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Josh Rosen out, Ryan Fitzpatrick in for Dolphins

Brian Flores clearly wants to win, even if the Miami Dolphins organization does not.

And in that context, he’s gone back to Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter at quarterback, as the Dolphins travel to Buffalo.

That means Josh Rosen, after three starts and an overall 52.0 passer rating for the entire season, is back on the bench. And it means there will be much debate about whether it was worth trading a second-round pick to Arizona for him, and whether he has any future with this franchise.

Rosen was repeatedly hurried and hit in Sunday’s loss to Washington, but his performance also paled in comparison to that of Fitzpatrick, who rallied the Dolphins to within 17-16 before a two-point conversion failed.

And Rosen hasn’t been that good when given time either, as our Chris Kouffman of Three Yards Per Carry noted:

And Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post has a sentiment that is similar to ours.

Rosen may have been put in a terrible spot. Awful offensive line. So-so skill players. A coaching staff that, at times, has seemed clueless or worse.

But he hasn’t shown much either. Some escapability and improvisation. Some toughness. But not much special in terms of arm strength or anticipation. And it’s clear that Flores hasn’t been satisfied with his command of the offense.

We thought that, at worst, Rosen would compete with the next quarterback — likely drafted this April — to be the starter at the start of next season. Now that appears unlikely.

Fitzpatrick? Well, he is what he is.

Buffalo is one of his former teams, and Fitzpatrick knows that stadium and the conditions well. The Bills are good, really good, but it shouldn’t stun anyone if there’s some FitzMagic on Sunday. Flores clearly wants that. Do you? Does Steve Ross?

Did Dolphins coach Brian Flores make the right call?

When intentions are unclear, it’s difficult to assess decisions.

Take, for instance, the choice by Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores to go for two, rather than tie the game, after his team rallied to within 17-16 against the Washington Redskins with just six seconds left in regulation Sunday. And then the actual play that was called, that seemingly had little chance at success.

While it’s clear this season that ownership and front office are fine with lots and lots of losses, the coaches and players don’t have much to gain by deliberate tanking. Flores, in particular, is trying to show he’s a competent NFL coach. So this has always seemed more about the front office giving him little to work with, and then him attempting to instill the proper principles in whatever personnel he’s been provided.

With all of that said, Flores and his staff (especially the coordinators) have made some odd decisions this season, whether regarding the unconventional utilization of players in particular schemes (outside their comfort zones) or curious play calls. Then, of course, there was the matter of star cornerback Xavien Howard being held out Sunday after practicing all week with a sore knee; that had a direct impact on the game. That may have been a call made above Flores. The two-point conversion was a call made by Flores, and hand-picked offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea.

Was it the correct one?

Well, the throw behind the line of scrimmage to Kenyan Drake didn’t work. And the Redskins won. And the Dolphins lost. Which was bad. Or good. Depends on your perspective.

Here are some of the tweets of the moment:

For more

For more about the Dolphins’ loss, which dropped them 0-5 and kept them in prime position for the upcoming NFL draft, check out Craig Davis’ latest column:

Dolphins QB search: The Jake Fromm Play That “Didn’t Happen”

It may seem like a simple 7- yard completion from Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm to a receiver.

But it’s more than that.

Chris Kouffman (@CKParrot) of Three Yards Per Carry — our popular Dolphins analysis podcast — breaks down why this completion shows off so many of Fromm’s unique abilities.

Follow the thread below:

Click here to follow the 3YardsPerCarry College QB tracker for in-depth break downs and stats for all of the top 2020  class prospects.

What are the odds the Dolphins go 0-16?

Let’s talk about odds…

The 2019 season has been anything but entertaining for the Miami Dolphins and their loyal fanbase.  Unless of course you believe in the art of tanking, in which case you are probably very supportive of Miami’s efforts this NFL season.  Truth is, Miami is on pace to become the worst team in the history of the NFL. No, this is not a joke.  And although we all wish and hope for a quick turanaround, a terrible 2019 season can mean only one thing.  Alabama QB, Tua Tagovailoa.

