The Dolphins flew into Kansas City on Saturday hoping to stop
Priest Holmes from running wild against them. And when the game was
over, the Dolphins had managed to hold Holmes to 52 yards rushing on
23 carries and 1 touchdown.
Unfortunately, they couldn't even slow down the rest of the
Kansas City offense and ended up on the losing end of a 48-30 drubbing
that left the team shaking their heads about what had hit them.
In cases like this, I don't normally do a full review of the
game, because it's too painful to delve into ever nuance, and I won't
do that today, either. But I do want to hit on some points about the
The Dolphins had most of their roster on the field for this
game, but Jason Taylor played with a large brace on his knee that
limited his mobility and Patrick Surtain missed this game again.
The Dolphins had a number of problems on Sunday, but the
biggest problems they had were turnovers on offense and the inability
to cope with the Chiefs' passing game on defense. The offense turned
the ball over a total of 5 times, which is clearly unacceptable
performance, no matter what kind of offense you're running.
The offense did do some things right on Sunday. The Dolphins
scored 30 points and on most days, that would be enough to win. Ricky
Williams was held out of the game in the 4th quarter, but still ended
the day with 126 yards of offense and had 66 yards rushing at 4.7 ypc
and a touchdown.
Unfortunately, with 1 fumble lost and 4 interceptions, the
Dolphins' offense made way too many mistakes to make up for their 30
point production. And as I said in my preview, mistakes were the
Dolphins' biggest worry coming into the game.
There is no excuse for that many turnovers. The fumble was
the result of a screwed up handoff and should never happen. Some of
Fiedler's picks were his fault and some weren't, but as I'm sure you'd
all agree, the Dolphins aren't going to win too many games against any
team if they turn it over 5 times.
The Dolphins' offensive line played fairly well, but allowed
too much pressure on Fiedler, which helped cause the interceptions.
But, as I said, Fiedler also made his share of poor decisions
yesterday, which he had avoided for most of the previous 3 games.
On defense, the one bright spot was the job they did on Priest
Holmes. With the exception of one 25 yard run, Holmes did almost
nothing on the ground. Even with that run, he had only 52 yards
rushing on 23 carries for a 2.3 ypc average.
Unfortunately, the Dolphin defense didn't do anything else
right. They allowed Trent Green to look better than Dan Marino, as he
threw for 5 touchdowns and didn't turn the ball over. The first
problem was the lack of a pass rush. The Dolphins' defensive line
generated no pressure on Trent Green and Miami didn't blitz enough to
help them out.
As a result, Green was not sacked and barely pressured. This
not only allowed him to complete 24 passes for over 300 yards, but
also allowed him to scramble effectively.
The Dolphins also couldn't cover TE Tony Gonzalez at all. He
ended up catching 7 passes for 140 yards and 3 touchdowns. The
Dolphins' defense just couldn't figure out a way to contain him.
As bad as the Dolphins played, they were in the game until the
4th quarter, when Jay Fiedler threw 3 interceptions.
As for the coaching, none of the defensive adjustments made to
contain Tony Gonzalez worked and that is a problem. But the biggest
question mark in coaching was why Ricky Williams was on the sideline
through most of the 4th quarter.
With the Dolphins trailing 30-38 with 11 minutes remaining,
Norv Turner took Ricky Williams out of the game. Since Ricky is the
centerpiece of the Dolphins' offense and the only thing that makes the
play-action fake believable, the question is why? 11 minutes is
plenty of time to use the running game effectively, even if you
believe you need two scores.
In any case, Norv didn't use Ricky at the end of the game and
we may never know why.
All in all this loss was a wake-up call that hopefully will be
answered before the Dolphins face the Patriots this week. The
Patriots have been a passing team this year and the Dolphins will need
to do a better job stopping them than they did stopping the Chiefs.