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Word of the day for the Dolphins: Regression.

BOSTON -- They led 17-3. They rushed for 156 yards and averaged 5-yards a carry. Tom Brady was less than mediocre, throwing for only 116 yards with one touchdown and one interception with a visibly swollen throwin hand. New England right tackle Sebastian Vollmer broke his leg and left the game, joining Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo, who are done for the season, and cornerback Aqib Talib, who didn't play.

And given all these advantages and perfect scenarios, the Dolphins still lost?

Yes, the Dolphins lost.

And that leads me to the word for today: Regression.

As I write in my column in today's Miami Herald, the Dolphins collapsed and they are in full blown regression.

The Dolphins have regressed from the team they were last year at this time when they were getting better results with less talent.

The Dolphins have regressed from September when they were 3-0.

The Dolphins have regressed to the point they're arguably the worst team in the AFC East. That's right, Miami is in third place with a 3-4 record behind the Patriots and the Jets and just ahead of the Bills. But Miami has a division worst 0-2 record and they already lost to the last-place Bills.

How is any of that better than it was last year?

And amid all of this the Dolphins are borderline delusional.

"No, I don't feel like the season is starting to slip away because we have a great team," nickel back Jimmy Wilson said.

Is he serious?

Wilson went on to say the Dolphins need to win the next four games to make up for the last four consecutive losses. Well, the Dolphins are 2 1/2 games out of first place already and they're not getting stronger but they better start winning very soon if they want to salvage this season.

But how to do that when they're getting worse?

Ryan Tannehill is playing worse now than he played in September.

The talent level is getting worse with the loss of wide receiver Brandon Gibson for the season.

And the play-calling? It's getting worse. Consider that it's bad when offensive coordinator Mike Sherman abandons the running game when it isn't blowing the opponent away. On Sunday, he abandoned it when it was working! In a close game!

And now the players are noticing.

"It seemed like we were running the ball real well, we were effective," guard Richie Incognito said. "It was third and manageable; we were picking up big chunks on the ground. I think we got away from that in the second half. That is kind of where we kind of sputtered."

Tell me something ... why aren't Miami's rookies playing?

Why is Nolan Carroll playing -- and giving up a TD pass as soon as he enters the game -- but second-round pick Jamar Taylor and third-round pick Willie Davis are inactive? Well, either those kids are not very good (which is on the personnel department) or they are not being developed (which is on the coaching staff).

Why is first round pick Dion Jordan a part-time player but less talented, less upside Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby are playing more? I know Jordan is talented. It seems every time he's on the field, something good happens. But he's not really on the field all that much. How are coaches arriving at those decisions to play a better player less?Cluelessjoe

Why has Mike Wallace looked so ineffective? He came to the Dolphins as an accomplished deep threat. He came here without major issues about his hands. Now that he's with the Dolphins he cannot get deep and cannot hold on to the football? Sorry, I don't buy it's all on Wallace. The Dolphins blamed Brandon Marshall when he didn't produce as much in Miami as in Denver. Then Marshall went to Chicago and produced at a very high level again.

After a while it's not the player we should be looking at. It's the people charged with developing those players and the system those players are put in.

So where do we go from here?

Well, general manager Jeff Ireland needs to find a wide receiver because the Dolphins only have three on the roster and one on the practice squad.

Will he chase Hakeem Nicks? Josh Gordon? Justin Blackmon? Greg Jennings?

The trade deadline is Tuesday. Ireland addressed the desperate need for an offensive tackle by trading for Bryant McKinnie. And although the Dolphins gave up six sacks Sunday -- all in the second half -- four of those came when the Patriots figured out Sherman had no intention of running the football.Tannesack

The AFC East is still wide open, because the Patriots seem vulnerable despite their 6-2 record. The team has multiple injured players, including Brady who nonethless denied his swollen throwing hand was swollen. 

Unfortunately, the Dolphins don't currently have the feel of a team that is ready to turn things around. Sometimes they start poorly. Sometimes they finish poorly. Sometimes they can't run. Sometimes they give up on the run even when they're running well. Wide receivers don't get open quickly, or don't get open deep, or drop too many passes.

The defense that was supposed to make more game-defining plays doesn't. 

And Tannehill fumbles or throws the interceptions or shows little pocket or situational awareness -- particularly lately.

There's a word for all of that: Regression.

