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PFF Tuesday: Relive the Buffalo nightmare

No frills today, folks. It's Tuesday. It's the day this blog turns to the folks at ProFootballFocus.com for their tape review of the last game.

The last game was a nightmarish 19-0 loss to the Bills.

This is the review of the nightmare:


Left guard Sam Brenner played just 20 snaps, but clocked in with a -4.8 grade, doing poor work in the run game (-1.5) and even poorer work in pass blocking (-3.4). He was replaced by Nate Garner and its going to be interesting to see this week which of the two starts against the Jets.

RB Daniel Thomas got more snaps than Lamar Miller for just the third time this season, and second if you don’t count the game Miller suffered a concussion.

TEs Michael Egnew (three snaps) and Dion Sims (11 snaps) combined for just 14 snaps, as the Dolphins were in 11 personnel for most of the game.

Ryan Tannehill dropped back 34 times. He was under pressure on 17 of those dropbacks.

TE Charles Clay caught passes against Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Jim Leonhard, and Jairus Byrd.


It was a rough day for the defensive line. Cam Wake (-2.5) and Jared Odrick (-3.1) had their worst graded games of the season and Olivier Vernon also had a poor game (-3.5).

MLB Dannell Ellerbe has been trending in the wrong direction. He also had his worst graded game of the season (-5.5), and worst in run defense (-3.7) as well.

DE Dion Jordan played just 14 snaps, most coming when Olivier Vernon needed a breather on a long drive. Coach Joe Philbin mentioned last week that Jordan is getting around 40 snaps a game. Not even close.

Despite giving up the biggest gain of the game in tight coverage to Robert Woods, Nolan Carroll allowed just two other catches on six targets for 27 yards.

Bills QB Thad Lewis was able to attack Phillip Wheeler and Ellerbe. They combined to allow five catches on six targets for 58 yards. These guys were supposed to be better in coverage than Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett. Not this day.

By way of reminder, as fans continue to ask about this, the Dolphins must win or tie against the Jets and need help to make the playoffs. These are the scenarios:

Miami clinches a playoff spot with ...

1)    MIA win + BAL loss or tie OR

2)    MIA win + SD win OR

3)    MIA tie + BAL loss + SD loss or tie OR

4)    MIA tie + BAL tie + SD tie


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they shoulda run the wildcat...

Is Marco still re-inventing the english language to try and prove that all of us are wrong about the Dolphins play-off scenarios? Points 1 thru 4 above will surely send him into an AND vs OR tirade...

Still talking playoffs? This team is a fraud. We are going to finish last in the division for the next 3 years minimum.

thats right!!!playoffs!!


glass half full guy

Ha Ha. Mando.

This is the guy who argued for Cam Cameron to stay, because, as he stated to me on the phone....

"Bill Walsh went 2-14 his first season, so give Cameron a chance", on 790 the Ticket during the K Rogers show late in the 2007 season.

Swinging Amando S.


So the linebackers and the offensive line seem to always be in question. Since Ireland and Parcells took over years ago the OL has been an issue. Now it's just forget about it. There will never be a solution as long as Ireland has final decision making power on player personnel. The Jets have a focus this weekend; to save Rex Ryan's job and I'm not sure that the Dolphins are good enough to beat the Jets again after the beat down in Buffalo. I was wrong to think that this coaching staff was evolving and getting better. They are as inconsistent as the players they coach.

Mike Sherman, isn't taking the blame, when he talks about the lack of execution he is putting it all on the players.

When he talks about the having to go out and get better at RB, he is saying we need two new RB's back there.

You've got to love this guy and his narcissistic rants regarding our offense. He has led us to new lows, yet our HC stands by him and would rather tank the season than dare step in and put the teams best interests before his personal loyalty to Sherman.

