Another week, another 11 penalties called against the Miami Dolphins, who have been one of the league’s least disciplined teams in 2017.
They were all costly, but two in particular doomed the Dolphins’ chances Sunday — and neither player flagged thought he did anything wrong.
The first: an unnecessary roughness penalty against Ted Larsen when the Dolphins were down two scores, but in the red zone. The 15-yard flag pushed back kicker Cody Parkey’s field goal attempt to 48 yards, and he hooked it left.
Larsen was later at a loss to explain what he could have done differently.
“I finished [the Chiefs player he was blocking], but I don't think there was anything outside of the whistle or outside of the parameters of football,” Larsen said. “I've got to watch it on film.
“I just finished him,” he continued. “Obviously, it was a costly mistake, a 15-yard penalty. Pushed us back out of scoring range and then it wasn't an easy field goal after that. Obviously, it was a costly mistake.”
The Dolphins theoretically still had hope when they got the ball back some six minutes later, but that hope ended with an offensive pass interference call against Kenny Stills which was essentially a 39-yard penalty. (It wiped out a 29-yard completion from Jay Cutler to Stills.)
Stills was adamant that he did not push off, and told the official who flagged him just that. (Stills after the game said he did not know the name of the official involved).
The ref’s response, according to Stills?
“I’m a 20-year vet. Twenty-year vets don’t make mistakes.”
It was a rough day in general for Stills, who lost a fumble Sunday as the Dolphins were trying to stage a season-saving comeback.
“It’s frustrating to individually let the team down, but knowing that one single play doesn’t determine the game,” Stills said. “We had an opportunity to make a comeback at that point in time, a crucial part of the game and I let the ball slip out of my hands. Yes, I’m sick.”
▪ Barring something bizarre, Mike Pouncey will start all 16 games in a season for the first time since 2012.
But Pouncey, bedeviled by hip injuries in recent years, insists he isn’t just playing, but playing well.
“I had my best year,” Pouncey said. “Ask the coaches. They’ll tell you the same thing.”