the Dolphins defense once again did not break—most notably during the 4th and goaline stop. Miami’s punter, Matt Haack, had one hell of an accurate kicking game. His booming punts resulted in the defense having lots of real estate behind them.
Miami is 3-0 and the team/management are feeling good about themselves. Meanwhile, the P*ts are coming off a loss and are struggling. I’ve seen this show before. The P*ts are going to win 42-7.
Week 4: L 38-7 @ P*ts (3-1): I was off by 4 points. Miami’s injured body count increased before kickoff, as one of their top d-lineman, William Hayes, is lost for the season and Devante Parker was banged up to the point where he could not play.
During the game, Tannehill played so much like dogshit, he was replaced by Brock Lobster. Brady didn’t even play all that well, as he was picked off twice. The problem is, Miami’s young defense can’t handle the refs coming up with new penalties to save Tommy’s drives from stalling. Also, the special teams and offense were awful and the defense, who in all honesty wasn’t even that bad, is really starting to feel the effects of missing depth players.
Week 5: L 27-17 vs Bumgles (3-2): This might be the game that costs Miami a wildcard spot if they can somehow miraculously continue their decent play. Miami looked like they were going to curb stomp the Bumgles, as they were up 17-0 at halftime. After more injuries to the O-line, the Dolphins couldn’t run the ball in the third quarter. When it was time for Tannehill to throw the ball, well, when it comes to hitting things, lets just say he won’t be confused for Ray Rice anytime soon. Meanwhile, Miami only had one first down in the second half, leading to Mixon and Green wearing down the defense, resulting in a Cincy win.
Week 6: W 31-28 (OT) @ Bears (4-2): This was the first game Tannehill missed this season with an AC Joint sprain. Considering he had one decent game before he was likely innured until next year, here’s hoping Miami finally gets off their ass and gives him his walking papers in the offseason. Tannehill was one of 9 opening day starters who did not play in this game. Consequently, THIS DOLPHINS/BEARS GAME, I CALL IT A POLITE CANADIAN STANDOFF BECAUSE BOTH TEAMS TRIED THEIR HARDEST TO LET THE OTHER TEAM WIN.
After the game, some fans were calling for a quarterback controversy because Brock Lobster played well. Those same fans also are waiting for a Nigerian Prince to give them their return investment plus interest.
Week 7: L 32-21 vs Lions (4-3): At this point, everyone on defense is dead and it showed on the scoreboard. Detroit only punted once this game. Meanwhile, Osweiller had a good game (for him), as he went 22-31, 239 yards, 2 TD. However, outside of a couple of plays, the rest of the offense was horrendous.
Week 8: L 42-23 @ Houston? Didn’t the Oilers move to Tennessee? (4-4): After weeks of Miami’s defensive players dying on the field, the offense had a turn as Albert Wilson was ruled out for the season and Kenny Stills was unable to play. At this point, I fully expect to get a phonecall from Dolphins GM, Chris Grier, telling me that I’m going to start at slot receiver and/or safety.
To be honest, I’m OK with this lopsided defeat because Watson is likely going to match or surpass Marino and Warner for most passing TDs thrown in the first 16 games of a career next week. The defense got carved up because players like Cam Wake, Andre Branch and Bobby McCain are playing on one leg and Robert Quinn has gone MIA. Everyone on defense is getting moved around due to all the injuries. Rookie linebackers McMilan and Baker are facing growing pains. At times, they aren’t even lining up in the proper spot. As I said in the season preview, this team isn’t good. But damnit, I actually see their defense is trying. It’s endearing. With all these injuries, hopefully they don’t win another game this year.
At the halfway point, a lot of people are wondering why Minkah Fitzpatrick, one of Miami’s best player, isn’t playing more on defense because he is leading the league in tackles per downs played. In all honesty, I hope he doesn’t see much of an increase in snaps because this defense is essentially running on duct tape. I rather him thrive in limited snaps and build confidence for next year than see him get lit up like a Christmas tree because the D-line and Linebacking corps are limping on every snap.
