The Dolphins suffered a heart-breaking loss to the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars on a game-winning field goal from kicker Matthew Wright.
Miami’s offense started out looking great with a 75-yard drive where they spread the ball around and ended up in the end zone. Jaylen Waddle caught four passes on the drive and wasn’t heard from for the rest of the half, and that’s part of the reason they started to struggle. Two field goal drives and two punts stemmed from poor play-calling and decision-making, encapsulated by Tagovailoa’s decision to throw on a third-and-two instead of run.
Their defense, early on, was solid. Playing against one of the worst offenses in the league means Miami would have to shut them down to get credit for their play, and they did that for the most part. Trevor Lawrence threw a late touchdown to Marvin Jones Jr. with Noah Igbinoghene in coverage. The coverage was solid, but it was just a great throw and adjustment by the quarterback and wide receiver.
Jacksonville came out of the halftime break and benefitted from a helmet-to-helmet call on Jevon Holland that didn’t appear to have any intent. That led to James Robinson shoving the ball down Miami’s throat which was the one thing they had to prepare to stop.
The Dolphins finally forced a turnover on the Jaguars’ second drive when Lawrence’s former teammate Christian Wilkins strip-sacked the quarterback, and the ball was recovered by Zach Sieler. However, they got nothing out of it with Tagovailoa throwing an interception on the next play.
Miami’s offense started to get things going in the second half, as they forced the ball to Waddle and Mike Gesicki. They were the ones who were the drive-starters throughout this game. That trend needs to continue in the future if they want to win going forward.
Brian Flores challenged two called in the fourth quarter, that were questionable decisions. The first was on an incomplete pass that upon the first review was easy to determine that it wouldn’t be overturned. The second challenge came on a potential muffed punt by Jacksonville. There was never a chance that they were going to change the call.
In the end, their play-calling cost them this game, as the Dolphins ran the ball out of shotgun on fourth-and-one and were stopped short, giving the Jaguars short field. That’s a play call that just can’t be made.
Something has to change. You can’t lose that game to that team. Flores, George Godsey, Tagovailoa, all have to be evaluated. This was a must-win, and it’s the turning point in the season.