Miami Dolphins Lose All Their Running Backs in Bills Loss

Miami Dolphins Lose All Their Running Backs in Bills Loss
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

The Miami Dolphins got their butts pounded by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday to the tune of 29-10. And while the offense did put up a little bit of a fight in the second half, it was mostly a disaster.

Terrible passes, blocked punts, a kickoff returned for a TD, four sacks, and really, really bad coaching led to the beatdown.

And then there was losing Miami's best player not only for the game but for maybe a month, if not more. Knowshon Moreno left the game with a dislocated elbow. And it looks like his backup, Lamar Miller, will also miss significant time with an ankle injury.

In other words, IT WAS PURE MIAMI DOLPHINS FOOTBALL.

Here are six things we learned from their debacle:

1. Knowshon Moreno Going Down Was the Kick in the Balls We Didn't See Coming

It was the ultimate of course moment in this very young NFL season for the Miami Dolphins. The Fins' best player -- coming off a thrashing of the Patriots just a week ago, and the clear emotional leader of the offense -- was tackled after his one and only carry of the game, and then had some giant person land on his arm, making his elbow bend in the opposite direction. And just like that, Knowshon Moreno was done for the day after gaining just four yards.

Of all the injuries. Of all the players.

Without Moreno, the offense lacked a serious attack against an already talented Buffalo defense. It was bogged down by Lamar Miller's passive running and Ryan Tannehill's inconsistency.

Without Moreno, the Dolphins offense sputtered and became the one thing it's been for the past 15 years now -- predictable. Even Bill Lazor's magical unicorn playbook couldn't fix the offense's woes once Knowshon went down.

Last week, we saw innovation and creativity in the play-calling. This week, after Moreno left the game, the Fins reverted to their Mike Sherman 1922 American Professional Football Association playbook, back when players wore leather helmets and worked out by boxing kangaroos.

And then came the biggest kick to the nards for the Fins: Reports say Moreno could be out for as much as four weeks.

Wheeeee.

2. Ryan Tannehill Isn't the Guy

The consensus on Ryan Tannehill has been that fans just needed to be patient and wait for the young QB to work out his kinks before he started to flourish as the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be. And, generally, year three is when players typically blow up and begin to hit their stride.

We've always reserved judgment on Tannehiil, particularly because he's never had great players around him and has always seemed to play behind an offensive line made up of a couple of discarded mannequins and a shopping cart for blockers. But there's always something that bugged us about him. While showing glimpses of great athleticism and a strong arm, Tannehill has always seemed to lack... something. Like a bag of popcorn where only a few kernels popped.

Tannehill's inconsistency has been maddening. Like, crazy cat lady living in her own filth and storing her pee in pickle jars maddening. His accuracy is all over the place. When he's not overthrowing one guy, he's underthrowing another. Wide-open receivers are finding themselves having to make insane contortions to make the catch. Speedy receivers find themselves having to stop short for passes.

Yes, it's only the second game of his third year. And, yes, Tannehill has never had good games against the Bills.

But that's just it. The Bills have a way of exposing what Tannehill truly is: a gifted athlete who is just mostly average with maybe a flash of real good here and there.

And, unless your defense is the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, gifted athlete who is just mostly average with maybe a flash of real good here and there isn't going to get you anywhere.

3. Joe Philbin Is as Useful (and Exciting) as a Skin Tag

We're not exactly sure what Stephen Ross saw in Joe Philbin when the two men first met. It certainly wasn't his infectious charisma or his mighty presence. Maybe Ross was impressed with the way Philbin likes to button his shirts all the way up to the top. Or the way his pants are always so perfectly creased. Maybe it's the mixture of Andy Griffith and a Scooby-Doo villain that enamored Ross with Philbin.

Whatever it is, it's mostly terrible.

Because Philbin is terrible.

Exhibit A:) He had all his timeouts remaining at the end of the first half but decided to run the ball until the clock expired instead of trying to mount a quick-strike scoring drive.

