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Rich Rodriguez, Phinfever, Miami DolphinsThe Good

Christian Wilkins and Jaelan Phillips were incredible and kept the Dolphins in the game. Wilkins consistently beat his man to make tackles or pressure the QB. Phillips SHOULD have had two sacks, but a crap roughing the passer call no one agreed with wiped one away. It is a shame the defense had to spend almost 40 minutes of playclock time and 78 plays on the field.

The Bad

The offense, specifically the offensive coaching, was piss poor. The 49ers put the blueprint out there on how to slow down the passing game. In fact, Kyle Shanahan telegraphed the strategy before the game by calling out how well the Dolphins attack the middle of the field. The Chargers took that blueprint and expanded it by basically having their linebackers drop back 15-19 yards or parking a safety in the middle of the field, even if there was playaction or an RPO. The Chargers did not respect the run and did not respect the short or outside passing game and the playcalling on offense continued to go towards attacking 20-30 yards downfield. So I'm not going to blame the offensive line, except for again not being able to run block. I'm not going to blame the receivers. They were getting bumped around. I'm not going to blame the quarterback, unless he willfully continued to throw 20-30 yards downfield against his head coach's wishes. You saw the Chargers throw screens, outside quick passes etc etc to counter the Dolphins offense. The Dolphins seemed to continue going to the same cookie jar til just about the last drive of the game.

Long story short, McDaniel is a great motivator and good at establishing a culture. His game day Xs and Os and situational decisions need some work. He was outcoached by the Chargers.

Also, to‌ win these road games in the future, the Dolphins need to build a running game. It's what wins in weather, in the playoffs and on the road. That doesn't seem like something that will happen this year.

The Ugly

The officiating was pretty bad. It was a clear offensive pass interference when Mike Williams caught that jump ball over X. X was playing the ball the whole way and all of a sudden found himself being pushed to the ground. The roughing the passer call on Phillips was absolutely horrible. What else, literally, is he supposed to do? Hate to blame the officials, but man, those were some bad calls.

Overall

And here we go, the schedule gets tougher and the losses start coming. Now the Dolphins have to go to Buffalo on a short week and play the Bills in cold weather. After the number they did on Mike White, I'm hoping the Dolphins do a better job of protecting Tua. After the Bills, the games become more winnable and the Dolphins still have a good shot at making the playoffs. But this is turning from a season where we're excited to be in first place to a season where we're hoping we don't poop the bed and miss the playoffs.

At least we're back to that, which is better than where we've been the past few years.

Next Game

2022 Week 19 / Playoffs: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, 1 pm EST, CBS

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