Through the first ten weeks of the season, the Miami Dolphins were the hottest team in the second half. We were used to slow starts only to see them coming roaring out of the tunnel to put the game away. Now, we’ve seen the Dolphins completely give up in the second half last week against the Baltimore Ravens and this past Sunday against the New England Patriots.
After the game, players talked about what happened but none of them could really provide a clear answer besides the fact that the Patriots played better than them.
Philip Wheeler and Walt Aikens led things off by saying that they expected to come out and play with momentum and with fire but they didn’t. Wheeler said that he didn’t think they came out flat and it’s just that the Patriots made some good plays. Daniel Thomas and Brian Hartline echoed Wheeler, saying the Patriots were able to move the ball and the Dolphins weren’t able to stop them.
Mike Wallace didn’t hold back any words when describing what happened in the second half.
“It was awful; we didn’t come out there to play. They [Patriots] whipped us from start to finish in the second half; from the first play to the last play. We just got our butt whipped, that’s it. Bad! They dominated us the second half, totally."
Cameron Wake was just as direct, saying this was the worst half of football they’ve played as a team and especially because it was in one of the biggest games of the season. Kelvin Sheppard said that you have to tip your hats to the Patriots because they came out with fire and were able to execute.
The problems in the second half were somewhat surprising, especially after hearing about the mood in the locker room at halftime. Mike Pouncey said that Joe Philbin gave a fiery speech and that everyone was pumped up. Jared Odrick and Jason Trusnik noted that there was a lot of energy in the locker room and they all had the mindset of going out there to finish the game strong.
Brent Grimes said that the Dolphins allowed a lot of uncharacteristic plays in the second half.
"We were in a good mood; we had just swung the momentum. We were confident and we were making plays, getting stops. In the second half, they made plays and we didn’t. They made some big plays that were uncharacteristic of us. We gave up some big passing plays; I don’t know the exact number of yards they were. If you look at us through the season we don’t give up big passing plays, and we did that today. That’s a good team and we made too many mistakes and when you’re playing a team like the Patriots, who are a great team year in and year out, you can’t give them big plays on the field because they’ll capitalize."
Ryan Tannehill, who was chucking deep balls all over the field, said the Dolphins didn’t come out and play in the second half, even after having a little momentum going into the locker room.
“They scored to start the half, but I still felt good about our offense. You know, we tried to run on third-and-short and came up, I don’t know, six inches short on that. Then the next drive, I think, was the pick where Lamar [Miller] got hit in the back, still kind of frustrating. You know, you do that and they are scoring points, you’re not going to win. So, we’ve got to find a way to make those drives work and score points.”
What did Philbin have to say about the collapse in the second half? He said that he felt hopeless on the sideline watching everything unravel and admitted they didn’t coach too well in the third quarter.
Unfortunately, for Philbin, that’s likely going to be one of the reasons why he isn’t back as head coach in 2015. His inability to adjust on the fly will be one of his ultimate downfalls.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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