Exhibit B:) With Miami down only 16-10, the Bills drove down the field and Sammy Watkins was able to score what looked like a questionable touchdown. Watkins appeared to bobble and fumble the ball as he reached out for the pylon. Philbin had the option of calling a timeout there and giving the refs some time to look at the many angled replays. Instead, he didn't call timeout, and let the Bills have the TD without as much as a challenge from the officials.

The play was never looked at, the score stood, the game was practically over.

4. The Offensive Line Apparently Isn't Fixed Yet After All, Maybe

This may have been a fluke bad game for an offensive line that dominated the line of scrimmage against the Patriots last week. The Bills have the kind of monster pass rush that makes you clench your asshole so hard you crap diamonds. Still, flashbacks of Ryan Tannehill getting mauled week to week last year came rushing in with the every snap of the ball. And it wasn't like the Bills were blitzing Miami to death. For the most part, they only rushed four.

Yet, Tannehill found himself running for his life most of the game and was sacked four times. A couple of those sacks could have been avoided if he had just thrown the ball away. But still, Mario Williams and Kyle Williams spent the bulk of the afternoon chasing Tannehill around like he stole their baby.

Might be cause for concern. Might not. But Shelley Smith was owned all day, and Samson Satele had a forgettable afternoon. We'll just chalk it up to it's still a work in progress and leave it at that.

5. This Team Still Has Jeff Ireland's Stank All Over It

It was fun to watch the Fins take care of their shit last week in a thoroughly enjoyable win. But there are still plenty of issues on this team, as we saw on Sunday. And, not coincidentally, there are plenty of Jeff Ireland leftovers still not being good at football.

Koa Misi is injured and, when he is on the field, is hardly a game-busting linebacker. Lamar Miller, who was forced to be the main back when Moreno left, is below average and stalled the offense. While Mike Wallace had some nice moments -- including his touchdown catch -- he's still not quite breaking games. Brian Hartline has been virtually invisible. Charles Clay is merely OK. Ryan Tannehill is... you get the picture.

Still a lot of Ireland's crap lying around, and it's going to take some time to completely eradicate his stench of mediocrity and despair from this team.

6. Bills Fans Are a DELIGHT

We had a bit of fun

ripping on Bills fans last week

in what is going to be a weekly jabbing of the other teams and their fans every Friday. And, predictably, it made some of them angry.

And by angry we mean, we received a shitload of email and tweets from Bills fans who were dipped in salt and ornery about how we said mean things about them.

From: Christopher:

Just wanted to let you know that I read over your arguments about Bills fans being the worst. I just wanted to apologize to you that your life must suck as bad as it does. The best thing your franchise has ever done was place Jim Carey in a movie that referenced that sorry team. Either way, thanks for the article and I hope your life stops being so pitiful. Enjoy.

#BillsMafia

From 766119:

Hey chris your an idiot 28 13 dolphins....joke...... dolphins have no fan base.....cant even sell out games.

From Rowan:

Hi Chris, if you were from Buffalo you would know that the bills fans actually take great pride in being "drunken baffoons" Thanks

P.S. SQUISH THE FISH!!!!!!!

From John:

Your city is a sespool who's image is based on one road on the beach. The rest of it looks like little Havana (that's not a compliment). From an NFL standpoint, Dolphins fans are the laughing stock of the league and have no nationwide footprint. I won't even bring up your arena league uniforms. My suggestion is you find a job your actually good at as your authoring days won't fill your gas tank for long.

From Jay:

Eat shit you fucking turd!!!! Publish that!

But it wasn't all bad. There was this one from Tony:

I am a Bills fan. You are right and your blog post is hilarious. That is all.

The main point most emails and tweets seem to make were that we suck as a writer and that South Florida is a terrible, terrible sports town. Also, that we're like a lady because we live in a sunny place... or something.

And all that may be so. But it still doesn't change the fact that Bills fans are mostly drunken buffoons.

Also, A LOT of them have a hard time with the grammar and spelling.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter




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