The Miami Dolphins came into this game with so many questions about their run defense, injuries to key players like Branden Albert and an offense that has no running game or consistency. The team was bedeviled by enough question marks to fill a novel.
And yet they emerged from this 27-14 loss to the New York Jets having resolved nothing but instead raising questions that trump those now trivial football problems.
Who is going to be the head coach next year?
Never miss a local story.
Who is going to be the head coach next week?
It is not certain Philbin will last beyond the bye week. But even if he does, this season's current course has already put Philbin on the hot seat and his status beyond this year is in grave danger.
Another question: Does defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle get fired immediately upon the team's charter flight landing in South Florida or does he survive?
With defensive players upset and none of their grievances apparently addressed to satisfaction during a gripe session last week, Coyle's status is very much in the air.
These aren't rhetorical questions. These are issues that must be resolved by a team that is disappointing with a 1-3 record and mired in last place in the AFC East.
These issues must be resolved because owner Stephen Ross saw his team lose for a third consecutive week, and fall short in a second straight against a divisional opponent that is supposed to be no better than the Dolphins.
That's not to say the Dolphins didn't make it interesting. Down 20-7 at halftime, the Dolphins fought back and actually scored a touchdown that would have made the score 27-21 with seven minutes to play.
The problem is that Jarvis Landry touchdown was called back because rookie DeVante Parker apparently interfered with a defender. The Dolphins were pushed back and quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw an interception in the end zone later that drive.
Bad guys win.
The game's first half was typical of what the season has been so far for the Dolphins:
A slow start on offense. A touchdown yielded on defense.
Indeed, the Dolphins have allowed an opening drive touchdown in each of their four games this season and this day was no different.
Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who was once the Dolphins offensive coordinator in the early 2000s, did something he often did when he was in Miami. He called a deep pass right at the start of the game.
It worked. Ryan Fitzpatrick found Brandon Marshall running stride for stride with Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes. But unfortunately for the Dolphins, Marshall is 6-4 and Grimes is 5-10.
So Marshall used his height advantage to catch the football at its highest point. The play gained 58 yards. A 12-run run by Chris Ivory and then another three-yard gain and the Dolphins were trailing by a touchdown.
The problem is the Dolphins offense had no immediate answers for a New York defense that entered the game allowing the fewest points in the league. The Dolphins managed only one first down in three first-quarter possessions and didn't get past the 50 until midway through the second quarter.
The Jets, meanwhile, were collecting a couple of field goals from Nick Folk -- from 22 and 48 yards -- to increase their lead to 13-0.
More painful than the field goal drives was the loss of Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, who was supposed to shadow Marshall throughout the day. Grimes suffered a non-contact knee injury during a play and had to leave the game for good.
It is not believed Grimes will be lost for the season but his loss this game was felt as the Dolphins struggled to match up with Marshall and Eric Decker.
The Miami offense did show signs of life midway through the second quarter, mostly because offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was calling deep shots down field and the offensive line was giving Tannehill to throw the ball deep.
So what that neither were complete?
And neither was. But the Jarvis Landry drew a pass interference penalty against Darrelle Revis that gave Miami 36 yards. And then another pass interference on Antonio Cromartie cost the Jets 22 more yards.
That put the Dolphins within reach of points and they made their grab successful when Tannehill connected on an eight-yard pass to backup tight end Jake Stoneburner.
Suddenly the flatlines jumped.
The Dolphins had life.
But the problem was the Dolphins had to give the ball back to the Jets. And that meant put their increasingly disappointing defense on the field.
This defense that was supposed to be the strength of the team wilted in the wake of a career backup quarterback who drove his team 67 yards in 2:26 utilizing the no-huddle offense out of the shotgun to gash Miami.
There was a 19-yard scramble by Fitzpatrick.
And a 10-yard completion by Fitzpatrick to Marshall.
And another 10-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker.
The Dolphins went into their locker room obviously behind and dejected.
And came back out showing no fight on defense.
The Jets had deferred after winning the coin toss so they got the football first in the second half. And they used that possession to drive the football through the heart of the Miami defense.
Chris Ivory simply ran up the middle of the defense time … after time … after time. And no one seemed to want to make a play. No one could make a play.
The Jets increased their lead to a whopping 27-7 on their first possession of the second half as the Miami defense looked disinterested.
But Zack Bowman got an interception that seemed to inspire the team.
It was not enough.