Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Coming into the game against the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins were one of the worst teams in the first half but one of the best teams in the second half.
However, that all changed on Sunday as they came out firing on all cylinders in the first half but couldn’t get anything going in the second half. Ryan Tannehill said that the fast start got everyone excited and gave them even more energy to go out there and make plays.
“How can you not, when you get off to a good start like that, scoring on the opening drive just like we wanted to do; score three touchdowns in the first half. We knew we were going to have to score a lot of points in this game. I have faith in our defense, but at the same time we have respect for this team [Denver Broncos] and the high-powered offense that they have. We knew coming in that it was probably going to be a high-scoring game. I thought we started off the game well.”
Tannehill said he didn’t know what changed in the second half but said that a lot of it can be contributed to the negative plays they had on offense.
“I don’t know what changed. When we punted, we got behind the chains because of the negative-yardage run. Then we didn’t make up the plays to make up the yardage on second and third down. So, whenever you get into second and, I don’t know what it was, 15 or 16, whatever it was, you’ve got to be able to pick up some yards on second down and then again on third down and we didn’t do that.”
The Broncos offense was good in the first half but they had their fair share of struggles. In the second half though, they came out ready to play and scored 22 points in the fourth quarter. Tannehill admitted that it was tough watching them on the sidelines as they took over the momentum of the game.
“It’s tough, but that’s football. They get paid on the other side too. Coming in we had a lot of respect for their offense and what they could do. You can’t say it’s frustrating. As a competitor you don’t like to see it, but I have such respect for [Denver Broncos QB] Peyton [Manning] and what he can do and their offense. That doesn’t matter. What matters it what our offense can do. We didn’t score enough points in the second half.”
In the end though, the Dolphins lost despite the team knowing what they had to do to win the game. This included getting points on the board every possession, something the Dolphins failed to do.
“I think we knew coming into the game that every possession was important. We felt like we needed to point to every possession, whether it was a touchdown or a field goal. We got off to a good start in the first half. The second half wasn’t terrible, but during that crunch situation we didn’t put points on the board when we needed to.”
While there were many promising signs, the loss hurts the Dolphins playoff hopes, although it doesn’t end them. They will need to have a near perfect December if they want to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.