Even when Thill could barely move they threw him back into the Bills games. I'll bet Thill is banged up pretty bad and would not be replaced unless he was concussed, thats how bloody-minded Philbin and Sherman are. A complete change in coaching is required. The players have beaten some top-flight opposition, so there is little arguement to those that say we can't play well we have. When your players can beat, Colts, Pats, Bengals and almost beat the Panthers, then you have some evidence to suggest that the talent is there.

We came out flatter than the Bucs game, when we really needed to win and turn the Bullygate situation around, against a 0-8 team. A decent coach could have this group in the playoffs. Personnel changes have only been made in certain areas, like o-line, when a starter performs poorly. However players like Wheeler and Wilson get all the snaps even though they are just plain awful week in week out.


Even though we sucked badly against the Bills, this team has shown it can rebound from disgusting performances. After the 2 yards against the Bucs, we produced over 100 and 350 in total.

I know it makes little sense, but we can come back and put in a better effort against the Jets. The team will be at home and I really think the pressure got to them, as well as the 3am alarm etc. Now thats on the coaches, Philbin looks lost during games and the halftime adjustment, or there in lack off, have really showed the difference in coaching class.

I'll like to see Philbin gone, but that's not going to happen in 2014. However the FO will have to sit with him and discuss a new OC and most likely DC. Philbins choices have not worked in the two years here as we look at the 27th and 20th O and D respectively.

If Joe Philbin remains as coach he most likely will not fire Mike Sherman. There is a reason why Sherman was fired at Texas A&M. He really needs to retire and end his career. This team has some good personnel but the GM and the coaches have to go. I'm not sure that will happen but it might if the Dolphins lose to the Jets. Ross seems to be married to Jeff Ireland and Philbin is married to Sherman who is clueless on why this team is losing when it counts the most. How many shut downs will it take for Philbin to ask Sherman to retire?

Marco is here.

i dont get all the whining. Most people had us going 6-10. We have a shot at going 9-7 and possibly make the playoffs. Who predicted that? And if noone why so many tears?


I would agree that Sherman needs to go. It was his stamp of acceptance that brought us T-hill who has improved greatly but has a major issue being accurate on deeper routes. The wind in Buffalo took away a lot but Buffalo connected when they had to. Buffalo took away what Miami does well the shorter routes. Smart scheme especially in the wind. Miami does not screen enough, roll T-hill out or run at the right times. Sherman is predictable with his play calling and so it goes.


According to Salguero, Sherman will do a Henning and 'retire', I hope he does. Philbin seems to be just an admin guy, who prepares the team for the game. He never even called the plays in GB, McCarty had the play-calling responsabilty.

So what does this mean, when the HC, never steps in and calls the plays when the O is struggling ? The answer is he does what he did against the Bills... ZERO !!!

Yes Iam here, you are really on the ball.... who are you my friend ?

You whining housewives have no perspective.

Out of 16 teams in the AFC, only 5 have a better record than us. How bad really are we? We are above average. Not cause to castrate the coaches and players.

Coward is here !!!

As darryldunphy has pointed out many times on past blogs, this team sucks at running with "11" personnel. It's not a mystery, yet they did it all game long, and the result was 103 yards of offense, seven sacks, and Tannehill injured. F'ing spectacular.
And the defense knows the Bills are going to run the ball, yet stay in their soft zone and get pushed all over the field and lose to Thad Lewis for the second time. I have seen enough of this coaching staff. They suck.

Posted by: Poindexter | December 24, 2013 at 08:13 AM

Thats right we should celebrate mediocrity. Mate we just got wasted by a 5-9 team 19-0, have the 27th ranked O and the 20th D. Whats your point ? Some fans expect more. Housewives ? Did you come up with that on your own, very good my friend.


The most over-rated guys on this team are the D-line, they have been pushed around all season long.

We think of Starks and Paul S as being run-stopping beasts, well those days are gone. Coyle has gotten the least out of them, rather than the best. The constant zone coverage, has lost us many games, the Panthers 4th 10 springs to mind where we sat back in a soft zone rushes 4 and left the Panthers get the easy completion.

