When it comes to the Miami Dolphins 2019 season, there is no shortage of opinions. Just glance at Twitter or Facebook and you’ll see opinions posted on every topic you can imagine about the team, some by people convinced that their opinions aren’t just opinion, but should be chiseled in stone as fact.
Annoying? Yep. Especially to those like me whose opinions are always right (just don’t tell my wife I said that; she has this eye-roll thing she does and, well anyway…).
After watching the Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, even the national media weighed in on their perception of the Dolphins, especially after an all-out blitz on a 3rd-and-20 play resulted in an easy touchdown for the Steelers just before the half.
And that got me thinking: I'm convinced we as fans all suffer from something called perception bias. And before you quit reading and go post something about what a dumbass thing that is to accuse you (and you, and you, and even you) of, let me explain.
Think back to recent seasons and take a look at how you felt about a polarizing topic like, say Ryan Tannehill as the Dolphins quarterback.
If we hated Ryan Tannehill, then we spent every game dissecting his every play, noticing his flaws and picking out his mistakes. For every argument that Tannehill was a top-12 QB (as he was in 2016), there were ten arguments showing how he lacked pocket presence and took too many sacks.
If we loved Tannehill, we noticed every great play and every perfect throw. If someone criticized Tannehill in a post, we jumped in to say that no one would succeed behind that sieve of an offensive line, or posted a video showing a 50-yard throw that hit the receiver perfectly in stride for a touchdown.
And no matter what was said, no matter what happened in games, your opinion never wavered.
My point is, regardless of which side of the argument you stood, you viewed every game with that perception guiding your thoughts and opinions.
And that brings us to 2019, where nothing is more polarizing than the Ever-Loving Season of The Tank.
The same thing is happening this season. If you are convinced the team is tanking down to the coaching level, then every play that doesn't work is your evidence of that; every mistake proves your point.
If (like me) you believe the tank is only in the front office, denying good talent to a team that is otherwise doing all they can with the tools at their disposal, you look at that 3rd-and-20 play in that Monday night game and see that if pressure from the defensive blitz had gotten there a half-second sooner, Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph might have rushed the pass and thrown off-target, as he'd been doing throughout most of the night to that point when pressured. It was good play call; it just didn’t work as planned.
That is just one example, but I think it’s enough to make my point. I’m guilty of it, you’re guilty of it, everyone’s guilty of it. It’s not wrong or right, but it is something to strongly consider as you watch the rest of this season play out, and see discussion on which player is most deserving of the first overall pick in the NFL draft next April. See, you have a strong (and deeply biased) opinion on that too, don’t you? Told ya.
This season in general, every detail is being scrutinized through biased opinions, both by us and by local and national reporters. And if you approach a situation with a biased opinion, you'll only see what substantiates that opinion.
Think about that previous paragraph.
And keep that in mind the next time you watch the Dolphins play.
This article was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball.
All odds were stacked against the Miami Dolphins in their Week 7 battle against the Buffalo Bills and yet the Dolphins almost pulled off a stunner. Prior to kickoff Sunday, head coach Brian Flores announced the Dolphins would be without two elite players on the defensive side: Reshad Jones and Xavien Howard.
As for the offense, Miami induced a backup center in the lineup, too, with Daniel Kilgore inactive. Throw in rookie first-rounder Christian Wilkins, who was tossed after two plays in the first quarter for throwing a punch. Unable to protect a third quarter lead, Bills quarterback Josh Allen tossed two touchdown throws in the final quarter, in part of a 22-7 fourth quarter scoring output, leading Buffalo to a 31-21 victory at New Era Field.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who got the nod under center over a struggling Josh Rosen, gave the Dolphins every opportunity for an upset win, as Buffalo opened 17-point favorites. Fitzpatrick moved the football early and often, followed by Mark Walton, who started over Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage for the second consecutive week. Walton continued to surprise Miami’s coaching staff, as the former Miami Hurricane closed with a team-high 66 yards on 14 carries.
The Dolphins held Buffalo to three Stephen Hauschka first-half field goals, but had trouble in the second half containing Allen, as the former Wyoming product completed 16-of-26 for 202 passing yards. Fitzpatrick kept the Dolphins alive, however, finding Preston Williams and DeVante Parker on a consistent basis throughout drives.
