It was actually worse than that. Tannehill threw for only 186 yards with 56 of them coming on a last-second desperation drive against a prevent-defense that was mostly interested in letting the clock run out. That series of downs ended in a field goal, as did most of Miami’s scoring drives.
The frustrating thing is the Dolphins should have had two and perhaps three touchdowns if Tannehill had been on target.
He missed an open Hartline by five yards down the middle of the field in the first quarter. It happened again in the second half when Hartline was again behind the New England defense and actually had to turn and wait to catch a pass as he would a punt.
Two certain touchdowns erased.
One pass overthrown.
Another pass underthrown.
“You’ve got to hit those,” Tannehill said of his first throw. “You don’t get too many shots like that. He runs by the safety, and I’ve got to hit him and make the play. The second one was designed to be a hook up, so I looked off the safety and set my feet to throw short. He stuck his hand up and went deep.
“I just didn’t get enough on it.”
The trouble is Tannehill was wild high or behind or short or long on a handful of other throws. And this was not the right day to have accuracy problems.
“It’s tough, it’s tough because we’re a team right now that can’t miss those kind of plays,” center Mike Pouncey said. “We have a low margin of error.”
That’s the truth with these Dolphins and no amount of coaching is really going to fix that. The Dolphins will have to wait until the draft and free agency to correct those issues.
This team needs more help at wide receiver. This team needs tight end play that makes a difference. This team needs to use Bush more and Thomas less or — a better idea given the future is the highest priority — turn Lamar Miller loose and see what he’s got.
Because one touchdown isn’t going to beat too many teams. It certainly won’t beat the Patriots.