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Dolphins Lose To Browns In Game of Non-Execution

Another year of mediocrity for the Miami Dolphins. In what started out to be a promising season has now sunken into mediocrity yet again for the Miami franchise.

The Dolphins are now 6-6 after dropping their 5th loss at home to the struggling Cleveland Browns. But yet, can the Dolphins be considered any better than the Browns when they lost to them, and have not beaten a team that is arguably better than them all year?

Yes, the Dolphins are in trouble folks, while they could be a lot worse off here, we are currently stuck in the middle of the pack, something we experienced for years in the Dan Marino era, and in the Dave Wannstadt era as well. Mediocrity is also what will define Bill Parcells and most likely Tony Sparano’s tenure in Miami as well.

The loss today to the Browns said a lot about this team. For one, they are inconsistent. One week they can go out and annihilate the Oakland Raiders, and then the next crap the bed against an inferior (talent wise) Cleveland Browns team. 

Second, the Dolphins simply cannot seem to gel both units together at the same time. Last year the defense was the problem for us, and now this year it is the offense.

This game defined our season in more than just the aforementioned ways. Chad Henne, the so-called “franchise quarterback” just cannot seem to muster together a nice string of good games. Only a week away from his 6th career 300 yard game, Henne only threw for 174 yards, on 16/32 passing for a touchdown and 3 interceptions.

I know that Henne will have his growing pains in only his second full season as the Dolphins starter, and his third year in the league, and he has shown flashes of greatness for us in only two years, but until he can show me that he can step up in big games and lead the Dolphins to victory, I won’t be sold on him as our future quarterback. With the performance that he put in today, he certainly did nothing to solidify his status as the Dolphins QB.

There were some bright spots in todays game.

Cameron Wake registered 1.5 sacks to move into the top sack-master position in the league with 12 on the season.

The defense contained Browns running back Peyton Hillis to only 57 yards on 18 carries and no touchdowns.  Nose tackle Paul Solia had four tackles to help the cause against Hillis. Sean Smith had four tackles in a promising tackling performance.

The defensive worries that we had last year can be forgotten now. We have a young nucleus in place to have a solid defense for years to come. Now the repair job must be done on the offensive side of the ball.

This one really was a disappointment to the fan watching the game. The turning point in the game came early when the Dolphins first field goal attempt was blocked on their first drive by Shaun Rogers. That set the tone for the rest of the game as a physical battle that the Dolphins just did not win. The teams blanked each other from a physical standpoint, but the difference in the game came from the execution part of the game.

Henne couldn’t get the job done when it mattered most. The offensive line couldn’t protect on third downs, where the Dolphins were a mere 4/14 on 3rd downs, and the offense could only manage one trip inside the red-zone the whole game. That’s not the sign of a team that is ready to win. And as far as I’m concerned, this team has shown me nothing that would indicate that they are ready to get to the playoffs yet. This loss only strengthens my belief.

Quick Thoughts:

  • Dan Carpenter broke the team record for longest made field goal at 60 yards to send the game into half-time at a 3-3 tie.
  • The R&R Express finished the day with 98 yards on 26 carry combined effort. Not too shabby when your whole interior offensive line got lit up by Shaun Rogers
  • Despite the poor run blocking, the Dolphins O-line continued their solid pass-protection, only allowing one sack on Henne.
  • The Dolphins special teams continues to be a problem and hinders the team, with yet another blocked field goal changing the game.

Next week the Dolphins travel to New York to face the hated New York Jets. The game is on the road and not at the comforts of home, so really should we be worried about this game? After all, we are 5-1 as the visitors.

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