It comes as no surprise to anyone that the Miami Dolphins are not good.Well, perhaps it surprises coach Brian Flores who on Friday boldly declared, “I have a good team.”
But this bad?
I’m surprised it was this bad.
And how bad was this 59-10 loss?
This is the first time the Dolphins allowed over 50 points at home since the franchise began play in 1966. It was the most points the Dolphins have ever allowed in a regular-season opener.
It was 42-3 at one point in the second quarter.
It was so bad, the sold-out crowd that didn’t look or act like a sellout crowd booed the Dolphins after their second offensive series. Miami was already trailing, 14-0 at the time.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, not exactly a proven NFL passer, connected on his first nine passes and had four TD passes at the time. He eft the game after three quarters. He’d completed 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and 5 TD passes.
Jackson had a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
Jackson, by the way, had 5 TD passes in seven regular-season starts last season.
He had 5 TD passes in three quarters this game against the Dolphins.
Jackson left the game when Baltimore led 52-10.
The Dolphins were generally ineffective on offense, overmatched on defense, and even out-played on special teams -- particularly on the 60-yard fake punt run by the up-back.
The thing about the defense is everyone thought it was going to be better than the past few years because, I remind you, it was not great under defensive coordinator Matt Burke.
But this is worse.
This group managed little to no pass pressure.
This group saw struggles by Jomal Wiltz, who came to the Dolphins from the New England organization. This group saw Minkah Fitzpatrick struggle covering tight ends -- which is regression from last year when he was a good nickel corner.
Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews caught eight passes on eight targets for 108 yards and a touchdown -- a career day for him.
Both Wiltz and Fitzpatrick were pulled from the game on alternating series and replaced by Walt Aikens.
This Miami defense had no answers and I remind you the head coach was the play-caller who helped the New England Patriots defense last year as that franchise won the Super Bowl.
As Miami’s head coach, Flores decided to start Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback because “he gives us the best chance to win.” Well, maybe but that brings to question why Fitzpatrick was benched after three quarters?
Look, I know everyone wants to see Josh Rosen play. But putting him when Miami is down 52-10 with one quarter to play -- when the opponents knows he’s got to pass -- is not optimal. It is throwing a young player to the wolves.
What was the point of that?
We’ll find out more during the post-game interviews.
[Update: Flores said he was simply trying to get Rosen some work. He added that Fitzpatrick is starting next week.]
Meanwhile, it’s not going to get easier. Next week the Dolphins host the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium.
It will mark the first game receiver Antonio Brown will be able to play for the Patriots.