“It’s just over when it’s over.” The language of Eric Church’s hit song unfortunately ring all too true for the Miami Dolphins and head coach Joe Philbin. There have been flashes of brilliance on both parties of the ball, but periods of sloppy play from the offense, defense and special teams turned what well could have been a Dolphins victory in to a crippling defeat.
Even though the Dolphins had as erratic a primary half as might be imagined, Miami was just down a spot after Mike Wallace’s acrobatic touchdown catch in the waning seconds of the second quarter. The hope that the NFL’s best third-quarter team could overtake the New England Patriots, however, was short lived.
The Patriots continued to really have the best third quarter in franchise history and absolutely spanked the Dolphins in most phases of the game. It had been the type of whooping that costs people jobs, and that’s precisely what is likely to happen.
The Dolphins needed a gain to stay in the playoff race, and Philbin needed a gain to truly to keep his job. What the team produced however, was long way from being even remotely near to a win. The Patriots were playing as a team, while Miami appeared to be operating on a junior varsity level.
If the calls for Philbin’s head were not loud prior to the debacle, they certainly are now. For the second year in a row, the Dolphins held control of their playoff destiny and managed to collapse in epic fashion. Whenever a team as talented as this drops so many close games, and then manages to fold such as a cheap suit late in the year, coaching is to blame.
Whatever the feelings towards Philbin as a person, there’s no denying that this can be a team that cannot win when it counts, and that blame rests firmly on the top coach. Three mediocre years aren’t enough to secure one’s job in today’s NFL, and when a coach has the weapons that Philbin has in Miami, this is particularly true.
For just two straight years, the Dolphins “had it in the air, and just couldn’t land it,” and that’s why Miami is going to be looking for a new head coach very shortly.