Another year, another disappointing December loss. This one hurts especially badly as it was a smackdown handed to the Miami Dolphins by a less talented Buffalo Bills team who was playing their third-string quarterback and was without their top three receivers for most of the game.
The game also came exactly one week after the Dolphins beat the New England Patriots for the first time in years, and with Dolphins riding hopes and talk of playoffs all week, they came out and laid an egg in Buffalo. The loss was so predictable and Dolphins-like that the only way you knew you weren’t watching a replay from the 2009 or 2010 was the new logo on the side of the helmet.
But this 2013 squad was supposed to be different. Miami had seen so many teams make it to this point, only to fizzle out and fill fans with sorrow. This was the year the Dolphins finally made the playoffs and got back into national attention with their young star Ryan Tannehill leading the way. That is why this loss hurts so badly. The Dolphins were embarrassed in a game which they were supposed to prove their worth.
It’s another year of being so close yet so far, and while the Dolphins are not mathematically eliminated from the AFC playoffs, they need a lot of help to get in.
With the way the Dolphins played against the Bills (zero points, 103 yards of offense greatly helped by Matt Moore‘s 50-yard bomb), saying the Dolphins will win next week against the New York Jets is now a ridiculous statement. However, that’s what happens when you lose games you were supposed to win. People don’t trust you. You fall into a hole of mediocrity.
For the Dolphins, it’s another offseason of climbing, trying to get out of that hole of mediocrity which they have made a home.
Thad Lewis secured his second win in spot duty playing for an injured E.J. Manuel. Lewis also secured his second win against the Dolphins this season. He was just effective enough to keep the Bills’ offense on the field for most of the game, and the Bills’ running game did the rest as it was dominant against the Dolphins.
The Dolphins got pushed around on both sides of the ball. The Bills were simply more physical. With the win, the Bills swept the Dolphins for the first time since 2007.
The Dolphins let their playoff opportunity slip, broke a franchise records for sacks allowed in a season, let the same backup quarterback beat them twice in a season and scored zero points on Sunday. To say it was a disappointment would be an understatement. The Dolphins, once again, let an opportunity slip through their fingers — only this time it hurts worse because things were supposed to be different.