By Byler Henry
The Dolphins were involved in an intense battle Sunday and nearly came away with the victory against the defending Super Bowl champions. The Chiefs won 33 to 27, but it was not an easy win. Miami’s defense played a good game yesterday, getting pressure on Mahomes, sacking him 3 times, and getting 3 interceptions off him. It was an incredible feat to hang in with such a good team. In the third quarter, the Chiefs built a 30 to 10 lead and it looked like it was going to be a blowout, but Miami was able stay focused and mount up points to cut into the lead.
The game plan Sunday seemed to be to pressure Mahomes and make him uncomfortable in the pocket, and that is what Miami did in the first half. In the second half, they were able to get pressure, but Mahomes is an exceptional quarterback who still managed to complete 70.6% of his passes (24 of 34) for 393 yards and two touchdowns. Miami’s defense was able to hold the Chiefs to only 14 points in the first half keeping it close by having 10 points. They were also able to hold the Chiefs to only 80 yards rushing. Head Coach Brian Flores offered his thoughts on how the defense played, “The turnovers were good. I think we played well in spurts. It’s a good offense, so they moved it, moved the ball at times, especially that last drive, got enough yards to kick the field goal and really stretched the lead. We made some plays. I thought the guys played hard. I thought we executed, again, in spurts, but against a team like that, one misalignment, one miscommunication, and they take advantage. That was the case today.” Coach Flores was able to have the team ready to play; if a few mistakes go the other way Dolphins could have won this game.
With each game as more and more responsibilities are being added to Tua’s plate, he will continue to get better. This young rookie was faced with a comeback test this game and almost passed. He completed 28 of 48 passes (58.3%) for 316 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception; however, he was sacked 4 times. Although he has to raise his passing percentage, he completed 65% (13 of 20) of his passes Sunday in the 4th quarter. Quarterback Tua on the Dolphins 4th quarter. “It hurts a lot to come up short. Like I said, what we want to do is we want to win the ball game at the end of the game. We want to score one more point than the opposing team, which we obviously didn’t. But I think the defense gave us many opportunities – not just in the third quarter, some in the fourth quarter as well – but offensively we didn’t execute the way we should have, and I know a lot of that falls down on me with the leadership with these guys in the third quarter. Not taking what the defense is giving me, just pretty much plain rookie mistakes and you can’t do that against a Super Bowl-caliber team like the Chiefs. So a lot of the execution really started from me, and I think our guys played their butts off. Offensively on the o-line, they played their butts off. The receivers played their butts off. It was really just me executing with the guys.”
With three games left this season, this loss drops the Dolphins to 8-5, but they are still not out of it. The Colts have the 6th seed at 9-4, but if they lose their remaining games and Dolphins win their three they should make it. The Dolphins have the Patriots at home, Raiders and Bills on the road. Buffalo leads the AFC East division at 10-3. I see the Dolphins winning out, finishing the season at 11-5. Let’s Go Dolphins.