More Takeaways from the Dolphins’ Red Wedding on MNF
More Takeaways from the Dolphins’ Red Wedding on MNF
May 19, 2024 3:15 AM

If the ‘Game of Thrones’ reference in the title flew over your head; rest assured; Monday Night’s televised meltdown delivered a strikingly akin experience.

3 plays from scrimmage, 3 injuries

It took just three plays from scrimmage for injuries to mount. While Jaylen Waddle and Xavien Howard swiftly rejoined the game after a brief stint in the medical tent, the Dolphins’ medical team found themselves working overtime on Monday night.

Regrettably, Dolphins’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill wasn’t able to return to the game as swiftly. While attempting to walk off the field following an ankle entrapment during a screen play gone wrong, Tyreek, clearly in pain, wouldn’t return to the game until late in the second half. He voiced his initial thought of a possible broken ankle during the post-game press conference. Hill said when his injury first happened he felt his “ankle was broken.”

While Tyreek Hill’s injury caused the most concern among Dolphins fans, it wasn’t the sole significant setback for the team. Center Connor Williams was compelled to exit the game after being rolled up on. He remained sidelined for the second half, swiftly ruled out due to the injury. Later we found out he tore his ACL; he’s done for the year.

And from there, things would go downhill, fast.

Missing: The Cheetah and the Echoing Void in the Dolphins’ Offense

In the absence of Tyreek, Miami’s offensive woes echoed the chilling spectacle of disorientation. throughout the half. The team wandered aimlessly, appearing drained and listless. While the ground game found success, the aerial prowess, the very facet that had terrorized opponents all season, struggled relentlessly. As the clock wound down to halftime, Miami trailed 10-7, their solitary touchdown an unexpected Zach Sieler pick 6 on defense.

What happened to the Dolphins defense in the final minutes of the 4thquarter?

In a game where the Dolphins’ defense shouldered the weight of the offense, the defensive unit appeared poised for an all around dominant game until one of the most colossal collapses in recent team history unfolded. Miami had built a comfortable lead of two touchdowns with merely 5 minutes remaining. However, the defense inexplicably succumbed, yielding two touchdowns and a crucial two-point conversion in under 3 minutes of play. This collapse marked a staggering NFL record: teams that trailed by 14 points with only 3 minutes left had won 767 consecutive games until Monday night. However, Monday night’s collapse shouldn’t be solely attributed to the defense. Miami weaved a tapestry of errors, contributing to undoing their own hard-earned advantage. They indulged in a myriad of mistakes, everything they shouldn’t have done, ultimately dimming their prospects for first place in the AFC and inadvertently breathing new hope into Buffalo’s divisional aspirations, squandering a prime opportunity to seal their dominance with a victory.

What’s the deal with this Tua-led offense and primetime football?

The Miami Dolphins haven’t exactly thrived in primetime—at least in the past decade— and Monday night’s performance only reinforced this narrative. Once again, the glare of the spotlight seemed too intense for the Tagovailoa-led offense, particularly at home where they had maintained a dominant, undefeated record throughout the season. Admittedly, the Dolphins were coping with nearly an entire offensive line comprising backups and the absence of the league’s deserving MVP, Tyreek Hill, disrupting their rhythm. Nevertheless, despite a nightmarish start, the situation failed to improve, and the offense struggled to find its footing.

What happens from here?

Reflecting on Monday night’s collapse, the pace at which fortune shifted is noteworthy:

Comparing the team’s previous record of 9-3, anticipating a coveted 10th win and leaving Monday Night Football with aspirations for first place, the Dolphins were riding a wave of momentum.

Miami now grapples with the absence of center Connor Williams (done for the season) and Tyreek Hill’s day-to-day status due to an ankle injury, leaving his participation in the Jets game uncertain.

The lack of assurance casts a shadow of uncertainty over Miami’s postseason aspirations. This air of uncertainty is compounded by the grueling stretch of challenging games looming on the horizon. The reverberations of everything going amiss on Monday night linger, dimming any semblance of optimism.

Coach McDaniel faces what could potentially be the team’s most challenging phase during his two-year tenure. The coming period will serve as a litmus test for the Dolphins’ resilience and fortitude as they navigate this crucial home stretch.

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