The Miami Dolphins’ winning streak has come to an end. After five straight victories, the Dolphins lost 20-13 to the Denver Broncos last night.
In a game where the Dolphins were deemed favourites, Miami were stale on offense and were poor on defense.
Initially, the game started off well for Miami, with a Xavien Howard interception on the first drive of the game. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw to DeVante Parker for the touchdown. However, this was the best it got for the Dolphins.
Miami’s Stale Offense
Miami never really got going and Tua was benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter.
Tua never looked comfortable in this game, throwing for just 83 passing yards and one touchdown. He did not throw an interception but there was never a point in this game where Tua looked comfortable.
Whilst he threw a lovely pass for the Parker touchdown, he was helped massively by the aforementioned Howard interception that got the Dolphins in good field position.
He was not helped by his offensive line, who did not do enough to protect the former Alabama quarterback. Tagovailoa was sacked more times in yesterday’s defeat (6), than he had done in his previous three starts (4).
This is a credit to the Denver defense but also how poor the offensive line played to allow the Broncos to get to Tua so often.
Fitz came in and made some good throws but he threw for an interception late on that put an end to the game.
Miami’s Defensive Issues
There may have been few good third down stops and even one fourth down stop, the Miami Dolphins sadly didn’t capitalise on these.
Defensively, it was not a particularly good showing. Apart from the Howard pick, Miami allowed big plays from the Broncos and they could not stop the run.
Issues such as these were a problem early on in the season but appeared to have improved. It was a case of back to square one in this game.
Midway through the first quarter, the Dolphins allowed some big plays.
Denver rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler ran for a 15 yard gain. Running back Phillip Lindsay ran for 20 yards and Drew Lock managed to scramble for 15 yards. The poor defensive showing on this drive inevitably resulted in a Broncos touchdown.
Denver running back Melvin Gordon ran in for the touchdown to tie the game level at 7-7. Wide Receiver Tim Patrick would later make a 41 yard gain on a drive that ended up with a Brandon McManus field goal to give the Broncos a 10-7 less.
A field goal would once again come about thanks to Miami’s poor defensive showing.
On the first play after the 2 minute warning in the second quarter, Melvin Gordon ran for a 25 yard gain. The Dolphins would then allow Lock to pass to wide receiver Jerry Jeudy for a 22 yard gain, which put them in field goal range. This is something that Denver capitalised on, getting those three points to go into half time in the lead 13-10 up.
Phillip Lindsay’s 18 yard gain and Noah Fant’s 15 yards ended up not resulting in points, but allowing these plays cannot happen too often if the Dolphins are to be a legitimate contender.
K.J. Hamler’s 3rd down gain of 16 yards and Melvin Gordon’s subsequent 20 yard rush for the touchdown was another example of how bad the defense was for Brian Flores’ side in Denver yesterday.
Midway through fourth quarter, Miami allowed Noah Fant to record a 26 yard gain and Lindsay to record a 20 yard rush. Theres are moments where the team needs to not allow plays such as those. Considering how good the defense has been this season, this was a huge disappointment for me.
It is hopefully just an off day for the Dolphins. The team have shown in the past few weeks how good they can be. Denver is notoriously a hard place to play. The Jets await Miami next for a get-right game, as do the Bengals the week after who have lost Joe Burrow for the season. Two wins here will move Miami to 8-4, which is something the fans can get behind.