Injuries, Penalties, and Turnovers Continue to Frustrate the Miami Dolphins as They Fall to the Minnesota Vikings

Photo by Danis Sosa


Miami Gardens, FL – For the 3rd straight game, the Miami Dolphins starting QB went down with an injury, not finishing the game. However, injuries, penalties, and turnovers all together led to the Dolphins downfall today. Miami falls to the Minnesota Vikings 24-16.

Injuries

First-string quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was still out on concussion protocol. Second-string quarterback Teddy Bridgewater served as the back today, after getting injured on the 1st play of the game last week. Therefore, today, 3rd-string quarterback Skylar Thompson got the start after playing the majority of the game last week.

Injuries are a part of the game, but Miami takes the cake. It’s incredibly difficult to get anything going on offense when you’re consistently playing with a QB who didn’t get most of the 1st-team reps during practice all week. Not only that, but throughout the game, I tweeted about seven different Fins players who had to leave the game, most longer than others, due to various injuries. “Next man up” is a real thing, but everything has its limits. These aren’t machines made in a factory. These are real people with real injuries that take time to heal, and until they do, it might be a revolving door at various positions.

Penalties

I believe that football has so many rules, that if you truly dissect every player on every play, you’ll be able to find a penalty to call on every play. I don’t want to sound like a weirdo conspiracy theorist, but the number of flags thrown Miami’s way was a little heavy-handed. It’s almost as if the refs were looking in Miami’s direction with specific penalties in mind. On Miami’s 2nd drive, Skylar Thompson drove the ball to the Minnesota 26-yard line, but the Fins picked up 36 yards in penalties! In all, Miami racked up 10 penalties for 97 yards. They need to be a little more disciplined to prevent these drive-killing penalties.

Turnovers

To top it all off, Miami lost the turnover battle 3-0. Miami’s 1st turnover came after Skylar Thompson had already been ruled out of the game. Teddy Bridgewater threw an interception from Miami’s own 25-yard line, caught by Harrison Smith inside the Miami 41-yard line. This led to a Vikings field goal. Next, I know a turnover on downs isn’t technically a turnover, so I’m not counting it as one of the three, but Miami ran a failed fake punt from their own 34-yard line and handed the Vikings a short field to play with. Minnesota ended up punting anyway.

After that, Miami, now down by less than a touchdown was actually moving the ball quite well! Starting from their own 20, they marched the ball all the way to Minnesota’s 42-yard line. Teddy sends a 14-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle, but Harrison Smith, again with this guy, forces a fumble. So close to the red zone… Minnesota scored a touchdown after that. Lastly, now down 24-10, Bridgewater threw another interception. Minnesota punted after that.

Takeaway

In all, injuries left Miami without key players, penalties stifled good drives, keeping points off the board more Miami, and turnovers allowed Minnesota to capitalize off Miami’s mistakes. The Vikings scored 10 points off Miami’s turnovers and Miami lost by eight. You can do the math.

Even with all that, Miami was still in the game, threatening to even up the score. This is a good thing, but they need consistent health, which is hard to come by in this league. The health issue definitely allows for penalties and turnovers, so if the Dolphins can get some luck in the injuries department, the penalties and turnovers should take care of themselves.

Fins Up Juice

  • Mike Gesicki was finally allowed to do what he is capable of doing. Six receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns. He now only needs 31 reception yards to surpass TE Bruce Hardy for 2nd most all-time by a Dolphins tight end.
  • Christian Wilkins collected four tackles today. Coming into the game, he had 220 tackles, which is the 2nd most by a defensive lineman since he joined the league.

Photo | Danis Sosa

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