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#pounditTuesday, December 5, 2023

Dolphins kept having 1 major issue in playoff loss to Bills

Mike McDaniel at practice

Sep 25, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel enters the field prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins should be lauded for coming so close against the Buffalo Bills in their 34-31 AFC Wild Card Playoff game on Sunday, but that won’t stop their fans from complaining about one major issue the team kept having.

The Dolphins kept taking so long to get their play calls in that it became a major issue.

In the second half, they kept having to burn timeouts to prevent delay of game penalties. Then in one of the biggest spots of the game, the Dolphins had a 4th-and-1 near midfield with just over 2:30 left and the clock running. Miami broke their huddle with four seconds left on the play clock. They were unable to get the play off and ended up with a delay of game.

Rather than having a very favorable 4th-and-a-foot situation, the Dolphins got pushed back to 4th-and-5. They threw an incompletion to turn the ball over on downs.

That was the game, and the Dolphins blew it, largely because of their delay of game.

McDaniel’s issues on the critical fourth down play stemmed from confusion over whether the team had converted on their third down play. He was told by his staff they had a first down, which is why they didn’t have a play prepared for fourth down.

Whatever the case, incurring a delay of game on 4th-and-1 is inexcusable. Getting his play calls in earlier is one area where McDaniel needs to improve. Still, the Dolphins coming so close to a win when playing with their third-string quarterback at Buffalo in the playoffs is impressive.


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