They say that the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, and while that concise list is true and fair, there is a 3rd component that must have been overlooked. The only things guaranteed in life are death, taxes, and completely disgraceful secondary play from the Miami Dolphins, and Sunday was no exception.
Byron Maxwell (49.7), Xavien Howard (46.8), Reshad Jones (51.1), and Nate Allen (54.3), all graded “Poor” based on their performances against Los Angeles, according to Pro Football Focus. Bobby McCain “boasted” a 78.6 game rating, landing him in the “Average” performance bracket.
With advanced analytics aside, Philip Rivers had as many incompletions Sunday as he has kids. 31/39 for 331 yards sounds like at the very least, a rather effortless day at the park. While quarterback pressure was rather limited over the course of the game, quality defensive back coverage was much more scarce.
The ease of each throw from Rivers ought to frighten Dolphins fans, as quality quarterbacks clutter the remaining schedule. No snaps from Alterraun Verner or Cordrea Tankersley (inactive) bothered me for a few reasons.
- With a starting linebacker inactive and a pass-happy team in LAC, why not have more coverage options for Nickel and Dime packages?
- Having used a 3rd round pick on Tankersley, a physically gifted corner from a top-tier college football program, I would like to see him utilized proportionally to his investment.
On the opposite side of the ball, the offense had two qualities on Sunday that should have troubled Dolphins fans. First off, the play call predictability was nauseating. Every 2nd and long play was a conservative play that setup a more manageable 3rd down, and while that makes sense on paper, Gus Bradley, a more than competent defensive mind, can sniff out that sort of cookie cutter pattern. Adam Gase honorably stated post-game that he was “off”, when it came to his play calling. Quite frankly, I don’t understand the ultra-conservative approach.
This approach backfired the most when the Dolphins crossed the Chargers’ 20-yard line. Josh McCown even thought the Dolphins offense was laughable in the red zone on Sunday. Sunday’s red zone gameplan had to be straight out a Tony Sparano binder. *Insert Tony Sparano gif obnoxiously celebrating a routine field goal*. The settling for field goals luckily did not end up costing Miami the game, but it was way too close for comfort.
2nd and goal from the LAC 16 was the final straw for me. 8 minutes and change remain on the clock and the Dolphins were down by 4. A holding call has the Dolphins behind the chains, and Gase’s response the very next play is a screen pass to Jarvis Landry, resulting in an aggravating 1-yard loss. Why Gase felt the need to create offense not beyond the line of scrimmage, but at the line of scrimmage to a receiver with average speed is puzzling to say the least. Then 3rd and 16 comes and of course the Chargers pin their ears back and deliver a crushing sack by former irrelevant Dolphin Chris McCain, to once again, force a field goal.
With the offensive talent at hand, 3 red zone field goals in game will only continue to keep Miami at a comfortable distance behind the New England’s, Pittsburgh’s, and Atlanta’s of the NFL. 9-7 teams kick field goals, 11-5 teams score touchdowns.