Williams led Miami in receptions (6) and receiving yards (82), whereas Parker hauled in a touchdown reception for the second time in as many weeks. Buffalo was able to secure victory after Micah Hyde recovered an onside kick attempt and ran 45 yards for the score. Brian Flores, in a quick and calm manner postgame, stated Fitzpatrick will start next Monday night against the 2-4 Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dolphins’ lone primetime appearance.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins were two yards shy of picking up win number one under first-year leader Brian Flores last Sunday vs. the Washington Redskins at Hard Rock Stadium. After replacing a struggling Josh Rosen, who threw two interceptions, Fitzpatrick found DeVante Parker in the endzone with six seconds remaining, cutting Washington’s lead to 17-16.
Electing to try a two-point conversion, Fitzpatrick’s intended target, Kenyan Drake, dropped a bubble screen pass, keeping Miami winless through six weeks of play. Now they are going to try again against Buffalo, with the players hoping that they can finally put a one in the wins column.
DATE: Sunday, October 20
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
SITE: New Era Field, Buffalo, New York
LINE: BUF - 17; O/U: 41.5
RADIO: Dolphins Radio Network, KISS 99.9 FM, 560 WQAM, 1210 WNMA (Spanish)
Radio Announcers: English broadcast - Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper; Spanish broadcast - Raul Striker Jr., Eduardo Martell
3 Players to Watch
1. Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Brian Flores announced earlier this week Fitzpatrick, who was a member of the Bills from 2009-2012, will get the nod under center Sunday. Fitzpatrick was Miami’s starter Week 1 vs. Baltimore and Week 2 vs. New England, before Rosen took command at the position Week 3, Week 4 and Week 6.
2. Bills QB Josh Allen: Surprisingly, Allen has thrown more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (5). Allen was effective on the ground during the two meetings last season against the Dolphins.
3. Bills RB Frank Gore: A 36-year-old Frank Gore is still a dangerous player. The veteran running back should have an explosive outing Sunday against a weak Miami defensive unit that allows nearly 170 rushing yards per contest.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
The Miami Dolphins are off to an 0-5 start for the first time since 2011, and that was during the Tony Sparano era. The Dolphins lost by one point to a winless Washington Redskins team last Sunday, and the Dolphins had a chance to win the game when first-year head coach Brian Flores decided to go for the two-point conversion.
Unfortunately, the Dolphins missed the conversion and fell to 0-5. Josh Rosen started the game at quarterback and was 15/25 for 85 yards and two interceptions. Head coach Brian Flores decided to bench Rosen, and Ryan Fitzpatrick would come into the game and was 12/18 for 132 yards, and one touchdown pass.
The last time the Dolphins got off to this bad of a start was back in 2004, and that was during the Wannstedt era, and he re-signed midseason. The Dolphins also had a similar start in the 2007 season and finished that season with one win, but Cam Cameron's way of coaching caused the Dolphins troubles that season.
We also can't forget the 0-6 start in 2011, and that led to the firing of the late Tony Sparano. The Dolphins will travel to Western New York Sunday to play AFC East rival Buffalo, and the Bills are off to a really good start, but they are a beatable team.
The Dolphins have some winnable games in the 2019 season, but when do they get their first win? I thought the Redskins game was going to be their first win, but that game was a loss, but you have a Monday Night Football game at Pittsburgh that is winnable. The Jets will come to South Florida on November 3rd, a trip to Cleveland on November 24th, and a trip to MetLife against the Jets on December 8th. All of those games are winnable.
The Dolphins will stay in Newark for another week against the Giants on December 15th, and with their uncertainty with the quarterback position between Daniel Jones and Eli Manning, I think that is a winnable game. The most winnable game on the schedule will be the home finale against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 22nd, and the Bengals are winless also.
The Dolphins will get their first win of the season soon, but will that be Sunday against Buffalo? I sure hope so because the Dolphins can't relive the 2007 season all over again.
This story was written by Zach Blaine. Follow him on Twitter: @TheMiamiGator