The instant reaction to the Dolphins’ last-minute loss on Sunday to the New York Jets was to be absolutely ballistic on Twitter and attack the head of NFL officiating, Alberto Riveron. This was an ugly game between two teams that are a combined 8-18. Jason Sanders did set a Dolphins kicking record with seven field goals on eight attempts, but it was ugly.
Al Riveron is a disaster. Brutal overrules in the Bengals/Browns game and Jets/Dolphins games.
— Matt Gollnick (@Attyg3) December 8, 2019
Offensively the team was able to move down the field very well. This is important for the future of the team next season, even if there is a new quarterback. The Fins lost DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson to head injuries early in the first half. Isaiah Ford stepped up with 6 receptions for 92 yards and a 15.3-yard average. Even Allen Hurns played well and went 5-68. “The Intern” Patrick Laird rushed for 48 yards and caught 4 passes for 38. Laird was effective in the passing game and had a crucial catch down the sideline late in the fourth quarter that put the Dolphins in position for the go-ahead field goal by Sanders.
The team finally saw some success in the running game offensively, which was a gift from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. However, the passing game in the red zone left a lot to be desired. Ryan Fitzpatrick was handing out gifts to every wide receiver outside the red zone, but delivered coal inside the Jets’ 20-yard line. He missed several receivers, including Mike Gesicki twice. It was not the greatest day for Fitzpatrick in the air — he even threw a pick-six that was taken back due to a defensive holding penalty.
With the loss yesterday, the Dolphins moved to – wait for it – fourth in the draft order. Meaning they stayed exactly where they were before the game. Those who are hoping for a shot at Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa will be happy to know a win could have knocked the Dolphins down to picks seven to nine. Instead, the team stays at four. With the Houston Texans losing to the Denver Broncos, the Dolphins’ first-round selections sit at 4, 22 and 23, according to Tankathon.com. Yes, it’s a real site.
The positives were there for the Dolphins today even though the game was ugly. As mentioned, the team played well offensively and was able to run the football. They were committed. This opens up the possibility for fans to have someone to root for in Laird. Which brings up the important question: Is this coaching staff great at identifying talent? YES! They are and will continue to produce. This makes the spot they select in the top 10 less important.
Fans of the loss will want to keep an eye on the College Football Playoffs. The main attractions of the 2020 and 2021 draft classes are all there. Joe Burrow vs. Jalen Hurts and Trevor Lawrence vs. Justin Fields. It’s going to be fun to watch, and these are just the opening match-ups. Meaning we could possibly (and most likely) see a Burrow vs. Lawrence duel for the National Championship. As far as our beloved South Florida, the University of Miami and Florida International University will not be in key bowl games. However, UM will play December 26 in the Independence Bowl vs. Louisiana Tech and FIU will play Arkansas State on December 21. The rest of the state will also be in bowl games — the most significant being the ninth-ranked University of Florida, which will play #24 ranked Virginia in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 30. Tickets start at as low as $115 + tax via Ticketmaster.
The Dolphins will stay in East Rutherford this week to face the New York Giants before coming home in Week 16 to play the Cincinnati Bengals. Anything can happen on Sunday, but a win in at least one of these games is expected. Giants QB Daniel Jones is nursing a high-ankle sprain similar to the one suffered by running back Saquon Barkley earlier in the season. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Jones is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. This means Eli Manning will start this weekend against the Dolphins.
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