Miami Gardens, FL – It’s been a bleak season for the Miami Dolphins. Everything that can go wrong has gone worse. For example, their young starting QB, Tua Tagovailoa stays injured. Their league leading defense from last season has taken a step back. Also, discipline, which was their bread and butter, went down the drain, as the Fins have continued to turn the ball over. Although, the Miami Dolphins came up with a 17-9 win over the Houston Texans, even after turning the ball over five times today.
The Miami Dolphins playoffs hopes are running on E after losing seven straight games. They would need an epic run in the 2nd half of the season to have any hope of making it to the postseason. It goes without saying, their best players need to stay healthy, disciplined, and avoid mental errors.
One thing that Coach Brian Flores and all the players have repeated all season is that the team has shown resiliency, unity, and have remained positive. Coach said postgame, “It’s a resilient group and they’ve stuck together which that’s a testament to the types of guys we have in that locker room. The unity that’s in the locker room. I think that’s important on a team.”
That can’t be easy when, for seven straight weeks, everything has gone the other team’s way. Even this week, Tua’s status was unsure because of a small fracture on the middle finger of his throwing hand. As a result, after evaluating him in practice all week, leading up to game day, it was decided that Tua would not be ruled out of the game, but he would also not be named the starter. Instead, Jacoby Brissett was named the starter for the 4th time this season due to the now various Tua injuries.
😳 Nik Needham pummels Tyrod Taylor, forcing a fumble and recovered by @JJPhillips15 🙌🏼 deep in Texans territory, but Taylor was ruled down by contact.
The @MiamiDolphins defense is showing glimpses of last season’s squad.#FinsUp pic.twitter.com/yMecpo4s8e
— Lemon City Live (@LemonCityLive) November 7, 2021
Where’s the Discipline?
Jacoby didn’t have a great game. However, lucky for him, neither did Houston QB, Tyrod Taylor. Brissett threw two interceptions, but neither led to Houston points. Miami did, however, fumble three times, two of which led to Texans field goals. On the flip side, Taylor threw three interceptions, which led to two Miami Dolphins touchdowns. Points-off-of-turnovers – That was the game-deciding stat right there. After the game, Coach Flo said “You never want to turn it over. One is one too many, so five is just — we’re not going to win very many games doing that.”
Turnovers have to be a mainstay at Dolphins’ meetings and practices if the team is to continue winning games. Lucky for Miami, three of the next five games are against the NY Jets and the Carolina Panthers, both of which are in the top five teams who turn the ball over the most. Miami, however, is also on that list.
Mental Errors a thing of the past?
One improvement I did notice in today’s game was the lack of penalties called on Miami. They were called for two penalties for 13 yards. Houston, on the other hand, was called for eight penalties for 60 yards. Hopefully, the mental errors we saw in the early part of the season have been fixed.
Your @MiamiDolphins get the 17-9 win over the @HoustonTexans!@JBrissett12 throws for 244 yards and a TD in place of @Tua.#FinsUp pic.twitter.com/cY0Ul9Hw0W
— Gustavo Chacon (@onaPSIh) November 7, 2021
This Miami Dolphins team, as weird as this sounds, has plenty of pieces that can contribute to a championship team. For example, Mike Gesicki ranks 3rd among all Tight Ends with 40 receptions and 4th with 475 receiving yards. He also has more receiving yards after the 3rd quarter than any other TE in the league. Another bright spot has been Jaylen Waddle. Even though Miami mostly uses him on short passing plays, his 48 receptions in his 1st eight games of his career is 2nd all-time.
If Miami doesn’t turn the ball over on Thursday, they have a puncher’s chance of upsetting Baltimore.
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