Fakes? Phony? Out of their league? Pick a phrase that a bully on the NFL's elementary school playground might call the 'Phins.
We're not saying all that, but after a letdown performance in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Germany, you can be confident that sentiment will dominate the narrative surrounding the team for the next two weeks, all through their bye week. We hope everyone enjoyed the 100 segments about how funny head coach Mike McDaniel is. We will now rejoin your Tua Tagovailoa is average, at best, conversation already in progress, notwithstanding his 106.4 passer rating this season.
Coming into Sunday morning's game, Miami was advertised as a contender that had yet to beat a contender but was still a contender — trust us.
Dolphins are now 0-3 averaging 17 points per game this season vs. teams with a winning record. They are 6-0 with 39 ppg vs. team .500 or worst.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) November 5, 2023
That’s the story of this team until they prove otherwise. A team that looks amazing against bad teams and inferior against strong ones.
The NFL isn't college football. The Dolphins don't make the schedules. But what they've done with the schedule they were dealt was beat up on all the bad teams and go winless against the good teams.
After Sunday morning's Brötchen-and-leberwurst breakfast with the Dolphins in Frankfurt, Germany, that fact had not changed but only intensified in its truth. The Dolphins are now 0-3 against teams with a winning record, and 6-0 against teams that are .500 or worse.
This is WILD!— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) November 5, 2023
Chiefs force a Tyreek Hill fumble and then lateral the ball for a touchdown!
Play of the GameWhile the 21-14 score tells the story of a close game, it lies about what happened in many ways. For one, the Dolphins were seemingly never in contention until the very last minutes.
On the other hand, the Dolphins' defense dominated the Chiefs, only giving up 14 points to the Patrick Mahomes-led unit. The difference between two struggling offenses was one defense — the Chiefs, unfortunately —- taking scoring matters into their own hands.
Just before halftime, with the Dolphins on the doorsteps of the red zone down 14-0, tragedy struck. One of those anything-but-that plays happened when Tyreek Hill fumbled the football after a catch, and chaos ensued, ending in a Kansas City defensive score and a play that wound up being the difference in an otherwise evenly matched game.
From, at worst, a 14-3 halftime deficit, to a 21-0 laugher. As we'd later find out, Kansas City wouldn't score again, and the Dolphins would put up 14 of their own, making this the winning play.
What's NextThe Dolphins have a bye week next week, one in which they're slated to welcome HBO to their headquarters for filming of Hard Knocks — exactly what a struggling team needs, a reality television film crew to come in and jack shit up!
The positive takeaway? Miami finished the first half of the season 6-3, neck-and-neck atop the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills and in the driver's seat for a second-straight postseason appearance.
That's what we call a perennial contender developing. Unfortunately, that's not what the talking heads will say this week.