This seems like a lot of praise I’m giving to a defense that’s ranked 27th in the league, but, they are significantly better than their numbers show. You’re going to give up yards and points when your offense consistently shits the bed and has the second worst 3rd down percentages and is 26th in 3 and outs.
Week 9: W 13-6 vs Jests (5-4): Breaking from this season’s winning formula of the defense keeping it close until the offense gets their shit together, the Dolphins defense took it upon themselves to finish the Jests off by scoring a pick 6. The effort the defense is showing, particularly the injured players, is actually making the defense fun to watch. Cam Wake has been playing on one leg since week 3 and can barely do his sack dance. Yet, he is still out there racking up a couple of sacks, albeit against a weak opponent.
There’s something different about this team on defense. As much as I want them to lose as much as possible to get a high draft pick, the effort they are displaying is making me actually hope they win more games and get rewarded with a wildcard spot.
/Ron Howard voice over: Wakezilla will change his tune after the Packers beat the Dolphins 35-9 in an uninspiring tilt.
Week 10: L 31-12 @ Fudge Packers (5-5): This was a signature Brock Lobster dumpster fire special. It was one of those games where Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer probably felt dehydrated after the game because of how much he must have cranked it to Brock Lobster’s incompetency. In terms of pass defense, the defense did a great job, as they held A. A. Ron to under 200 yards. Unfortunately, they are too injury depleted and looked vulnerable on run defense, as they gave up 145 rushing yards to Aaron Jones. Some of this can be attributed to Brock Lobster’s inability to move the damn ball down field.
What does this all mean?
Miami’s last offensive touchdown was in the 3rd quarter of week 8– off a Danny Amendola pass– against the Houston Oilers. Brock Lobster hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Barry Sanders played for the Lions.
On the one hand, Brock gets a pass because the o-line only has one opening day starter still playing (their right guard), but are currently on their 3rd left guard, and at times, third center. On the other hand, holy fuck, Brock Lobster is terrible and I would like to see David Fales start some games to see what happens. But if you’re asking David Fales to start behind center, does your team have a chance at winning.
Defense: Their d-line was supposed to be a position of strength, but it turned out to be their weakest position as everyone is injured or playing injured. Wake looks like he’s moving a little bit better, as he has had 3 sacks over the past two games. He is playing his heart out and it’s a damn shame this is likely his last year. As I already mentioned, the linebackers aren’t even lining up properly and tend to chase runners from behind, as opposed to running downhill. The secondary, despite being badly banged up and having players moved around, have been great. If they keep progressing, they are going to give opposing teams nightmares for years to come.
Special teams: Jason Sanders is 14-for-15 on Field Goals and 20-for-21 on extra points this season. Haack has been a solid punter, who has swung possession in favoUr of Miami’s defense lots of times this season.
How will the Dolphins finish?
The idealist in me still thinks Miami is injured enough to lose out and finish 5-11. However, since their scrappiness is endearing and because their schedule is very manageable, I could see these guys winning 4 or 5 games and making the wildcard spot. With the way Miami’s defense keeps showing up—even if it isn’t in the right spot on the field—unlike previous post season appearances over the past 10 years, I would be OK if they made the playoffs because they actually have something to build on. I know, my homerism isn’t sexy:
The realist (aka: Life Long Dolphins fan) in me knows that the defense has displayed so much moxie, they will likely drag the ‘Phins to two more wins (against the Fat Humps and one game against the Bills). The offense might steal a game, or, the other team’s defense might shit the bed (probably a checked out Sacksonville squad). That gives Miami 8 wins and would be good enough to screw them out of good draft pick, but not good enough for the playoffs. So 8 wins sounds right, followed by an offseason that includes firing Gase, keeping Tannehill and getting rid of key defensive players who would have propelled Miami to AFC East contenders.