The Miami Dolphins didn’t have a single play go for longer than 24 yards in their blowout loss to the New England Patriots.
They did, however, drop at least three catchable balls which would have gone for longer.
There wasn’t much on offense for the Dolphins to feel totally comfortable about coming into the 2019 season. They are inexperienced on the offensive line, start a 36-year-old journeyman at quarterback and don’t have a true workhorse running back. They did believe they were deep at wide receiver, though. On Sunday in Miami Gardens, the receivers contributed as much to a scoreless effort as anyone.
Wide receivers DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Jakeem Grant all dropped accurate deep balls, at least one of which looked like a surefire touchdown. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen were both victimized, and the Dolphins finished with just 184 yards of total offense in a 43-0 loss at Hard Rock Stadium.
“We’ve got to focus on our fundamentals and details, which is blocking the right person, catching the ball, hitting the right hole — things of that nature,” Grant said. “I feel like we beat ourselves on some plays.”
With wide receiver Albert Wilson sidelined by calf and hip injuries, Miami started Williams as the wideout opposite Parker. Williams, an undrafted rookie from the Colorado State Rams, had his moments and led the Dolphins with 63 receiving yards, but he also blew one of Rosen’s best throws in garbage time. The quarterback floated a deep ball to Williams down the left sideline and the wideout reacted to slowly. He stretched his arms out too late and the ball slipped through, squandering a potential touchdown.
Williams’ drop came just moments after Grant squandered another excellent deep ball by Rosen. Two plays before his deep ball to Williams, Rosen threw a similar pass to Grant running down the right sideline, but Grant slightly overran the throw and couldn’t adjust to make the catch, sending a certain touchdown bouncing to the turf.
“I just simply overran it. No excuse to why I dropped it, but I just feel like I overran it. Bad ball placement,” Grant said. “On things like that, we’ve got to come down with catches like that to get the momentum, swing it back in our favor. I wish I could’ve had that one back.”
Parker, one of the most experienced players on the offense, had his egregious drop in the first quarter when Fitzpatrick was still in. The quarterback launched a deep ball down the left sideline — a jump ball opportunity for the 6-foot-3 receiver — and Parker couldn’t come down with a long grab.
Rosen and Fitzpatrick combined to go 18 of 39 for 186 yards.
“Back in the film room, back in meetings, back to practice,” Williams said. “Correct our mistakes. We’re going to get it together, though. I believe it 110 percent.”