Disecting The Dolphins’ Year And Final Game
by Larry Turner

My initial instinct was not to write a Dolphin article on the tail of its loss to a Kansas City team that was much better than our home troupe on that freezing evening. But then I thought, why not!

There may be dozens of excuses for their playoff performance, but on top of the list surely are: 1.The opponent. 2. Player injuries. 3. Coaching. 4. The offensive line. 5. Overall talent level. The weather could also be listed, but it affects both teams equally and cannot rationally be used as an excuse.

When considering the Dolphins’ plight, we should bear in mind that the team’s statistical results for the year were superior in several offensive and defensive categories to many if not most teams in the league. It would be easy to cast off all blame on the number and depth of injuries suffered by the team towards the end of the season. But some things just cannot be ignored.

The offensive line, for example, has been the bane of this franchise for many years and not all the management and coaching talent acquired by the team have found the answer to this annual cancer. Hats off to the team assembling a decent offensive line towards the end of the season not-withstanding the injuries, but that does not erase the fact that this is an ongoing problem that needs to be addressed and solved.

Special teams have also been a perennial pain in the roster, even though the problem has been lessened by the current kick-off rules in effect that minimize the number of plays that require an effective special teams’ squad. However, when called upon to perform, too often they have displayed more holes than players.

The last area to mention is a tender one to touch: the defense. It is difficult to disregard injuries, but just for a minute look at this equation. Last year, the Dolphins had one of the best defenses, period. Then they signed an individual said to be one of the best Defensive Coordinators. If all that is accurate, then how can the best defense be coupled with the best coordinator and the result be what on occasion looked like a disaster? I don’t pretend to know the answer to that riddle, but all fans hope management discovers the reason before the start of the next season. Perhaps they already have!