ProFootballFocus has another feature they render entitled "Had a Bad Day", in which they highlight each position after the weekend games and post a "loser" and "runner-up". Brian Hartline, Jared Odrick, Olivier Vernon, Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler all made the list- 5 Dolphins out of the 44 selected as this weekend's worst.

Not surprising to see Ellerbe and Wheeler there. Each has parlayed a big contract off of a single previous season's effort and come up short for the new team. It pretty much provided 3 inadequate LBs for the Dolphins defense this year.

Posted by: Marco | December 24, 2013 at 07:43 AM


These are very good points. This has been the issue with this team for many years…no one is ever responsible for the product on the field. Whether they keep the majority of the front office, coaching staff, and players or not - this team needs to have a mentality change. Learn to win, keep the pressure on, start fast…this nonsense of bend don't break does not serve these players and their talent level well.

We have a GREAT chance to win this Sunday. They did well last time against the Jets. They need to change up the plays, be dynamic and go for the throat early!

The NFL is a league with rules that favor the offense. A team has to score points even with snow, rain or wind. The complete shut downs have to be considered as failures for the OC Sherman, yet he is always in denial. He's like an addict that can not see the truth. He needs to be able in real time to see the schemes and correct what the Dolphins are doing to move the ball against the multiple schemes.

Scenario 3 is not right I don't think because if the three teams lose and Pitt wins, they are in.

Thats right we should celebrate mediocrity.

Posted by: Marco | December 24, 2013 at 08:16 AM

We should celebrate that for the first time in years we are still alive on the last day of the season. We could be going to the playoffs. Then it's a brand new season. Our record is far above mediocrity if you have even an inkling of ability in math. We are not elite, we are better than average though.

I know, people like you are happiest and most ardent when you have something to complain about.

Fine. Be miserable if you like. It's a free country.

Starks and Solai are still very capable players. This defensive scheme does not fit the players, nor does the offense, and playcalling on both sides is bad. It's like banging your head into a wall and wondering why your head hurts.

Every single fan would have called the season a success if we made the playoffs. We are close to doing that. Let's let it play out.

How you get there doesn't matter. The Giants proved this.

Romo out for the year....

JJ, the scheme not favuring Starks is bullshite. he played in a 4-3 as a DT in Tennessee before coming here. Truth is neither of the two DTs have had years that would break the bank. I would not sign both of them or that could be the demise of the defense due to mailaise and old age in the middle. Pick one, sign one, groom his replacement or sign a vet middle range DT like a Tony McDaniel type and move on

According to PFT the Dolphins are in with a win due to a better Conference record than the Ravens and Chargers will have even if all three teams win (Chargers, Dolphins, Ravens)

I agree with enough of the bicching. There's a lot to play for. There will be 9 months to dwell on the total successes and failures of this team. The final chapter has yet to be written and this game is massive. We will either be a mundane 8-8 team or an up and coming 9-7 team ... let's find out.

promichael, the Steelers are still alive - how do they make the playoffs? has to be if the three 8 team wins lose - how else?

Ryan Tannehill does not play well, as a passing QB, under pressure. The first Bills game saw him deal with blitzes, sacks and a defense pressuring him on 42% of his passing attempts. This second game had more blitzes, sacks and 50% pressures.

It seems to me that it wouldn't have taken much coaching wizardry to figure that the Bills were going to attack Tannehill again like that on Sunday. But it doesn't look like Miami coaches planned much for it.

Mark in Toronto

That's what was written on Florio's site, The AFC conference record becomes the determining factor, in the AFC conference it was written that the Dolphins would have the best record at 8-4 if all contenders win.

