The Miami Dolphins fell to 0-5 on Sunday with a loss to the Washington Redskins, and they did so in cruel fashion.
After quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Josh Rosen, the Dolphins woke up on offense and rallied from a 17-3 deficit against the similarly winless Redskins. After making it 17-16 with virtually the last play of regulation, coach Brian Flores opted to go for two and the win.
The playcall was a bizarre screen pass of sorts to Kenyan Drake. Drake dropped the pass, and the Washington defense looked set to blow it up even if he’d caught it.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 13, 2019
Flores said the Dolphins had worked on the play all week, and Washington had simply defended it well.
Brian Flores said they were going for 2 the whole way if they scored the TD. He said they practiced that 2-point play all week, and he credited Washington for defending the play well. He said Kenyan Drake would have had to make a spectacular play to score even if he caught it.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 13, 2019
If that was the best Miami could do in terms of a two-point play, it’s not a good sign. It seemed quite convoluted and unlikely to succeed as drawn up, even if Drake had made the catch. Wonder if this play will end up as evidence in the Dolphins tanking investigation.
The Miami Dolphins turned in another disastrous performance on Sunday, and it led to another quarterback benching.
Josh Rosen was benched after a brutal performance that saw him throw two interceptions and take five sacks, going 15-of-25 for only 85 yards. He was replaced by veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB for the Dolphins.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) October 13, 2019
Rosen departed after getting absolutely nothing done, particularly downfield.
Josh Rosen is 1-of-7 for 12 yards and 2 INT on passes thrown more than 5 yards downfield today — a stat that says just as much about the OL and WRs as the QB.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 13, 2019
Fitzpatrick immediately led the Dolphins downfield for a touchdown — their first points in the second half all season.
Rosen said during the week that he felt like he’s in a season-long tryout working to convince the Dolphins not to take a quarterback high in the NFL Draft. By that standard, this week was not a successful one, and if Fitzpatrick keeps moving the ball, you have to wonder if he’ll be relegated to the bench going forward.
The Miami Dolphins are making some significant changes ahead of their Week 3 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, and one of them is adding a former first-round pick to their defensive front.
Taco Charlton, who was waived by the Cowboys on Wednesday after they were unable to trade him, has been claimed by the Dolphins. He will get an immediate shot at revenge when he faces his former teammates on Sunday.
Source: Taco Charlton has been claimed by the #Dolphins. A former first-rounder lands in Miami.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 19, 2019
Charlton fell out of favor with the Cowboys after racking up just four sacks in 27 games through his first two NFL seasons. They reportedly thought about cutting the former Michigan star during the offseason and then made him inactive for the first two games of the year. Charlton went on social media earlier in the week to try to accelerate the process of forcing his way out of Dallas, and it appears to have worked.
While the first two years of his NFL career have been a disappointment, Charlton had enough potential to warrant being taken as the No. 28 overall pick in the draft two years ago. Perhaps the Dolphins will be able to get more out of him than the Cowboys could. They can certainly offer him an opportunity to start right away, if nothing else.
The Dolphins also announced on Thursday that Josh Rosen will start Sunday’s game over Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Miami Dolphins must feel that Josh Rosen gives them the best chance to lose, as they have decided to name him their starting quarterback.
The Dolphins announced on Thursday that Rosen will start over Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 19, 2019
Miami traded a second-round pick for Rosen during the offseason, but head coach Brian Flores was publicly critical of him on more than one occasion during the summer. They obviously think the former UCLA star has the potential to be their quarterback of the future, otherwise they would not have traded such a high pick for him. If they want to start developing him, now is as good a time as any.
The Dolphins were shut out 43-0 by the New England Patriots on Sunday. Fitzpatrick started and went 11-of-21 with three interceptions, throwing for only 89 yards. Rosen came in later in the game and went 7-for-18 for 97 yards and one interception.
Rosen was drafted No. 10 overall by the Arizona Cardinals last year and did not play until Week 3. He passed for 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and lost several fumbles on the 3-13 team. The Dolphins have been so bad that the league is reportedly planning to look into their tanking, so it goes without saying that Rosen doesn’t have a whole lot around him to work with.
