Friday 20 October 2017 / 12:27 PM

DOLPHINS SET FOR SMOOTHER SAILING AFTER ROCKY START

Thursday Night Football this week was not the most exciting match up on TV. The unstoppable paradox describes what would happen “when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object”.

The opposite of that saying was true Thursday Night, as two really bad teams – Miami and Cincinnati – faced off. As a Dolphins fan, I have become accustomed to season after season of watching our quarterback get sacked, throw interceptions, and consistently get shut down on third down.

Four games in, this season does not seem to be any different, with a 22-7 loss to the Bengals handing them a 1-3 record.

I knew the game was headed down the wrong path once I got a look at the Dolphins’ orange uniforms. The depths of Twitter compared the Miami uniforms to sorbet, American cheese, and even Oompa Loompas.

The head coach for the Dolphins, Adam Gase, stated that the players must do their jobs better or risk being put on the bench. After Thursday, I’m not sure if there is enough room on the bench for Gase to stay true to his word.

If Miami’s offensive line looked worse than usual, it’s because they were missing four starting linemen. There was even a play where one of the Dolphins linemen essentially got thrown into Tannehill, taking him down as well.

Missing center Mike Pouncey clearly showed, with the Dolphins continuously failing to convert or having the ball swatted down as the Cincinnati defensive line swarmed in. Byron Maxwell, cornerback for the Fins, was benched for playing poorly in the last two games. Maxwell’s replacement, Tony Lippett, was not able to cover Pro Bowl Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green in the slightest.

Arian Foster, starting running back for the Dolphins, was also out with a groin injury. Jordan Cameron, tight end for the Fins, was also out dealing with concussion problems. The offensive unit was at an extreme disadvantage. Resting the fate of the game on a quarterback like Tannehill, a lower than average offensive line, and without a starting tight end is a fair explanation for why the Dolphins were barely able to convert on 3rd down against the OK Cincinnati defense.

Well, the Dolphins did have one touchdown that would have been killer in a victory highlight reel. Tannehill threw a long 74-yard touchdown to Kenny Stills. Although Cincinnati brought out Dalton and AJ Green out for the post-game interviews, the real MVP here was kicker Mike Nugent who put up 16 of Cincinnati’s 22 points.

If only the future for Miami were as bright as a typical day in Miami. It’s only four weeks in and the Dolphins have most of their players on the bench either from injuries or from poor performance. The cornerback position and offensive line are going to be their biggest weaknesses going forward, and their upcoming opponents will be sure to expose the Dolphins’ soft underbelly.

There is still hope, Dolfans. It’s not an easy road ahead of us, but the toughest part is in the rearview mirror. Opening against the Seahawks and following that up with the Patriots was rough, but the next couple of games could go either way. Not only will the next four fixtures be at home in Miami, but they will be against teams that are also dealing with problems.

After a nice long break, the Dolphins will be facing the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have 22-year-old QB Marcus Mariota that seems to be trending downward this season and are currently 1-2. As long as the Dolphins have a healthy offensive line and can shut down the Titans’ running game, they should be able to rack up another win.

The next game will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who just got dominated by rookie QB Carson Wentz in a 34-3 blowout. This might have just been an off game for the Steelers’ offensive team, as they have been able to average at least a touchdown in every quarter since before the Eagles game. They also beat the Bengals in Week 2, 16-24. This could be a close one, but realistically Pittsburgh will take the W if Miami doesn’t get into a grove.

The following Bills and Jets games will be very competitive, but we will have to see how Miami does against the Titans and Steelers to better predict the games against the New York teams. The Bills will probably win over the Dolphins, but the Dolphins will win against the Jets.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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