MIT- You're right about Starks. He's played end, NT, DT, all at a high level. I have a feeling he doesn't want to be in Miami. Solai is a NT, Odrick is a 3-4 end, Jordan 3-4 olb. All very talented players, but why does the defense consistently underperform? Bad scheme fits (not at every position) and bad playcalling. If you don't agree, then it's on Ireland because the players aren't good enough. Someone is not doing their job well enough...

Phlibin has no idea how many snaps Jordan is playing. He can't guess in the same ballpark? Funny stuff.

Gotta love this coaching staff!

Posted by: billcale | December 24, 2013 at 08:53 AM

When they put Thomas and Miller back there to block for Thill, they must have know that neither player could do anything to pick up blitzing DB's or LB's, yet the bloody-mindedly continued on. Iceberg straight ahead and Philbin sails into it jaw dangling open :0

Sherman and Philbin have know this since camp that we may have the worst two pass protection backs in the league. D Thomas almost sacke Thill himself on one play. Both of these back's have almost run out of chances. Thomas has had one good run this year against the Steelers and Miller is not a guy who breaks tackles period.

The coaching staff has to go, they really have to when they have more loyality to each other than the team.

Posted by: billcale | December 24, 2013 at 08:53 AM

Sure, but lets not forget the Hartline drops. That stalled us early on and would have the Bills laying off a little if we had got those early throws in. Thill targeted BH, 7-8 times before he caught a ball.

Where was Clay ? Im not sure why his production went down, but Im sure Sherman has something to do with it. I guess all the O and D concerns also let Thigpen off the hook, he is really super slow this year.

Thats right we should celebrate mediocrity.

Posted by: Marco | December 24, 2013 at 08:16 AM

We should celebrate that for the first time in years we are still alive on the last day of the season. We could be going to the playoffs. Then it's a brand new season. Our record is far above mediocrity if you have even an inkling of ability in math. We are not elite, we are better than average though.

I know, people like you are happiest and most ardent when you have something to complain about.

Fine. Be miserable if you like. It's a free country.

Posted by: Poindexter | December 24, 2013 at 08:42 AM

Marco will you be taking a lunch or peee break today or will you be posting non-stop until midnight?

Posted by: Blog Hit Accountant | December 24, 2013 at 09:24 AM

No one is making you stay, why don't you leave and do some last minute Christmas shopping.

We will win more games next year if Ireland gets us a bruising back with a "laying a hurt on" attitude and an offensive line that has offensiveness.
The team was bullied in buffalo. Plain and simple. There were few ready to fight for that yard. That is all we can say.

Nah, I'll be on here all day my friend, I love this blog, so many great debates. The other great aspect of being on here is that I marvel at people like you.

No one is making you stay, why don't you leave and do some last minute Christmas shopping.

Posted by: Leave The Blog | December 24, 2013 at 09:26 AM

Why thank you for changing your name and giving the extra blog hit. New posters get assigned 2 points per post while repeat posters only 1 point per post.

Jimmmy Cefalo said he RB's cant block or run lol

Thats right we should celebrate mediocrity.

Posted by: Marco | December 24, 2013 at 08:16 AM

We should celebrate that for the first time in years we are still alive on the last day of the season. We could be going to the playoffs. Then it's a brand new season. Our record is far above mediocrity if you have even an inkling of ability in math. We are not elite, we are better than average though.

I know, people like you are happiest and most ardent when you have something to complain about.

Fine. Be miserable if you like. It's a free country.

Posted by: Poindexter | December 24, 2013 at 08:42 AM

Why does it irk some of you that a fan is pleased we still might make the playoffs?

I'll tell you why. If we make the playoffs, it proves thousands of their negative nancy posts over the season were wrong. Along hours and hours and hours of wasted time babbling about babble that became nothing more than babble.

Please remove Ireland at seasons end. Let a true GM come in a draft players. Sherman is making money on past connections. He should be fired!

Posted by: Marco | December 24, 2013 at 09:18 AM

I think Clay had an "ok" day- one of the few that graded positive. They sure could have used one of his big-play days, though. And I'm not forgetting Hartline. His drops REALLY hurt. But I'm guessing nobody is more down on Hartline this week than Brian, himself.