Unfortunately, Miami isn’t the only team that appears to be tanking for Tua.

In fact, there are currently six teams that remain winless in 2019. Fortunately, not all of those teams are in need of a QB.  Which means if the Dolphins truly covet one of this year’s franchise signal-callers, they can move up and try to acquire their ‘next Dan Marino’.  Or not, the choice is theirs. But what we’re starting to realize more and more each day, is that if Miami does want to land Tagovailoa, they might need to go 0-16 to do so.  This is okay with me and I’m sure a majority of fans would suffer through a historically bad season, if it meant landing the Crimson Tide QB.

But how likely is it for Miami to go 0-16?  According to Sports Betting Dime, the Dolphins odds of going 0-16 are as follows:

Yes +250

No -400

Sure, the odds could change several times between now and the end of the season.  But nevertheless, it’s interesting to see how Miami stacks up against the rest of the field.  Furthermore, if the Dolphins truly are tanking (they are), this would be the perfect outcome.  Trust me, if the Dolphins land Tua, the franchise will be winning football games quicker than you can pronounce his first name-Tuanigamanuolepola 

In the end, Miami is most likely going to squeak out a win or two.  Why?  Because nothing good ever happens to the Dolphins.  And in a year where the QB class is out of this world, and there’s a guy staring them in the face with elite intangibles, Miami will find a way to mess this up.  No matter how good they look in their current state.  But let’s be honest, there’s nothing fans want to hear more than these famous words…

“With the first pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins select:”

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

 

Josh Houtz (@houtz) is a die-hard fan of the Miami Dolphins, and has fallen in love with  Tua Tagovailoa.

The unofficial Miami Dolphins viewing guide

After four weeks of Regular Season NFL Football the Dolphins stand at 0-4 with the worst point differential in the league, losing games by an average of 34 points, not scoring a single point in any 2nd half, so as you can tell it’s been tough.

Miami is very clearly tanking so rooting for them is very hard at this point and probably not the best thing for your mental health. For that reason I present the “Miami Dolphins Viewing Guide” where I’ll show you how to enjoy this waste of a football season and quit your suffering on Sundays.

 

Step 1: Root against the Steelers and Texans

Due to some trades a few weeks ago, the Dolphins now possess the 1st round pick of the Steelers and Texans. The logic is fairly simple in this one, just watch some other teams and root for them on a week to week basis.

With this step you’ll get to enjoy and root for teams like the Ravens, Chargers, Jaguars, Browns, Rams and many more. For the first time in years you’ll actually root for teams with talent.

 

Step 2: Watch the Development of young players

While this does mean you would have to watch the Dolphins on Sundays, you should try and ignore the scoreboard. Looking at 2020 and beyond the roster will be very different but some young guys may still be around in this next phase of the franchise, making their development important to the future of the team. The benefit of this step is you get to enjoy players like: Preston Williams, Jerome Baker, Christian Wilkins, Taco Charlton and Davon Godchaux.

 

Step 3: Watch the Development of Josh Rosen

Ok, I understand this step is very similar to No.2 , but Josh Rosen being a Quarterback should separate him from the bunch. It’s no secret Miami is looking at the 2020 QB class, so that leaves Josh Rosen as the likely backup or out of Miami. Monitoring the development for Rosen should be intriguing for Dolphin fans, because if he manages to show some good signs this year desperate teams may be calling in the future.

 

Step 4: Watch some Alabama Games

I urge Dolphin Fans to ignore the Nick Saban hate just for one season, and just enjoy the talent of their next QB. Watching Tua Tagovailoa play football is truly a joy as a fan, and picturing him in a Miami uniform (Not wearing #13) is beautiful. It truly helps ease the pain you feel on Sundays. If you aren’t watching him yet, make an appointment every Saturday to do so and root for him to win the Heisman, trust me It’s fun.