Comments

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Look read carefully my post on 10/28/13 the dolphins will give the Tampa bay Bucs their first win! Mark my words right it down. Remember I was the first one who posted this

"Shula is ahead of all of us!", Howard Cosell exclaimed when Griese backtracked from our 30, took a safety with 2' left in the Game and we punted pinning them back there and won the Game. Yes, Solórzano, the quality of Education has spiraled down dramatically in this Country in the last 50 years. Perhaps that's why some of Us, in certain situations, look like Supermen.

why did we let long go his stats are only slightly better than martin and he commands more money and more injury risk. why didn't we resign him! ughhhhhhh lol

The other poster was right.
Seems like every year there is home cooking in Foxboro.

I tried to warn you, but you scoffed.

#1 - It's about a known commodity vs. a guy that has not been successful in the position in the NFL before. Long was a pro bowl football player in Miami. AND, now there seems to be holes all over the offensive line - doesn't take much to understand why people want Long protecting RT's blindside. -- I'd only say that he cost too much, and he was breaking down…it was probably time for him to go.

This team needs to figure it out without Long, the injured players, and all the other former players on other teams….the team right now is the 53 on the Miami Dolphins today. It's the coaches and the players that need to step up and get it together - there is still time.

Maybe Vegas and the refs are working together.

Just keep on losing PHINS. It's the only way to get rid of Jeff and the rest of the circus!

First
Who cares about ex-players that are not here now! Obvious they go else where are are successful! What does that tells you about this incompetent franchise? You see this team will be losers until Ross either clean house stays away give the keys to the mansion to someone that are winners not losers and there are some good young up and coming Scott's that be doing it for 15 years 10 years of scouting talent and are ready to make that next step.. Until than don't keep your hopes high..

Excellent report... Why the Dolphins always have to hire dinosaurs as Offensive Coordinator's??? Why??? The offensive book of Sherman is as old as B. Favre championships...

Regression on all levels starting Ross on down. But we can't get rid of Ross but the rest of the incompetent staff must go.

Nobody that understands Las Vegas and gambling in these Times will believe there is a "fix" by them in any Sport or Game. First, they don't need it. The %s always lie with them and they NEVER will lose any $ on the long run, which is like gambling should be viewed. Second, gambling is a huge business and exactly like any business they depend on their reputation to deliver the goods with customer satisfaction. You really believe LV will risk their credibility fixing a crummy Game of Football? Plueese! Rather, if they find out somebody did some wrongdoing in any betting event of theirs, they will be the first ones to go after the culprit. And good luck to those poor Souls!

I remember during the filming of a racehorse movie, the director wanted a certain horse, emblematic of the horse hero of the movie, to win. But the horses wouldn't cooperate, even if the jockeys held them. Finally, after many takes, the guy gave up in despair and found an old film of a truly run race and put it in his movie. Not as simple as all that, uh?

You no have no tale to tell? eh?

There are many things to talk about besides Football and Sex. Probably that's my main problem trying to communicate around here in Hialeah.

Dolfans; the verdict is in: the franchise is rudderless and the owner needs to clean house or sell the team. The Dolphins have been giving us a con job for years and we should not put up with it any longer... The general manager has to be the worst in the NFL and the coaching staff is incompetent Please do not waste your money going to the games. We cannot continue to reward perpetual ineptitude

Our front office has to go... We have once again imploded, from a weak coaching staff. Stupid moves by a GM, that couldn't run a High School Team. I don't think Tanahill is our problem. People said all sorts of Crap about Alex Smith, and how Kapernick was the second coming of Christ... How's that worked out this year.. ??? Alex Smith & the Chiefs are 8-0... We have some talent.. But our Hack of a GM can't get a decent O-Line.. Doesn't matter if we had Joe Montana in his Prime.. It doesn't do any good when ur scrambling every play, or on your ass. We need to get Rid of Ross, Ireland.. & go from there... Just my 2cents..

PHIRE PHILBIN! FIRELAND!

You show me a way to get rid of Ross and I'm all for it. Oops there is no way.

Looks like we'll add a Clowney to this circus.

BEtter word to describe the loss: REFS.

I was really pissed with this mslfunction of a game to your biggest rivals in the division. I was at Wembley 49ers and jags and could not beleive we were up 17-3 then total meltdown in 2nd half. if we lose Thursday to Bengals kiss season goodbye

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