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The fallout from a third consecutive loss

The honeymoon is over for Joe Philbin and his coaching staff, as I wrote in today's Miami Herald.

After weeks of watching sweeps on third-and-inches, or having Mike Wallace always line up on the right side of the formation, or not committting to the running game, or watching Jimmy Graham shred Miami one week getting free releases but getting shut down by New England when they tied him up at the scrimmage line, the tipping point came on Sunday.

Off a bye, against a fourth-string QB and offering no solutions to old problems, the Dolphins coaching staff deserves some critical scrutiny.

They are not alone.

The offensive line, was mostly good enough on Sunday. And then Tyson Clabo, a good man having a bad season, gave up two sacks the final two Miami possessions.

"Those sacks are my sacks," Clabo said. "There's no way around it."

It didn't help that coaches asked Clabo to block Mario Williams one-on-one on the play which Williams beat Clabo and forced a Ryan Tannehill fumble. What was offensive coordinator Mike Sherman thinking?

Look, it's one thing to have the other team beat you.

But when you beat yourself with poor decisions in the coaching booth, the frustration is palpable.

Obviously, the coaching staff was not totally responsible for this upset loss.

Tannehill had a horrible first half -- throwing two interceptions -- despite inconsistent pressure on him from the Bills, who managed no sacks until the fourth quarter. One was returned 19 yards for a touchdown. He floated another near the goal line and what seemed like a scoring opportunity turned into another turnover.

The defense didn't do great work.

They gave up two fourth-quarter field goal drives that gave Buffalo the game.

They allowed the Bills to convert 9 of 19 third down plays (47.3 percent success rate).

About that defense: I have not questioned the defensive coaching staff but perhaps they merit a look as well. They inherited a defense that was sixth in the NFL in scoring in 2011. It wasn't perfect but it was good. Well, they were seventh in scoring under this staff in 2012 and are 20th in scoring this season.

That's going in the wrong direction.

Dion Jordan, the third overall selection in the draft, is only a part-time player. Players that were here and deemed too slow or too old -- Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett -- are playing better elsewhere than they did here.

It all raises eyebrows.

The Dolphins opened this season on a hopeful note with three consecutive wins. Now they are on a three-game losing skid and must travel to New England next Sunday trying to dig out of being in third place in the AFC East and already owning a home loss to the last-place Bills.

 

 

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