 

Step 5: Embrace the Tank

There’s no 2 ways about it, Miami is tanking. While the morality or ethics of this have been debated to death by fans and national media, there’s no changing the fact that this is Miami’s plan and it isn’t changing. As a Fan I implore you to embrace it and laugh at all the dumb silly memes on the internet and laugh as they score yet another touchdown on our defense.

 

Miami Dolphins now 0-4, outscored 81-0 in second half

There’s only so long the dam can hold. Right, Miami?

We’ve now seen that two straight weeks with the Miami Dolphins, as they were competitive in Sunday’s first half against the depleted Los Angeles Chargers — just as they were frisky in last Sunday’s first half in Dallas against the Cowboys — only to collapse again in the second.

This time, a 17-10 halftime deficit became a 30-10 loss, dropping Miami’s record to 0-4.

Here’s a recap, from myself and Craig Davis of @DolphinMaven…

A couple of statistics stand out…

Miami has now been outscored 81-0 in the second half of its first four games.

Yes, 81-0.

And opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating over 130, after Philip Rivers topped that number Sunday.

The players didn’t have much to say in the locker room, but here was some of the best of it…

DeVante Parker, who had the only touchdown, just the Dolphins’ second of the season as they enter the bye…

Relative newcomer Taco Charlton, who had a sack…

And Kenyan Drake, who had only nine carries, and doesn’t seem long for this place…

Next up?

A week off.

Then similarly 0-4 Washington.

And this is an absolute must-loss. Yes, the Redskins just took Dwayne Haskins, but if they pick first, they can flip the pick to a team that wants to jump the Dolphins. Or could hold out for a huge package from Chris Grier and Miami.

After all, we know what this is about…

After Tua Tagovailoa threw seven (seven!) touchdowns for Alabama against Ole Miss on Saturday, with Grier on hand to watch, it’s apparent that every effort will be made to secure the future star. Even if quarterback, with Josh Rosen playing reasonably well, doesn’t appear to be the Dolphins’ biggest weakness.

Can the Dolphins finally come within two touchdowns?

The Dolphins are making progress, at least in one way: they are losing by less touchdowns.

Yes, they’re an enormous underdog again Sunday, after losing their first three games by a historically lopsided combined score by a 133-16, scoring 10 fewer points in three contests than Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has scored in any one game in his career.

And of course, they’ve been setting records when it comes to point spreads. They were 20-plus-point underdogs in Weeks 2 and 3, and still lost ATS (against the spread) both times. Back home to face the Chargers in Week 4, oddsmakers have the Fins as mere 16.5-point underdogs at some sites (16 at others). Odds on each sportsbooks may be a little different but, according to Sports Betting Dime, there are a few that consistently rank at the top of the list.

If luck is on your side, a straight-up Miami win will pay out at about +700 on average so shop and compare a few of the listed sites before you go chasing after that payout.

Expect even more money to come in on the Chargers late in the game, now that this has happened:

Also, while the Chargers fans don’t travel particularly well — most of their old San Diego fans don’t even go up the 405 to Los Angeles — it’s likely that many Dolphins fans will stay home Sunday. It’s Josh Rosen’s first home start, and maybe that has some appeal. But this entire process is painful, and it’s not clear Rosen is even part of the future anyway.

Who wants to watch your team get bludgeoned week after week?

The good news — or bad news if you’re in favor of the tank — is that the Dolphins schedule loosens up considerably after the bye. The Bengals, the Jets, the Giants. There are wins to be had, maybe, if the Dolphins even want them.

But for now, you can make this exercise more interesting by betting for the Dolphins to come within a couple of touchdowns.

Or not.

Jets coach Adam Gase might out-tank the Dolphins

The Dolphins got only one thing wrong in their diabolical plan for the NFL’s greatest tank: They fired Adam Gase.

While I was the first local media member to suggest they dump the so-called quarterback whisperer — about halfway through the Dolphins’ 2018 season — I clearly didn’t account for what’s happened now. Gase, hired quickly by the rival New York Jets, is now commanding the only offense in the NFL that’s as anemic as the Dolphins’. He’s blaming everyone and everything but himself, as usual.

