The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack

DOLFEASANCE

Sunday’s loss to the lowly New York Jets who, even with their season-ending win, finished safely in the basement of the AFC East was so bad that it probably requires the coining of a new word to adequately describe the Fins’ ineptitude.  In this writer’s opinion, the Fins’ loss to the Jets was a clear cut case of Dolfeasance.  Whereas the words malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance are words which address legal shortcomings, the word Dolfeasance addresses gridiron shortcomings.

So just what were the Fins’ shortcomings against the Jets?  Let’s see.   

First, the Fins’ defense not only made Jets’ QB-by-default Geno Smith look like a good quarterback, they made him look absolutely perfect.  Yes, perfect, as the heretofore much-maligned Jets’ QB had his way with the Fins to the point that he had a 158.3 QB Rating, which is the highest rating possible.  He was able to complete 80% of his passes for 358 yards and 3 TDs without any INTs.  While he surely had a career day, the Fins’ defense most certainly did not. 

Second, the Fins’ offensive line was truly offensive in their meek attempts to protect Ryan Tannehill.  Tannehill was sacked 7 times by the Jets.  He was harassed and hit many more times.

Third, although the Fins’ scored on their first possession of the second half, they were then shut out over the course of their remaining six possessions.  This enabled the Jets to get back into the game.

Fourth, the Jets scored on 5 of their 7 second-half possessions.  In so doing, the Jets were able to turn a 10-point deficit into a 13-point win.

Fifth, in the fourth quarter when the game was still in doubt, the Fins’ were caught totally flat-footed on a faked punt which turned into a long gain and a crucial first down.  This set up the Jets’ TD that put the game out of reach for the Fins.

Sixth, the Fins’ surrendered 8 plays of 23 yards or longer to the Jets.  Seven of these were passes (one of which was by the Jets’ punter).   The other was a 23-yard touchdown run, the first of his career by Chris Owusu.  Speaking of Owusu, for the day he had 59 yards from scrimmage on 2 touches, this from a Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ reject who had only 22 yards on only 3 touches in the Jets’ first 15 games and only 157 total yards from scrimmage in his entire 3-year NFL career.

Seventh, the Fins gave up an 87-yard kickoff return to enable the Jets to start the second half at Miami’s 12-yard line.  The beneficiary of the Fins’ special teams’ ineptitude was none other than Chris Owusu, who had 168 total yards against the Fins.

So now you have some true insight into the meaning of Dolfeasance.

However, there were some Fins who managed to have good games notwithstanding the massive dose of Dolfeasance on display against the Jets.  Both Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller reached impressive milestones on Sunday.

Lamar Miller came into the game needing 79 yards for his first thousand-yard season.  And he got it in grand fashion with a 97-yard TD, the longest in franchise history.  He finished the day with 178 yards rushing which gave him 1,099 for the season.

Ryan Tannehill started the season-ending game against the Jets needing 214 yards passing to become the only Dolphins’ QB other than Dan Marino (who did it 8 times) to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.  With his 259 yards against the Jets he finished with 4,045.  And give him some credit as he reached this milestone in the face of tremendous heat, having been sacked and hit repeatedly all afternoon.  He completed 23 of 39 (59%) for 1 TD without an INT (which was quite impressive given the unending pressure he faced throughout the game).

The bottom line is that the Fins’ once again finished 8-8, losing 3 of their last 4 (and 4 of their last 6).  This is in keeping with their tradition in recent years of late-season collapses.  This latest downward spiral coupled with the loss to the the 4-12 Jets suggests that Fins’ owner Stephen Ross may have been a little too quick last week to announce that Head Coach Joe Philbin would return in 2015.  Perhaps Ross, too, committed an act of Dolfeasance.          

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