The fear was real.
After Dolphins wins against the Jets and Colts, and a near-disastrous near-victory against the Redskins, there was concern among many fans that Brian Flores’ team was improving too fast — and might further fall in the draft order. This remained a concern even with the traumatic injury suffered by the Dolphins’ perceived top target, Tua Taglavailoa of Alabama. After all, Miami needs everything, and needs as much draft capital as possible to get it.
Well, no more worries.
The Dolphins remain rather limited.
So their draft options should remain rather expansive.
This was proven Sunday during a 37-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills, marking the second time this season the Dolphins have yielded at least 30 points to one of the league’s worst offenses. This wasn’t altogether unexpected, with recent top defensive performers Raekwon McMillan and Taco Charlton out, joining Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones and others on the inactive list. And offensively? Well, with Kenyan Drake traded, Mark Walton suspended and Preston Williams out for the season, the skill spots have been thinned considerably, so much so that Kallen Ballage and his svelte yards-per-carry average (it looks like a failing GPA) was being relied upon as a primary playmaker.
Miami had moments, notably Jakeem Grant’s 101-yard blazing kickoff return (followed by another for 50 yards) Jason Sanders’ adroitly executed onside kick and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 45-yard completion to DeVante Parker, but overall, the Bills (7-3) are playing for this season, and the Dolphins are playing because the schedule says they have to. Most Dolphins fans couldn’t identify more than three or four players on the current defense. The Bills’ John Brown, from Homestead High School in South Florida, took advantage, with 9 catches for 137 yards.
And any unlikely comeback by the Dolphins ended when Fitzpatrick was stuffed on 4th-and-1 deep in Buffalo territory.
Next week — at Cleveland, where previous tank efforts haven’t turned out so well so far.
Here are the Dolphins’ major highlights from the loss:
Jakeem Grant = fast.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 17, 2019
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 17, 2019
The Dolphins kicker just completed an onside kick to himself. This is not a drill. 🚨
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 17, 2019
Photos by Tony Capobianco.