On the bright side ... the regular season is still two weeks away.
The dim reality ... it's going to take longer than two weeks to make the Dolphins even halfway decent. But it wasn't all terrible.
And, as I wrote in my column for today's Miami Herald, the starters on defense kept the Falcons out of the end zone and showed some progress.
"It looked more like the defense I thought we'd be seeing," coach Joe Philbin said.
Otherwise, this 23-6 preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons was painful to watch. The Dolphins look like a bad team right now. They play like a bad team right now.
"Don't ask me for answers, I just block," guard Richie Incognito said half-kiddingly, half-seriously. "It's a situation right now where it's preseason and we're trying to find our indentity and you have to go watch the tape and figure out what's wrong. This is the time to correct it.
"We have two weeks to work. We have two weeks to fix what we did wrong. We have to find rhythm on offense and find a way to put the ball in the end zone."
Two weeks to turn things around. For a receiver corps -- tight ends included -- that has shown practically zero improvement this preseason, the only way we see a turnaround is if we see a fresh set of players.
I'm not giving up on the youngsters. But some guys simply are who they are. The fact is this corps has struggle so much that Brian Hartline's chances of making the team have improved while he's been injured and not playing.
No one made plays this night. No one. In truth, there were seven dropped passes -- three by starting tight end Anthony Fasano.
"The coaches told us that coming in, they want someone who is going to start it off for us," Legedu Naanee said. "Nobody grabbed that tonight, we need to get back to work and make sure the next time we have the opportunity to make plays."
Quarterback Ryan Tannhill was not good against Atlanta. He had a 37.9 quarterback rating while he completed only 11 of 27 passes. But you give him the four or five passes that were dropped and suddenly his numbers look more acceptable.
Despite that, Tannehill tried to strike a typically positive chord.
"We did some things better than we did last week," he said. "And we did some things not as good as last week. I thought we improved. The line did a great job.
"We couldn't find a rhythm. We just need to be more consistent in my play and the offense as a whole. We need to be more consistent."
The regular season is coming. The Dolphins are not ready