Miami Dolphins coaches studied the tape of the 43-0 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday evening and consideration was given to making a change at quarterback. The topic was discussed and might continue to be weighed in the hours ahead when a game plan for the Dallas Cowboys game is pieced together.
But make no mistake, whatever the decision, it’s not going to change much of anything.
There currently seems to be no scenario where the Dolphins’ quarterback can win. So it doesn’t really matter if it’s veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick or second-year backup Josh Rosen.
Fitz or Rosen.
Rosen or Fitz.
It’s not going to be good, folks.
It really isn’t about them anymore. Everyone should understand that now. On its face, the Dolphins seem to desperately need a quarterback change.
Fitzpatrick through two games has completed 25 of 50 passes (50 percent completion) for 274 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. The horrible resulting 39.9 quarterback rating screams a benching is necessary.
Dan freakin’ Marino could not play well under the circumstances Fitzpatrick has been put in. No one can.
This is what the Dolphins are asking Fitzpatrick to do: Go out behind substandard blocking that will give you very little if any time, dissect the defense, avoid the rush, find an open receiver and make an accurate throw — except the receivers often aren’t open and even when everything else goes right, sometimes those guys are going to drop passes thrown right in their hands.
That’s the assignment of playing quarterback for the Miami Dolphins this season.
So when Fitz throws a perfect 50-50 ball that travels maybe 55 yards in the air and lands right in DeVante Parker’s hands, he drops it.
And when Fitz delivers a routine pass to Kalen Ballage in the flat, the running back bobbles the pass in his hands up into the air. And New England linebacker Jamie Collins snatches the ball out of the air with one hand and runs the gift interception 69 yards for a touchdown.
“There’s a lot of different things that go on,” Fitzpatrick said solemnly after Sunday’s loss. “Some of those are — you hate to pass blame around. As a quarterback, you try to get the ball out. You try to get yourself in the best position. There are a lot of things, I think, that I could do better in that regard.”
I really like this guy. Love him, actually.
If the Dolphins were on track to compete this season, he would be the perfect, perfect backup. He leads. He works. He knows his place. He competes. He doesn’t bow to problems when problems are evident everywhere else — at least not publicly.
But he’s in an impossible situation.
And the situation would not change if Rosen were in the lineup.
Rosen, with greater arm talent but much less experience and quickness in dissecting a defense, might be more interesting to watch. On Sunday he came into the game and started slinging it — completing a 24-yard pass to tight end Durham Smythe, and taking a shot with a perfect bomb to Jakeem Grant down the right sideline.
“I just wanted to go in and provide some kind of positive for us to come in after the game,” Rosen said. “They put me out there to try and throw touchdowns, so that’s what I tried to do. Obviously you never want to throw a pick in the last second of a game, but it’s all a learning experience. I think I threw some good ones and some bad ones. We’ll watch the film.”
This is what the film will say when Rosen watches it: Helllllllpppppp!!!!!
That dime Rosen threw to Grant? It would have been a touchdown. But Grant dropped it.
And that moment when Rosen seemed to injure his ankle on the New England sideline? He was over there because he was trying to avoid the constant pressure of the Patriots pass rush.
The Patriots had seven sacks in Sunday’s game. And this is unlikely to stop unless the Dolphins are adding multiple Pro Bowl-caliber linemen in the next couple of days. Unless the Dolphins are adding receivers who get open more quickly. Unless, you know, everything else changes.
So making that change at quarterback — which the Dolphins have been evaluating — is really about changing one player but not changing the results.
Now a radical suggestion: The team is in full-fledged sell mode now. We know this. So make either Rosen or Fitzpatrick available in trade.
And if someone offers a return on that No. 2 pick Miami invested in Rosen during the last draft, take it immediately! (Hard to believe anyone will).
And if anyone offers a No. 5 or No. 6 for Fitz, do him the solid of taking it. Because he deserves better than this. And having an extra pick never hurts.
The purists would argue that would hurt the Dolphins this season. The purists would argue it would hinder the team from having an effective offense the rest of the year.
Shut up, purists.
The team got shut out Sunday. Indeed, the offense gave up two touchdowns in a 43-point loss. So make the best of this tough situation and get something in return for these guys that can be used in next year’s draft.
The current situation does not seem salvageable. Try to salvage the future.