Running back Kenyan Drake is an easy scapegoat for the Dolphins’ failed two-point conversion at the end of Sunday’s one-point loss to the Redskins.
After all, he’s the one who dropped the screen pass, ending any chance of victory right off the bat.
But three things to consider:
1. Drake said that he did not rep that play all week.
2. The pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick was slightly behind Drake, stopping his forward momentum.
3. And even if he caught the ball, there was next to no chance it would have succeeded.
During practice in the days leading up to Sunday’s Battle of the Beatens, Mark Walton, not Drake, was the targeted receiver on that screen pass.
And presumably in practice, the offensive line — which was without an injured center Daniel Kilgore on Miami’s final play of the game — actually blocked. As did the wide receivers who flanked out to the left side along with Drake. None of that happened with the game on the line.
Left tackle J’Marcus Webb whiffed on Ryan Anderson, and the Redskins’ outside linebacker was on top of Drake basically when the ball arrived. And even if Drake somehow made Anderson miss, there were three other unblocked Redskins in the area, as Miami’s receivers did not successfully pick up any defenders.
“I personally didn’t hold up my bargain in the deal,” Drake said. “That’s what we do as professional athletes in this game. In this world, this league, it’s all, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ As a professional in any aspect, you’re expected to perform and hold your job up to the utmost of your ability.”
When asked if the free-running Anderson distracted him, Drake refused to make excuses or place blame.
But it’s fair for those of us on the outside to wonder why Drake was the targeted player to begin with. Walton — who was banged up for much of Sunday’s game, but mostly played through it — was the Dolphins back who “repped it all week.”
Perhaps Walton, who needed further examination after the game, was not healthy enough to be on the field in that critical moment. That will be a question for Brian Flores to answer Monday. But there was nothing forcing the Dolphins to run that play, particularly after the Redskins seemed to have a bead on it following a timeout.
“They get paid to go out there and do their job,” Drake said. “They called a timeout. They probably had an idea of what we could have ran. My thing is, when you’re in the situation, down by one point, going for a two-point conversion, I have to do everything in my power to catch that ball, first and foremost, no matter what they throw at us. I put that on my shoulders to make those type of plays. ... We have to make that play and I didn’t do that.”
Defensive lineman Avery Moss, who has started four of five games this season, left the game in the third quarter and was evaluated for a concussion. He returned to the game, only to leave with an ankle injury on the next defensive drive. Moss was seen in the locker room postgame with a walking boot on his right foot.
Moss has 16 tackles on the season.
Rookie cornerback Ken Webster also left with a leg injury in the third quarter. Webster has four tackles and a defended pass in three games.
This and that
▪ The Dolphins’ inactives for Sunday’s loss: wide receiver Jakeem Grant, cornerback Johnson Bademosi, cornerback Xavien Howard, running back Myles Gaskin, fullback Chandler Cox, offensive lineman Chris Reed and offensive lineman Keaton Sutherland.
▪ With Grant inactive, Preston Williams handled punt returning duties on Sunday.
▪ Cornerback Nic Needham, promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, started on defense, as did linebacker Vince Biegel and Webster.
▪ The Dolphins’ announced tickets distributed for Sunday’s game: 59,808. It marked the first time that Hard Rock Stadium did not sell out for a Dolphins game since they shrunk stadium capacity before the 2016 season.
▪ Adrian Peterson, the seven-time Pro Bowl running back, had his best game of the season with 118 rushing yards on 23 carries and a pair of catches for 18 yards. For context, Peterson had 112 total yards from scrimmage through the Redskins’ first four games.