This one hurt a lot more than most losses to the Dolphins. This game actually meant something for the Patriots. If we won the game yesterday, we take the #1 seed and probably win out with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Luckily for us, the Bengals also lost to the Steelers, so we still the #2 seed for now, and the ever important bye week. Lets get into the nitty gritty:
The offense looked pretty darn good. We were able to compensate for a monster Dolphins pass rush and the loss of Solder, by using quick throws and screens to get the ball out of Brady’s hands faster. This worked well….until we hit the red zone. We had a 15 play and 16 play drive that ended in field goals. This can’t happen. It just can’t. We get a touchdown on either of those and this game would have been tied and we could have kicked a chip shot field goal to win it. We desperately need Belichick to figure out how to get personnel free in the red zone if we’re going to make a run to the Super Bowl. A lot of the announcers were talking about the big play and all that jazz, how without Gronk we’re fucked. Well, we had like 445 yards of total offense. The offense can move the ball. The next two weeks before the playoffs (hopefully 3 if we get the bye) we have to work on red zone situations. Rub routes, getting Hoomba in the mix, whatever it takes we have to execute in the red zone. It cost us that game and the AFC East clinch.
The defense looked good. You have to give Tannehill credit. The Dolphins weren’t able to rush all game and Tannehill put the team on his back. He made some great throws and looked sharp. He didn’t get discouraged by sacks and went through his progressions efficiently. With Arrington, Dennard and Talib all in the mix we looked pretty good. We are INCREDIBLY thin at CB however, and if one of them gets injured in the playoffs we’re probably fucked. Perfect example of this: Arrington has a nagging groin injury and came out of the game for a few plays. Marquis “I couldn’t cover my eyes with a blindfold” Cole came in and immediately gives up a touchdown due to failed coverage followed by a failed tackle. I have no idea what Belichick sees in him but I guess that’s why he’s the coach or something.
The Dolphins have to win out and we have to lose out to not clinch the AFC East. We have to move on from this and beat the Ravens. Also Gostowski did fuck us pretty good missing that field goal then booting the ball out of bounds. Dude was trying to hard. I don’t like blaming kickers because at the end of the day, if you played a perfect football game, the kicker should only be out there on kickoffs and extra points.