With two games left in the 2013 season, the Miami Dolphins had a clear shot at the playoffs. They were sitting at 8-6, fresh off of a victory against the New England Patriots, and had to win just one of their final two games against division rivals to have a very good chance at making the playoffs.
The Dolphins then did something you would completely expect from a post-Marino team. They dissolved like wet toilet paper. The Dolphins scored a total of seven points in their final two games including a shutout loss versus the Buffalo Bills, and allowed over 350 yards rushing.
That kind of choke-job usually doesn’t bode well for a head coach, and now Dolphins owner Steve Ross must look at the men he has running his organization and ask himself if they are capable enough. Joe Philbin is an offensive-minded coach who was the coordinator of a prolific Green Bay Packers offense from 2007-2011. The Packers’ offense was top-10 in the NFL for points scored and total yards in every one of those seasons, including their Super Bowl season.
His resume spoke for itself upon his hiring, with the only asterisk being on his play-calling because Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy called the plays. Nonetheless, Philbin designed an offense that was a step above the rest of the league. But was he a leader of men?
Philbin’s resume makes 2013’s collapse over the final two games look even worse as you expect someone with such a creative offensive would be able to have his team produce more than seven points in the two games which meant the most keeping the season going.
Over the last two years, Philbin’s Dolphins have only scored 18.9 points per game. Of course, it cannot be overlooked that Philbin had Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay and Ryan Tannehill in Miami.
No matter what growth you’ve seen in the 2013 season, it cannot be denied that it was a failure as the Dolphins should have made the AFC playoffs. Philbin, Jeff Ireland and Mike Sherman are close to building something good down in Miami, but with the debacle to end the season, it’s not out of line to say someone has to go.
It could be Philbin for not being able to lead his group of men to the promised land, Sherman for being the coordinator behind the offense which scored only seven points in the final two games and making many questionable decisions in his play-calling, or Ireland for providing too many holes for the Dolphins’ coaches to patch.
That is for Ross to decide, and with today being Black Monday in the NFL, the men running Ross’s organization better hope he is feeling forgiving.