Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Was That, Miami?

It's truly difficult to find words to adequately describe the feeling, as a fan, after a jarring loss like the one Miami suffered in Monday night's game against the Colts.

The Dolphins lost, 27-23, despite controlling the ball for just over 45 minutes. They lost, despite executing the Wildcat to perfection for most of the night. Ronnie Brown had his 14th career 100-yard rushing game, and two touchdowns. Yet still, the Dolphins lost.

There's a plethora of reasons that fans and "experts" can come up with as to why the Dolphins lost. Some will argue that it was Ted Ginn's fault, for failing to come up with catches in the end zone on two occasions, including one in the final minute of play. Others will say that it was on the Dolphins offense, which despite meticulously executing a great game plan all night, failed mercilessly at attempting to run a two-minute offense at the end of the game. There are those who will simply claim that Peyton Manning is just that good, insanely efficient and cold-blooded, even though he spent most of the game wearing a hat instead of a helmet.

Then of course, there is the most glaring reason for the Dolphins loss: poor defense. Even though the defense was "well-rested" after waiting on the sideline for more than three-quarters of the ballgame, they couldn't wrap up for tackles, they blew assignments and most importantly, couldn't stop 18 when they needed to. The Dolphins defense gave up three touchdown drives to the Colts in three minutes and 43 seconds of gametime.

While the defensive meltdown is inexcusable in every sense of the word, it was obviously a culmination of all of those aforementioned reasons that resulted in the loss Monday night, and now the Dolphins sit at 0-2 with a trip to San Diego in store for them in Week 3. The defending AFC East champs have a lot to work on between now and then if they want to avoid an 0-3 hole to start the season, but this was still a tough loss to swallow. The Dolphins are going to have to step up their pass defense, particularly since they will be going up against pass-happy San Diego, with Phillip Rivers, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates and Chris Chambers on Sunday.

DolPhans shouldn't panic quite yet, though. Remember, last year the Dolphins started 0-2 before traveling to Gillette Stadium to take on the Patriots in Week 3. We all remember what happened: Brown ran wild(cat) all over Foxboro, and the Dolphins righted the ship and avoided an 0-3 start. Let's see how they bounce back from this year's 0-2 start before we begin to panic.

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