Dolphins don't deserve to be in playoff, plus the coaching staff will do their best for us not to win.
Just like they've done it a few times this season.
Ireland, Philbin and Co, need to be replaced.
Mr Inept, Mr Roboto, accept the fact that you're above water and as much as you try, you're not good enough for this league. Mediocrity must not be rewarded by extending contracts, etc.
Being a dolfan for the last decade or so is a torture. And it's not going to change anytime soon, unless Ross cleanses the Cowboy's leftovers.

If Matt Moore does not start Sunday, we can forget it! Everything will fall into place if Moore starts Sunday. We will crush the Jets.

I'm more confused by the defense than the offence.We were led to believe the d was gonna be top Ten ,haven't seen that. With such a terrible o -line I'm amazed we do anything ,not the coaches fault when the players can't or won't block.

Yes, promichael, if all the 8 win teams win, Miami is in - agreed. however, if the three 8 win team lose and pittsburgh wins, I believe the Steelers are in.

JJ, you may be right about Starks and he has no reason to feel that way - Miami gave him a good 4 year contract to ocme to Miami, gave him one year well abover his pay grade and now he will have a chance to make another 3 year contract or so. But with the wya he's played this eyar - it won't be for $8m a year. he has made about $30M in his career or more, he's a rich man, has no reason to be upset at anyone - he's blessed. And will make at least $15M-20M more.

As far as Soliai goes, he played well last year in a 4-3 at DT. I think he's playing through injury or he just may be done - I don't think it's scheme fit.

It's the QB STUPID Eh?

bill @ 9:50, from what I saw there with the naked eye is that Clay was one of teh few ready to play. So many of the guys were just not excited to be there - you could see it. On the DB blitz, Tannehill pointed twice at the DB, called the coverage, and still nobody blocked him. It was unreal..

And yes, that game and the Baltimore game were teh two that the receivers were awful including Brian with some costly drops in both games. But for the msot part these guys have answered the bell. Wallace haas had a so-so year but yardage wise it is still better than last year - hartline is having a better year than last.

Mark @ 9:56 you are correct.

I'm not sure why the run D has suffered so much. Is it the new linebackers, Starks and Soliai getting older, or both?

I don't think its the 4-3 scheme because we used the 4-3 last year and the run D seemed pretty good.

Mark in Toronto

The bottom line is that Miami just has to win. A tie in record with the Chargers and Ravens would put Miami in the playoffs.

The coaching staff has to go, they really have to when they have more loyality to each other than the team.

Posted by: Marco | December 24, 2013 at 09:13 AM

You have a good point there. Time and time again our coaches refuse to accept responsibility for calling a bad play or not having a good enough game plan.

How many times do we have to hear Sherman say "it was the right play call" or refuse to adjust his formations/philosophy when what he does fails repeatedly?

If Philbin won't fire him, Ireland should fire Philbin.

We NEED a feature back...period.

I say we clean out the back field and start over. Why did we cut Jonas Gray again? guy was money in the red zone.

We cut our FB's because the coaching staff felt the current RB/TE combo could protect against the blitz...well it FAILED.

My Christmas wish to Santa tonight is:

*Fire Ireland
*Sherman goes away
*Draft feature RB with 1st pick
*Cut Thomas

Maybe the new LB's are worse than the previous? The D line is supposed to be a strength, but it seems to be a liability along with the LB's. Something is wrong, and someone should be held responsible. If the players are worse, it is Ireland's fault. If the scheme and play calling are the problem, it's on the coaches. Oh well, just my 2 cents. Maybe we'll get lucky and win a playoff game or two.

What many here are not getting is that we can still miss the playoffs even if we beat the Jets if:

Ravens win
Chargers lose

Ravens get in based on the tiebreak over Fins.

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