By Abraham Gutierrez
With a golden opportunity to get the season off to an improbable 2-0 start, the Miami Dolphins went into the Meadowlands and laid an egg against the New York Jets in Week 3. In a lopsided 20-6 defeat, there’s enough blame to go around, as the offense was atrocious, the defense broke and the coaching staff was simply impotent against Todd Bowles Jets.
“They just beat the [expletive] out of us, that’s the best way to put it,” said Dolphins head coach Adam Gase in his post-game presser. “We didn’t show up, didn’t play physical. The defense did the best they could in, what, 40 minutes of time of possession. Offense was just three-and-out, we just didn’t have anything going.”
Offensively, it was difficult to watch. After playing above expectations in last week’s win over the Chargers, the Dolphins looked like, well, what they are: a team with serious offensive-line issues, led by a quarterback that, just a few weeks back, was sitting on the couch enjoying retirement.
“I think any time you go out there and play like that you’re going to go back and look at what you did at practice,” said Fins signal-caller Jay Cutler (26-44, 220 yards, TD, INT, 3 sacks, 70.3 QBR). “It was a good defense we saw, but I believe we are a good offense. We’ve got a lot of talent. We’ll go and look at this game tomorrow and figure things out ands go back to practice, that’s all we can do.”
As a unit, the Fins offense tallied 16 first downs and 225 total yards (30 rushing yards, 195 passing yards). However, the key statistics in this game was their inability to convert on third down (1-for-12). Penalties also interrupted the flow of the offense early on (8 penalties, 51 yards).
“Just not enough positive yards,” Gase explained Miami’s offensive woes. “On third-and-long they were teeing off on us. We were third-and-six-plus the whole game.”
Miami’s defense got off to a solid start, but it would eventually wear down as the Jets pounded them all afternoon. One of the key stats for Miami’s mishaps was the fact that Gang Green dominated the time of possession battle to the tune of 36 minutes and eight seconds to the Fins’ 23:52.
“It’s kind of frustrating, knowing the opportunity we had in front of us, knowing the players and the personnel we have in the locker room,” said Cameron Wake. “To come out and play the way we did it’s unacceptable.”
Statistically, this team allowed 16 first downs and 338 yards of total offense (105 rushing yards, 233 passing yards). Miami struggled to contain the Jets’ three-headed rushing attack (Bilal Powell 37 yards, Elijah McGuire 34 yards, Matt Forte 25 yards), while quarterback Josh McCown (18-23, 249 yards, TD, 126.3 QBR) took care of the rest.
Special Teams: C-
After being one of the heroes in Miami’s opening day win in Los Angeles, rookie kicker Cody Parkey missed a point-after in his only appearance of the game. Punter Matt Haack had a busy afternoon with 7 punts for an average of 48 yards per boot, one placed inside the 20-yard-line and a long of 64 yards.
It was, unquestionably, a first half to forget for the Fins. Yet, somehow one had the feeling that, much like in the opener, Miami would make the necessary adjustments after the break. Unfortunately for Gase, nothing changed on either side of the rock, and that falls solely on his shoulders. The fact that there were moments in the game where the Fins offense couldn’t even get a snap off without being penalized clearly showed they were unprepared for this contest.
Next up: Fins travel across the pond to face Drew Brees and the Saints
After having their request to play the New Orleans Saints in South Florida denied by the league, the Dolphins will travel to London’s Wembley Stadium in Week 4. Awaiting them is a Saints team coming off its first win of the season. Led by quarterback Drew Brees, New Orleans crushed the Carolina Panthers by a final score of 34-13.
Opening kickoff for the Saints-Dolphins game from London has a special start time of 9:30 a.m. ET.