The bloom is coming off the rose for Mike McDaniel in the wake of the Miami Dolphins' 32-29 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night.
Tyler Bass made the game-winning field goal as time expired after the Bills put together a drive that took the final 5:56 off the clock.
Josh Allen torched the Miami defense with 304 passing yards, 77 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
There's certainly no shame in losing to the Bills, who own the AFC's best record. But this was a game of missed opportunities for the Dolphins.
Tua Tagovailoa had a solid bounce-back effort, going 17-of-30 for 234 yards and two touchdowns after disappointing performances in the past two games. His stat line should have been better, but his receivers dropped multiple passes in the first half.
Trent Sherfield dropped a touchdown on third down early in the second quarter, forcing the Dolphins to settle for a field goal.
In addition to the receivers having bad hands early in the game, McDaniel seemed to outsmart himself. Raheem Mostert had almost 150 all-purpose yards in the first quarter alone.
After having 11 carries in the first half, Mostert was limited to just six in the second half. McDaniel elected to throw the ball on 3rd-and-3 or shorter three times in the second half. They failed to convert all three times, including a 3rd-and-1 early in the fourth quarter that lost two yards.
Jason Sanders subsequently kicked a field goal that gave the Dolphins a 29-21 lead. Buffalo tied the score on its next offensive possession.
Will Manso @WillManso
Josh Allen was borderline unstoppable. Credit to him.<br><br>Mike McDaniel had some questionable decisions not running 3rd & short multiple times & chasing points early in 2nd half, among them.<br><br>Tua was good, running game excellent and defense stronger after halftime. This one hurts.
Justin Hier @HierJustin
Competitive game. Rough way to end for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dolphins?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dolphins</a>. A few calls I'm sure McDaniel wishes he had back, particularly not running the ball more over the final two drives.<br><br>8 days to prepare for a critical home game against the Packers.
This is the first major test of McDaniel's tenure with the Dolphins. The vibes were positive for so long, but things have taken a turn since a Week 13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Tagovailoa's performance against the Bills defense in inclement weather is an encouraging sign going forward. But McDaniel has to prove he can adjust to situations within games.
Next week will likely be a good test to see where McDaniel is at with his development as a coach. The Dolphins return home to play a Green Bay Packers defense that allows the fifth-fewest passing yards per game (192.9) but ranks 30th in run defense (154.8 yards per game).