Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills: Live Grades and Analysis for Miami

Thomas GaliciaContributor IIDecember 22, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 22:   Daniel Thomas #33 of the Miami Dolphins is tackled by  Kiko Alonso #50 of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins (8-7) have been defeated and embarrassed by the Buffalo Bills (6-9) by the score of 19-0 in what has to be the most demoralizing defeat in Dolphins history. 

The loss now means that in order to make the playoffs, the Dolphins must win next week against the New York Jets, but they will also need the Baltimore Ravens to lose to the New England Patriots, and the San Diego Chargers to win their final two games of the season. 

Here's a recap of what will likely go down as one of the worst days in Miami Dolphins history.  

Miami Dolphins Game Grades
Positional UnitFirst-Half GradesGame Grades
Pass OffenseDF
Run OffenseFF
Run DefenseDF
Pass DefenseCD
Special TeamsAC
CoachingF-G (for Ghastly)
Week 16 vs. Buffalo Bills

Game Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: Ryan Tannehill barely had any time to throw, and the offensive line’s woes finally wound up getting him hurt as he injured his left knee in the fourth quarter with Miami already down 13-0. Now, I’m not saying that Tannehill doesn’t have any responsibility (he had plenty of underthrows and overthrows), but Mike Wallace and Charles Clay were the only receivers that really showed up for him this afternoon, and even then, they couldn’t do enough.

Run Offense: Running back is a major need for the Dolphins in this year’s draft, for neither Daniel Thomas nor Lamar Miller could get anything going. The offensive line has a lot to do with it, as did the play-calling, but that doesn’t excuse the poor play.  

Run Defense: Buffalo likes to run the ball, and it did it well against a porous Dolphins run defense, running for 205 yards as a team.  

Pass Defense: Open receivers, Thad Lewis looking like Jim Kelly, only one takeaway, shall I say more? Just like the rest of this team, what a pathetic effort.  

Special Teams: This was where the Dolphins played their best, and they still managed to have quite a few screwups. Had it not been for Brandon Fields’ mastery, the Dolphins likely would’ve lost by over 30 points.  

Coaching: I have seen Tony Sparano and his field-goal fist-pumps, Dave Wannstedt and his wilting defense, Cam Cameron telling us which direction to point our thumbs, and I’ve seen Nick Saban pick Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees.
Why is that important? Because despite all of that, this Buffalo game showed me that Joe Philbin (a coach of the year candidate a week ago by everyone except for me and a few other NFL experts out there) leads the dumbest Dolphins coaching staff that I have ever seen. I’ll elaborate more in my takeaways article, but this game was surely a special coaching performance by the Dolphins coaching staff, one deserving of everyone on this staff losing their jobs.

The Bills running game did whatever they wanted to do to the Dolphins defense
The Bills running game did whatever they wanted to do to the Dolphins defenseRick Stewart/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: Usually I’m fairly hard on Tannehill when the Dolphins offense is this stagnant, but this time around, he hasn’t been the problem. The lack of blocking along the offensive line, the bad drops by Brian Hartline and the throwback to October play-calling by Mike Sherman have hurt Tannehill more than Tannehill has hurt the Dolphins. (He did underthrow Mike Wallace at the end of the half.)

Run Offense: Non-existent. 

Run Defense: Even more non-existent. 

Pass Defense: I’ve never seen so many wide-open receivers, but the Dolphins secondary is lucky that Thad Lewis is a journeyman quarterback at best. Props to Nolan Carroll on the interception, though it’s a shame that the Dolphins offense couldn’t capitalize.   

Special Teams: The best aspect of the game thus far.

Coaching: It’s on the coaching when a team appears to be indifferent in a game that’s practically do-or-die, especially against a team that isn’t really that good. Joe Philbin, Mike Sherman and Kevin Coyle have all collectively been terrible this afternoon, somehow putting together their worst-coached game of the season.