Miami Dolphins Vs. Buffalo Bills: 10 Things Fins Fans Saw That Made Them Upset
Friday afternoon I was given an assignment that I'll admit, was NOT my best.
I struggled to find ten things to look for, the game didn't exactly drum up much excitement, plus, the Heat were playing the Knicks so I was more amped about that.
What came of it? A weak slideshow with 10 things to "watch" in a game between a 7-6 team fighting for a playoff spot without a real franchise quarterback and a 3-10 team who wanted to play hard to finish off the season on a strong note. Not really a sexy match-up, especially since it blacked out a tremendous Giants-Eagles game in Miami.
But it turned out to be an exciting game, but a game where I found 10 things that aggravated me as a Dolphins fan.
This slideshow was much easier for me to do...and will hopefully get more reads.
10. The Running Game Was Kept on A Leash
The Buffalo Bills are ranked 32nd in the NFL in rushing yards holding opponents (if you could call it that) to "only" 165.8 yards per game.
There are only 32 teams in the NFL.
The Miami Dolphins are averaging 106.2 yards per game, ranking 19th in the league.
This of course means that Dan Henning is going to put the game in Henne's hands and make him win it.
That's what I wrote in my preview of the game. I was joking with the last sentence, even saying this:
All joking aside, we should expect the Dolphins to run the ball more against a porous Bills run defense, despite the Bills possibly putting eight or even nine men in the box.
Then I saw the Dolphins run the ball 19 times while attempting 45 passes.
Against a team ranked DEAD LAST in the NFL against the run, and ranked sixth against the pass.
Its almost as if Dan Henning WANTS to get fired.
9. Buffalo Aired It Out, With Success
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed quite a few risky throws that were successful and wound up with an extremely efficient game going 16-for-26 for 223 yards, two touchdowns and one pick with a QB rating of 98.7.
But in a way, I kinda saw this happening:
While the Dolphins will try to win it on the ground, expect Buffalo to win it in the air using the Fitzpatrick-to-Steve Johnson connection as much as possible despite their recent struggles (we'll get to that later).
That's exactly what happened, and again, it leads to my next point.
8. Buffalo Controlled Cameron Wake
While watching the game, I could see the affect that Cameron Wake had on the game.
Wake was able to stop the run and was constantly double-teamed by the Bills.
But that's not what's seen in the stats.
Wake only had two tackles, one of them for a loss and no sacks while hitting Fitzgerald just once.
However, because of him, Tony McDaniel broke free to produce a sack.
As did Koa Misi.
But Wake himself didn't sack the quarterback and for the most part was quiet.
Good job Buffalo, kind of.
7. Dan Carpenter (Played His Worst Game.)
This will be the image of the game, Dan Carpenter walking off the field after missing a field goal.
Non-sophisticated Dolphins fans will blame him for the loss, after all if he connects on just two out of his three field goal attempts, the Dolphins win.
But we all know that the Dolphins fans on Bleacher Report ARE sophisticated enough in the game of football to know that this loss can't be blamed on Carpenter.
For one, his shortest attempt was 48 yards, which he tried twice.
Both times he was kicking into the wind.
The other two attempts were from 61 and 53.
When you live by the field goal, eventually you're going to die by it.
This is more on the inept offense than it is on Carpenter, as if it wasn't for Carpenter, this game would've been between two 3-10 teams.
6. Brandon Marshall Was in Beast Mode
Brandon Marshall was GREAT today.
Despite having Henne throw him the ball, he managed to have 11 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown.
However, that didn't stop him from taking responsibility for the offensive woes, of course he blamed the rest of the unit too, but who could blame him?
"First, before I take any questions, I want to apologize to the defensive guys, especially the players. All year they played their hearts out, they played together, they played like a unit is supposed to play. I'm not sure if we're out of the playoffs but we need a miracle to get in.
"I say that to say this: Offensively all year, we didn't get the job done. We didn't make enough plays. Today we didn't make enough plays. Today we didn't get the job done. It's embarrassing. It's just a shame. You have a defense like that, you don't have to be great as an offense. You just have to be OK. And we haven't been that all year. And it's embarrassing. So I apologize to each guy on the other side of the ball.
