The Miami Dolphins got rolled Sunday evening and if only this 30-14 loss was the worst part, then we could all accept that the NFL humbles everyone eventually and move on. But the truth is the Dolphins got trounced by a 3-10 team that had lost eight of its previous nine games.
The truth is the Dolphins lost to a team whose fans have basically abandoned them because the franchise is likely moving two hours north (without traffic) to Los Angeles next season. The truth is the Dolphins got run out of town by a team running out of town.
And that’s still not the worst part of this utter embarrassment.
The worst part is if you believe a team capable of delivering this kind of stinker is going to be fixed by next season, you are dreaming. Do yourself a favor and allow the alarm clock to sound, awakening you to this obvious reality:
The best thing you have to look forward to from the Dolphins for 2016 is a canopy roof on Sun Life Stadium. That’s it. That’s going to be the big draw.
The Dolphins’ motto next year might as well be: “We’ve got you covered!”
Even if the cornerback-needy defense can’t cover anybody.
Look, these Dolphins that we’ve been saying are mediocre are each week widening the gap between themselves and mediocre. This is a bad team, folks.
And this team that ownership and the personnel department and the coaching staff thought was one huge, signature addition away from relevance last offseason could sign five more Ndamukong Suhs this offseason and still have multiple holes on the roster.
So these Dolphins aren’t close.
These Dolphins aren’t winning anytime soon.
That’s not about to happen. What is about to happen is the Dolphins will soon go shopping for a coach and start that search on the wrong foot. And afterward the team will try to win another offseason title with splash additions that ultimately flop once the regular season begins.
How can I say this? How do I know this?
Not because I can see the future. But because I have seen the past. And this team is about to wash, rinse and repeat another cycle of mistakes that add to the past mistakes coming out of similarly upsetting seasons.
Let me give you evidence this is already happening. The Dolphins, for example, are going to give interim coach Dan Campbell an interview after this season so he has a chance to win the full-time job.
With all respect to Campbell, who got a temporary bounce from this roster for two weeks after he was named interim coach, what has he done to deserve an interview?
The Dolphins were two games under .500 when he took over. They are four games under .500 now.
The team that started this game against the Chargers looked no more inspired or prepared or physical than the one that played for Joe Philbin those first four games.
Put another way, has Campbell earned head coach interviews around the league after the season ends? Is he going to be in demand for a head coaching job?
I would say no.
Then I ask, if he’s not getting an interview with other teams, why are the Dolphins giving him one?
Having said this, Dan Campbell isn’t the reason the Dolphins are bad. He walked into a room with a dying patient and his only crime is he hasn’t been able to resuscitate the body.
And that’s where the next example of what is wrong with this franchise past, present and future must be examined. The Dolphins clearly don’t have enough talent on their roster.
It showed Sunday afternoon when Dallas Thomas was forced to play left tackle — because the backup left tackle was unable to keep Ryan Tannehill from getting trucked — and Thomas yielded three sacks. And he was the upgrade.
It showed Sunday afternoon when Tony Lippett, a project rookie cornerback drafted in the fifth round after playing receiver much of his college career, was pressed into action against Phillip Rivers, arguably an elite quarterback.
And Rivers picked at Lippett and Bobby McCain, another rookie, because Jamar Taylor, the guy drafted in the second round three years ago, is already in the doghouse for giving up too many touchdowns.
It showed when middle linebacker Kelvin Sheppard was vainly trying to cover Danny Woodhead and couldn’t. He just couldn’t. Woodhead caught six passes, including three for touchdowns.
And all these are examples of Miami players not ready to compete or not being able to win against the opponent are part of a roster that Dolphins ownership and coaching and the personnel department said could compete for a title.
For a championship!
Remember, those were Philbin’s words in August. Remember, those words were echoed throughout the organization.
Philbin’s gone, but those experts atop the Dolphins organization who agreed with him remain. And they looked around at Dallas Thomas starting, Kelvin Sheppard starting, Jamar Taylor starting or playing a lot, and saw a championship run.
Those are the same experts about to pick the next batch of talent that will make up the 2016 Miami Dolphins roster.
God bless the canopy. We can always root for shade.