By: Brandon Liguori
It is a very difficult challenge to secure a victory in the National Football League, but Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1), fresh off a tight two-point victory last Sunday night against the New England Patriots, took care of Brian Flores’ Miami Dolphins (1-4) Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in comfortable fashion, 45-17.
“That’s a hard question to ask. It comes down to just execution. We are not executing at all. That’s the main thing,” a frustrated Jerome Baker said after Miami’s 28-point defeat.
Tom Brady, facing the Dolphins for the first time as a Buccaneer, shredded Miami for 411 passing yards and five touchdown tosses, two to Mike Evans. Josh Boyer’s unit, for the third time in five games, has coughed up 30 or more points and for a young, dangerous defense that had such high expectations, it has not gone in Miami’s favor thus far.
Miami jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and Myles Gaskin’s second touchdown of the first half saw the Dolphins go ahead by three, 10-7, but aside from that, Brady took command Sunday. Flores knew his team would have to execute the game plan perfectly from start to finish and his team did not do that.
“It’s obviously a good offense, so the idea was to have good communication and try to disguise a little bit. We weren’t really able to execute any part of it,” Flores said, whose team has now lost four consecutive since a 17-16 season-opening win against Mac Jones’ New England Patriots.
Give credit to quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who likely will head back to the bench next Sunday morning in Miami’s Week 6 contest against the 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars in London. Why? Tua Tagovailoa, who was placed on IR three weeks ago because of fractured ribs, is eligible to come off the injured list and start for the first time since Miami’s disastrous 35-0 loss in its home opener vs. the Buffalo Bills.
The quarterback conversation can be put aside, however, because whether it’s Brissett or Tagovailoa under center, this team will have a difficult time earning their second win of 2021 if the defense allows over 500 total yards like they did this afternoon. The third-down defense Sunday?
It was flat-out atrocious, too, as Brady’s unit finished 8-of-11 on the all-important down. The Buccaneers’ offense scored on four of their five first-half drives, walking in the locker room with a 14-point cushion.
At the end of the day, Flores’ football team is 1-4 after five weeks of play and Flores’ football team is pretty much a defensive play away from staring at an abysmal 0-5 start. Next Sunday’s coaching battle features Flores and Urban Meyer; two energetic, interesting men. Grab your popcorn, folks.