Six games are left on the Dolphins’ schedule.
But unless things change drastically, and fast, their season might be over far sooner.
Because the Dolphins lost much more than a 31-12 result to the Packers on a cold, snowy night at Lambeau Field Sunday.
They looked lost on offense and defense.
They lost a chance to gain ground on Patriots and Bengals in the AFC, who both went down Sunday.
And they lost Bobby McCain, Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker to injuries, with Grant’s appearing to be the most serious.
Grant, one of few dynamic players left on a ravaged Dolphins offense, pulled up lame in the second half, appearing to re-injure his left Achilles tendon. He left the field on a cart, and did not return.
What he missed: Another brutal display by the Dolphins offense, which has not scored a touchdown since Week 8.
It’s been nine quarters since the last Dolphins offensive touchdown. The red zone was a dead zone again Sunday, with Miami scoring just six points on three trips inside Green Bay’s 20.
Three Dolphins possessions started at midfield or better, following defensive stops or big special teams plays. All three of those drives resulted in field goals.
Those problems started and stopped with Brock Osweiler. These aren’t our words. They are his.
“This is two weeks now, back to back that, we’ve struggled finishing drives in the end zone,” Osweiler said. “Point blank period. I’m the only guy on the team that touches the ball every play on offense. I need to find ways to be better and score touchdowns.”
Osweiler was terrible. Not bad. Not awful. Terrible.
He threw an inexcusable interception and whiffed on a shotgun snap in the red zone. And those weren’t even among the plays he most wished he had back.
In his fifth start for an injured Ryan Tannehill, Osweiler completed 23 of 37 passes for 213 yards. His passer rating was a devilish 66.6.
“The blame is on nobody but myself,” Osweiler continued. “I need to be better. I think this team went out there today and played tremendous.
“We just didn’t score touchdowns,” he added. “That starts and stops with me. I need to be better for this football team. They deserve better.”
The Dolphins meanwhile are ruining a vintage season by Frank Gore, who set an NFL record with his 14th straight season of 500 or more rushing yards. He finished with 90 Sunday on 13 carries.
And while Osweiler talked the defense up, that side of the ball was bad. Again.
Aaron Jones gashed the Dolphins for 145 yards on two touchdown on 15 carries, with the same old issues recurring.
And miscommunication in the secondary? Check.
A week after seemingly figuring things out, there were breakdowns across the board. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t even particularly sharp, and yet he still completed some two-thirds of his passes, had a rating of over 100 and threw two touchdowns.
The Dolphins surrendered 377 yards of offense, 195 of which came on the ground, and forced the Packers to punt just once.
The loss dropped the Dolphins to 5-5. The Packers evened their record at 4-4-1.
Yet on paper, things aren’t terrible for Miami.
The Dolphins went to bed Sunday as the AFC’s eighth seed, just a half-game behind the Bengals for the second wild card. Some of their injuries will be fixed by the bye, which is next weekend, and the final six-game stretch features just two games against teams currently with winning records.
Plus, the Dolphins hope Ryan Tannehill will be healthy enough to play in Week 12 against the Colts, which feels essentially like an elimination game, at least for a Wild Card spot.
So if you squint hard enough, you can find the bright side. Dolphins players squinted late Sunday.
“We’re in great position,” Gore said. “We’ve just got to stay as one. Believe in each other, believe in ourselves, and try to get the next one.”
Kenny Stills, in two sentences, summed it up perfectly: “We’re still in the hunt. We’ve got to get healthy.””
And start scoring touchdowns.