"And myself I'm held accountable, too. I'm not pointing fingers to anyone on offense, it's all of us as a group, coaches, too. We just didn't get the job done today and it's been that way all season."
You hit the nail right on the head Marshall. If anyone on offense has a right to not claim responsibility, it's you.
Yes, this is coming from the guy that once wrote this.
5. God Apparently Has No Beef With Steve Johnson...But He Is Kind Of a Punk
Only because I mentioned the whole Steve Johnson-God thing along with his stats, I'm giving Steve Johnson his own slide here too.
Apparently, God has forgiven Steve Johnson. He had six receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.
I however look at Steve Johnson as a punk.
In the second quarter, Johnson caught a touchdown from Fitzgerald.
However, this would be nullified by something bush league: Johnson not only committed offensive pass interference by shoving Bennie Sapp in the most obvious manner possible, but then complained when assessed the penalty.
At the time I laughed, however Johnson would get his TD, and in the end, the last laugh.
But he wasn't the only one of the field with an extreme punk move.
4. Sean Smith Loses His Composure After a Bills Touchdown
This was from later in the game, but was such an awesome picture that I just had to include it in.
Mad props to Marc Serota of Getty Images for getting such an awesome, and downright artistic and beautiful picture, the Yin to Sean Smith's Yang.
Here's the Yang, the play after the Steve Johnson obvious pass interference penalty, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald hit wide receiver David Nelson for an 18 yard touchdown pass.
After that, Smith lost control of his temper and shoved Nelson to the ground.
Not good Sean, not good.
However it was a sign of frustration, shown by the defense, which is probably why Marshall issued that apology.
Its the same frustration Dolphins fans felt this year.
3. The Chad Henne Experiment Should Be Dead After This Game, But...
He just doesn't have it. Henne is at best a career backup.
I had tons of faith in him, however I lost it after the Cleveland game. Now, I've gone back and forth on Henne at least 10 times since he became the starter last season.
Usually he reels you in with a great performance, then blows it up with a crappy one.
But this is his third atrocious game in a row. I'm done with Henne, and the Dolphins should be too.
Just one problem though. Here's a list of quarterbacks likely to come out in this year's NFL draft that would make an impact in the NFL:
Andrew Luck, Ryan Mallett, Cam Newton and Jake Locker.
There are seven teams that need a QB:
Carolina (2-12), Arizona (4-10), San Francisco (5-9), Washington (5-9), Minnesota (5-8, for now) and possibly Tennessee (6-8).
For now, all of these teams draft ahead of the Dolphins and its guaranteed that Carolina and Arizona will pick ahead of the Dolphins already.
Possible free agent quarterbacks include Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick.
Scratch that last name off the list, he's not leaving Philly, but Kolb probably will be traded.
But the Dolphins don't need a stopgap, they need a franchise QB, meaning odds are they'll wait for a franchise quarterback instead of getting a stopgap or trading up to grab one in the draft.
So we might be going through this mess again next year.
2. Fans Are Getting Tired Of This Team
Play the video, then tell me in the comments if you feel the way Mad Dog and I feel about the Dolphins overall.
And yes, I know he said this during a game about six years ago, but he'd say that about this season too.
1. Bye Bye Sparano, Hello Cowher?
So how interesting is it that the day that the Dolphins became officially eliminated from the post-season, this story comes out:
This isn't the first time that the Dolphins job has been linked to a former, Super Bowl-winning head coach.
Greg Cote reported that Ross was interested in Gruden earlier this year. The link is to my story about it, not Cote's.
So with Cowher interested, and Ross being interested in either Cowher or Gruden, and with Gruden possibly being interested himself, as well as Parcells leaving earlier this season, Sparano knew it was playoffs or bust.
We got bust, and because of that, Sparano is gone.
Later this week, I'll look at all the possible future Miami Dolphins head coaches. But for now, we leave on a somber note, and the hope that better days are ahead.
Sadly, the best possibility of that happening could come from losing the last two games of the season.
Thomas Galicia is a Miami Dolphins Featured Columnist. For more of his opinions, especially on game day, follow him @thomasgalicia. For more of his past articles, or anything too long for twitter but too short for B/R, visit www.thomasgalicia.com