The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


In many ways, the Dolphins’ loss to the Jets was dictated by a huge coaching blunder which occurred just before halftime.  With the Fins facing a first down on their own 20 with just about a half-minute left, Ryan Tannehill did not take a knee.  Reggie Bush, who at that point already had 9 carries for 57 yards (6.3 per attempt), was senselessly given the ball to run up the middle.  Instead of the half gracefully ending with a 10-3 lead built on the legs of Bush, the half ended with Bush exiting the game for good after injuring his knee on the play that never should have been run.  The problem was simply that Reggie Bush is the Fins’ best offensive weapon.  When he went down, so did the Fins’ best chance to win.

With Reggie Bush standing helmetless on the sideline, the Fins got the second half kickoff.  That’s when their troubles mounted.  On a second-and-ten at their own 6-yard line, Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill threw a pick six and suddenly the score was tied 10-10.  Shortly after the ensuing kickoff, Daniel Thomas fumbled and the Jets recovered.  Fortunately, the Fins’ defense came up with an interception in the end zone, thereby preserving the tie.  More than somewhat disconcerting is that fact that Thomas’ lost fumble was his second in as many games.

Meanwhile, late in the third quarter the Fins actually managed to take the lead thanks to an 80-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jorvorski Lane.  The Jets then closed the gap with a field goal early in the fourth quarter.  After the Fins went three-and-out, the Jets drove the ball for a touchdown with 3:05 remaining in the game to take a 20-17 lead.  Following the ensuing kickoff, the Fins started at their own 29 thanks to a Marcus Thigpen return.  They drove the ball downfield and eventually settled for a tying field goal with 00:16 on the clock.  That set up overtime.

The Jets got the ball first in overtime and drove the ball to the Miami 45 before faltering.  An excellent punt meant the Fins would have to start from their own 10.  On a first down at their own 24 Ryan Tannehill connected with Brian Hartline for 41 yards to the Jets’ 35.   Unfortunately, Dan Carpenter missed a would-be game-winning 48-yard field goal, his second miss of the game.

As a result of the missed field goal, the Jets took over at the Fins’ 38.  They drove the ball down to the Fins’ 15, where Nick Folk lined up for a potential game-winning field goal.  The Fins blocked the field goal, but the momentary jubilation of the home fans was suddenly ended when all realized that the Fins’ had called a time-out a split-second before that otherwise failed attempt.  The Jets lined up again and the ball split both the uprights and the hopes of the Fins’ faithful at the same time.

Last week’s hero Reggie Bush was on his way to being this week’s hero when he went down.  As the statistics reveal, this was not a game that would be won on the arm of Ryan Tannehill.  He was only 16 of 36 (44.4%) for 196 yards.  His QB Rating was a meager 50.2.  And last week’s other hero, Brian Hartline, didn’t have a single reception until he caught the big one in overtime shortly before Dan Carpenter’s failed attempt at a game-winning field goal.  For the day, Hartline managed only 1 catch for the 9 balls thrown his way.  Anthony Armstrong was another receiver who had a tough game as he dropped a couple of key passes in the game.  He had 6 passes thrown his way but only managed to hold 2 for a total of 9 yards.  Davone Bess was the most dependable receiver catching 5 of the 7 balls thrown his was for 86 yards.

The sad part is that this was a game the Fins were controlling until Reggie Bush went down.  The bottom line is really that this game was lost by two knees.  The one that the Coach Philbin did not have Ryan Tannehill take just before halftime and the one that Reggie Bush injured as a result.

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