This wasn’t embarrassing on the same level the season-opener was embarrassing. It didn’t feel like that. It really didn’t look like that, either.
But this 43-0 Miami Dolphins loss to the New England Patriots was nonetheless cataclysmic in that it requires a shakeup at the most important position on the team.
The Dolphins need a shakeup at quarterback. And they will consider exactly that, according to sources, because Josh Rosen may replace Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback next week at Dallas.
That possibility was going to be considered even before Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, per sources. And it now becomes much more serious because the Dolphins offense is awful right now. Miami has scored 10 points in two games to open the 2019 season.
“Right now Ryan is still the starter,” Flores said following the game, before adding that the situation will be further “evaluated during the course of the week.”
That is a difference from last week when Flores was unequivocal in saying Fitzpatrick would remain the starter.
It wasn’t just this shutout or last week’s inconsistency that troubles. The Dolphins actually gave up two touchdowns on offense on interception return touchdowns on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick threw two pick-sixes in the span of five plays in the second half. He threw a pass right into the hands of cornerback Stephon Gilmore, which was returned 54 yards for a touchdown.
And then Fitzpatrick threw a perfect pass to running back Kalen Ballage, who bobbled the pass, which New England linebacker Jamie Collins plucked out of the air and returned 69 yards for a touchdown.
So it is time to start thinking about benching Ryan Fitzpatrick, folks.
The Dolphins picked Fitzpatrick as their starter the first two games of this season for his leadership and experience. He wasn’t going to get rattled by anything the confusing and aggressive defenses Baltimore and New England put on the field.
But the Cowboys aren’t like that. The Cowboys play pretty much a vanilla defense that is much easier to understand. That fits for Rosen, who is a young player trying to learn as he plays.
The Dolphins were last shutout in 2017 by Baltimore but their last shutout at Hard Rock Stadium came in 2010 against the Chicago Bears.
So the Dolphins offense is ineffective.
Miami 38 yards after three quarters on Sunday and finished with 168 .
Fitzpatrick completed 11 of 21 passes for 89 yards. His quarterback rating was 23.8.
This doesn’t mean it’s really all Fitzpatrick’s fault that this offense is failing. He’s getting practically no pass protection as the four sacks he absorbed prove. He also took a handful of hits on throws he didn’t get sacked.
And Fitzpatrick didn’t get a ton of help from his receivers. Albert Wilson missed this game with a hip and calf injury. Ballage bobbled that pass that turned into an interception. And DeVante Parker had a 50-yard pass in his hands in the first half. And he dropped it.
(He dropped another pass in the fourth quarter, this one from Rosen).
All that hurts.
But it all reflects, like it or not, on the quarterback.
And so the Dolphins will be looking long and hard at that position this week. Rosen, by the way, completed 7 of 18 passes for 97 yards. He threw an interception on the final play of the game -- a throw that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and picked off by Collins.
There’s also this:
Even if the coaching staff decides to wait perhaps another week before letting Rosen start, sources indicate that day is inevitable. The Dolphins do indeed plan to start Rosen in multiple games this year, regardless of whether it is next week or not.
The reason is the team wants to see if he can progress and improve and become something of a dividend on the second- and fifth-round picks the team invested on him in acquiring him from the Arizona Cardinals.