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Fins In Deep Trouble As Losses Pile Up

DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins started out the 2013 season with a 3-0 record, but after four straight losses; the team is teetering on the edge of having a once-promising season spiral out of control.

Sunday's loss to New England was tough for Fins fans to deal with after three straight losses. The Fins came out and dominated the Patriots in the first half and took a 17-3 lead into halftime. However, the second half was total domination by New England.

The Patriots went on a 24-0 run in the second half spurred by turnovers, bad plays all over the field by Miami, and countless missed opportunities. Miami's defense held the patriots to just 252 yards of total offense and 2-10 on third down conversions, but it was nowhere near enough to stop Tom Brady when the Fins kept giving them good field position.

The game itself was a microcosm of Miami's season: start out strong, head to a break ready to keep it going, and then collapse.

One area that was especially bad for the Dolphins was pass protection. Whether it was the offensive line, running back, tight end, or quarterback Ryan Tannehill holding on to the ball too long; the Fins gave up a total of six sacks to the Patriots and lost 47 yards on those sacks.

For the season, Tannehill has been sacked 32 times, or a little less than five times per game. On the Fins' current pace, Tannehill will be sacked 73 times in 2013 if he makes it through 16 games this season. On those 73 sacks, the Fins will lose 493 yards on the team's current pace.

Overall, Tannehill is sacked more than one out of every ten times he drops back to pass in 2013.

Starting just after halftime, the Dolphins' final seven drives against New England looked like this:

  • 8 plays – missed field goal
  • 2 plays – fumble
  • 5 plays – punt
  • 3 plays – punt
  • 6 plays – interception
  • 13 plays – blocked field goal
  • 4 plays – interception

For comparative purposes, the Patriots' drives in the second half looked like this:

  • 3 plays – punt
  • 5 plays – Touchdown
  • 3 plays – Touchdown
  • 3 plays – punt
  • 8 plays – field goal
  • 12 plays – Touchdown
  • 3 plays – punt
  • 2 plays – end of game

Compounding the problems for the Dolphins is the loss of wide receiver Brandon Gibson for the season. Gibson was having a decent season in his first year with the team, but tore a tendon in his knee when he leaped to catch a Tannehill pass that was thrown too high.

The Fins will either promote a backup or look to free agency for a replacement for Gibson. But with Tannehill struggling to find any consistency with any Fins receiver, adding a new face may not do much to help Miami's woeful offense.

Now the Fins get to turn their attention towards the Cincinnati Bengals who are coming off a complete embarrassment of the New York Jets. The Bengals pounded the Jets by a score of 49-9 in a game that wasn't even as close as that awful final score made it look like.

If Miami lays another egg at home this Thursday and drops to 1-3 at home in 2013, the calls for change will begin to grow and general manager Jeff Ireland, head coach Joe Philbin, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be in the crosshairs of fans across South Florida.


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