The media are all over him, and they’re not the softies he encountered down in South Florida, even if they also aren’t especially consistent.

Oh, and the Jets are also 0-3, using former Dolphins’ practice squaders Luke Falk and David Fales at the most critical position in sports.

Which means they could be in the running for the No. 1 overall, which could make Dolphins fans — who don’t particularly like the swarmy swami — feel very conflicted when the teams play twice this season.

The Jets do have a quarterback, Sam Darnold, though he does currently have a communicable disease. And Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler remain retired, for now.

Adam Gase and his brilliance has known no bounds…

There was also this: typical Adam Gase move… 2

 

Old friend Ray Lucas isn’t sold either.

 

Still, though you have faith in the Dolphins.

We polled this, and roughly 90 percent of you think Miami will still be worse than Gase’s guys.

Wait until the bubble screen on 4th and 23.

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Tannenbaum

Former Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum offers baffling insight

Hindsight is always 20/20. It’s easy to look back and see what you should or should not have done in any given situation. That is a concept that every single person on this planet can relate to. This, of course, includes NFL executives. So when former Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum went on Twitter to offer insight on the NFL’s quarterback situation, some eyebrows were raised.

Obviously, stating that teams should draft a quarterback every year is ironic coming from Mike Tannenbaum. He acted as a consultant for the team during the 2014 season, and then was hired to be the team’s Executive VP of Football Operations in 2015. He was essential to the Dolphins landing Ndamukong Suh that same year. However, aside from that, Tannenbaum’s Miami tenure was filled with skepticism from fans and analysts.

This is where he dropped the above gem, regarding drafting a QB every year. However, if this is what Tannenbaum truly believes, then why did he not push harder for Miami to do the same? Even if the Dolphins truly believed Ryan Tannehill had what it takes to be a franchise quarterback, that should not have stopped them from drafting QBs if this is Tannenbaum’s philosophy.

Miami drafted only one QB during Tannenbaum’s tenure. In 2016, they selected Brandon Doughty out of Western Kentucky. He was selected in the seventh round, 223rd overall. That is not exactly a high ceiling pick.

Perhaps this adds credence to the reports that Chris Grier was ultimately in charge of drafting, and not Mike Tannenbaum. If so, hopefully Grier has learned a valuable lesson, as he’s in charge of rebuilding the Dolphins from the ground up.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

The national anti-Dolphins tank lobby has lost it

If you’ve followed the @5ReasonsSports Twitter account — and if not, why the heck not — you know I haven’t been fully on board the tank.

Well, I like selling #tankovailoa shirts and tanktops (get yours here!) but I’m not sold on every move the Dolphins are making.

They needed a reset, for sure, and somewhat of a teardown. But they made it too obvious with what they did the week before the season, giving their team no chance to reasonably compete, and forgetting the human cost to players and others of stripping down the roster to this degree. I also don’t entirely trust them to rebuild this, even with three gazillion picks and gobs and gobs of cap space.

Now, though?

I’m being turned to the tank side.

Why?

Because, as per usual, the national media are jumping all over a South Florida team with ridiculous takes. Jake Mendel did a fine job explaining this phenomenon in this piece for our sister site: Dolphin Maven (SI).

And Josh Houtz explored the idiocy of the Competition Committee considering an investigation of the sort of personnel practices the Dolphins are using.

But it’s more than that.

The national sports media, which haven’t cared about Miami sports since Chris Foerster was snorting coke in his office, are all over this story.

And some have some idiotic opinions.

Here’s just one, the one that pushed me to the tank side, because I don’t want to share a viewpoint with this pundit. Make some space. What’s it Tua-ya?

 

If you are tired of mediocre Miami Dolphins coverage in the national media, stick with us. We have the best Miami Dolphins content in Five Reasons Sports. Don’t get caught in all the bulls**t out there. And by the way. Visit our shop. You’ll like what we have there.