Looking back at 2014
It's Monday morning, the day after the last Sunday of the NFL 2014 regular season.
To be honest, I had trouble sleeping last night, thinking about the Dolphins season and the road ahead next year.
Looking back, let's first focus on the positives.
1. Ryan Tannehill is a keeper. He is the first quarterback since Dan Marino to throw for over 4000 yards this season. He did everything that he could with the makeshift line that he was given. We saw improvement this year without a doubt, and he would be the first to tell you that there are parts of his game that can get better (e.g., the long ball). He is tough and wants to win, and the Finatics stand behind him.
2. Lamar Miller had a great season as well, and stepped in early when Knowson Mareno fell to a season ending injury early. he became the 9th running back in Dolphins history to reach the 1000 yard mark.
3. Overall Bill Lazor brought a spark to the offense that kept us in the game for most of the season.
Memorable Games: The first game against the Patriots, the 37-0 shutout against the Chargers, the 22-9 payback victory on Thursday Night against the Bills.
1. The Offensive line is still a work in progress. In game one against the Patriots you could see the push and we were dominating. Injuries plaqued us and the backups could not step in and maintain that dominance.
2. Red zone is a big issue. With a 4000 yard passer and a 1000 yard rusher you would think we would have gotten more points when we needed them.
3. A tale of two defenses. After the stellar 37-0 shutout of the Chargers, and a great game against the Bills, the defense seemed to collapse in the stretch, giving up 193 points in the final six games for an average of 32 points per game. Conditioning, coaching, or both? When the lne needed a sack, it couldn't get one.
4. The fake punt against the Jets on Sunday was the game changer, and it wasn't the first time the special teams were fooled this season. Again, I have to point to coaching on this one.
Forgettable games: Heartbreaking losses to the Packers, Lions, and Broncos. Blow-outs with Buffalo, Kansas City, Baltimore, New England and the Jets.
Just not ready for the next level, the playoffs, this year.
The social media has many season ticket holders angry, and want coaches fired. For the amount of money spent for the average season ticket holder, did you truly feel entertained heading home after these games?
Only halfway there.
Dolphins Need 4th Quarter Defensive Advantage
Here is the key to the Dolphins being 6 - 5 versus 9 - 2, and at the top of the AFC East - 4th quarter defense.
In the games against Green Bay, Detroit and Denver the Dolphins had the lead in the 4th quarter, only to lose that lead in the concluding moments of the game. Not only were the Dolphins winning in all 3 games, but they were winning in all 3 up until the last 3 minutes of the game.
In the 3 games, the offense put up big numbers. The offense did their job. The team on a whole, especially the defense have made excellent halftime adjustments all season. However, it almost seems as if the defense gets too comfortable with any lead, and lets their guard down hoping that they will hold the opponent on that last key drive. That does not work.
Monday night's game versus the Jets will not be an easy one. We expect this one to go down to the wire. The defense holds in the 4th quarter, the Fins win.
VItale's View - Buffalo Post Game Report
Gino Vitale of Finatics.com talks to some really "good sport" Buffalo Bills fans at Sun Life Stadium after their loss to the Miami Dolphins; November 13, 2014.