The Miami Dolphins may be bringing us the worst case of tanking this season that the NFL has ever seen, and it is no surprise there are people around the league who are unhappy about it. Their commitment to losing is so impressive that the NFL competition committee may explore ways to prevent it going forward.
The NFL competition committee is planning to take a closer look at the way the Dolphins are tanking, a source told Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic.
“The committee will probably have the questions posed to it again, if not by the media, maybe by teams,” the NFL source said. “It’s likely the competition committee will have to address this issue.”
How exactly would they address it? The most extreme fixes would be changes like adopting an NBA-style draft lottery — which would remove the guarantee that the team with the worst record gets the No. 1 overall pick — or limiting the number of first-round picks a team can accumulate. Those outcomes seem unlikely, as Kaplan’s source noted that the competition committee looked into the Cleveland Browns when they were tanking five years ago but decided not to change the structure of the draft.
In all likelihood, nothing will come of the examination. The situation could end up policing itself, as there are far more draft busts in the NFL than there are in the NBA. Aside from the occasional Peyton Manning, there are very few players in college football who are such guaranteed franchise-changers that they are worth going into full tank mode for. The Dolphins found themselves in a situation where they feel that will be worthwhile this year, even if it has resulted in them being mocked by their own players. It would be a surprise if the practice of tanking became nearly as popular in the NFL as it is in the BA.
- Miami Dolphins
The 2019 NFL regular season is now two weeks old — boy, does it go fast — and to say there have been a few surprises that stand out would be an understatement.
Things got off to a fast start league-wide and have not slowed down one bit. Whether it’s on the field or off of the field, the NFL is jam-packed with excitement, drama and theater.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the five biggest surprises of the 2019 season (so far) — a list that should also include the San Francisco 49ers’ success, but hey, we had to draw the line somewhere.
5. Something is brewing in Buffalo
The Bills entered 2019 with a lot of question marks, some relatively tame hype, and the expectation that they’d be Bill Belichick’s whipping boy for another year. And while the latter part of that may still turn out to be true, Buffalo has started the season hot, dropping both the New York Jets and New York Giants on the road on consecutive weeks to start 2-0 and tied for first place with the aforementioned Patriots. Those wins aren’t overly impressive in and of themselves, but the fact that Buffalo now has more wins in MetLife Stadium through two weeks than the Jets and Giants have combined over the last year-plus is somewhat impressive.
Josh Allen has showed some obvious signs of growth, their defense has established itself as one of the most dominant in the league, and they’re gritty. Will they overtake the Patriots? Probably not, but the Bills are easily the next best team in the AFC East, and unlike their counterparts, appear to be headed in the right direction.
The superlative performances continued in Week 2 of the NFL season, though there were plenty of low-scoring struggles as well. In either case, someone has to be a loser, but some players and teams had tougher weeks than others. Be it fumble issues, forced throws, bad offenses or defenses, there were definitely some who will look back on their week and feel very disappointed.
Here are 10 big disappointments from Week 2.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
The Cousins contract looks worse and worse for the Vikings, who appear to be saddled with a mediocre quarterback at this point. Cousins’ decision-making against the Green Bay Packers was suspect at best, as he threw two interceptions into triple coverage. They were both completely on Cousins trying to force it. The quarterback also fumbled twice and completed just 14-of-32 passes. Even his lone touchdown pass could’ve been picked off. The reality is his performance inside the 10 continues to be a major issue.
Pro Football Focus offered this as context for Cousins’ INT on 1st-&-goal from 8: “From the opponents’ 10-yard line and in, Cousins ranks 27th out of 27 qualifying QBs in passer rating (76.5) since 2017, completing 44.6 percent of his passes w/ lowest yards per attempt avg (1.6)
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) September 16, 2019
Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles
Boy does Nelson Agholor wish he had one play back. Down 24-20, Philly had a 2nd-and-2 at their 40 with under two minutes left and Carson Wentz threw a perfect pass down the left sideline for Agholor. But he dropped it.
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 16, 2019
Agholor would have walked into the end zone for a touchdown to give Philly the lead and possibly the game. Agholor was lauded for making a big catch on 4th-and-14 a few plays later, but that matters little when he dropped the touchdown that would have given them the lead.