By: Hussam Patel
Heading into the Chiefs game the Miami Dolphins were down their #2 WR in Preston Williams, Down 3 starting RBs in Myles Gaskin, Matt Breida and Salvon Ahmed.
The defense was doing its part in the first half limiting Patrick Mahomes and picking him off twice even without their starting two LBs, Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy.
Miami was up by 10 towards the end of the first quarter; a historically great first quarter team throughout this season. Then came the gloom and doom. Bobby McCain was taken off the field to check on a hit to his head being in Concussion protocol, leading to Clayton Fejedelem being on the field. The chiefs feasted on that with Tyreek Hill taking a 32 yard sweep for a TD. Later on, in the 3rd Quarter Bobby McCain was down on the field with a leg injury and Fejedelem was in again. The Chiefs pounced on it once again leading to a DEEP TD to Hill where Fejedelem was burned. The Chiefs pounced on these “opportunities” the Dolphins gave them. On the flip side Miami did little with the opportunities Kansas City gave them.
With the first pick Patrick Mahomes threw, Byron Jones took a tipped ball and almost lost the fumble, thankfully recovered by Miami. The offense sputtered and an unfortunate FG was missed by Captain Clutch Jason Sanders. The Second pick was taken by Eric Rowe- Tua ended up missing DVP for the TD and did not read Jakeem Grant coming on the crosser for a walk-in TD. As mentioned, the Chiefs then scored to make it 7-10.
Jakeem oh Jakeem, every week there seems to be a bonehead play where the entire stadium and fan-base reeks with disappointment. On a 3rd and 7, Tua escapes the pocket wonderfully and throws a deep pass to Jakeem where it bounces of his chest and into the arms of Tyrann Mathieu. The first ever INT of Tua’s career. You know the story; the Chiefs went up 21-10 towards the beginning of the 3rd Quarter. Stop me if you have heard the Chiefs routinely coming from behind and winning the game.
The Injuries piled up, DVP out with a leg injury, Jakeem Grant with a hamstring and after Gesicki’s second TD of the game was taken out with an injury to his shoulder/collarbone (yet to be determined). The remaining weapons for Tua? Lynn Bowden, Malcolm Perry, Antonio Calloway, DeAndre Washington, Patrick Laird, Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe.
Tua did not care who was on the field, He did not care who he was playing, He cared about winning and did his best to make a miraculous comeback against the defending Super Bowl Champions: The Daunting Kansas City Chiefs.
Once again, the Rookies stepped up. Per Travis Wingfield “Rookies accounted for 45.6 percent of the Dolphins offensive snaps in yesterday's game. Tagovailoa, Hunt and Kindley played 83 each. Austin Jackson played 75, Lynn Bowden Jr. played 59 and Malcolm Perry played 33.” Lynn Bowden Jr. played 71% of MIA's snaps against KC. He was targeted 9 times for 7 receptions & 82 yards. 6 of those receptions led to 1st downs. Our foundation is being built and certainly was out to the test. The 3 rookie OL are the building block of our offensive line. Bowden Jr is our future slot WR, Tua is already our QB.
With everything going against this team, this offense- Tua and the Offense did all they could with a nice help from Xavien Howard, Raekwon Davis, Zach Sieler and Josh Boyer's elite defense. Tua was cooking in the spread offense hitting whoever could catch the ball and even scoring himself
Unfortunately, he did all he could- the Dolphins were playing the Chiefs after all, a prolific offense which carried out a long drive to ice the game with a Field goal- a two possession game which ensured a victory. The crazy thing is The Dolphins scored more points than the Chiefs offensively. The Chiefs relied on a Punt Return TD.
Tua did make mistakes as previously said, rookie mistakes you could say, but mistakes that can be easily fixed with more reps and playing time. Coach Flores said it best “I thought bringing us back. putting together some TD drives there in the 4th quarter. i thought that was good. there were obviously some throws we could've made, that he didn't. but i think overall i think he played well. he took a step in the right direction.” Indeed, he did. Could you imagine if the Dolphins had all their weapons, like the Chiefs did- Miami was remarkably close to winning this game.
If this Dolphins team wants to make noise in the playoffs this year and especially next year, the offense will need its play-makers and an even better more experienced Tua which will happen.
For now, enjoy the growth of the Southpaw slugger, an Elite defense, a competent coaching staff and a possible playoff run in Year 1 of a rebuild. Onto the Patriots.