It’s going to get worse before it gets better as in the Dolphins season.
The 2017 Dolphins nightmare season is nearly over and Adam Gase can breathe a sigh of relief that his quarterback, Ryan Tannehill will be back.
For everything that Jay Cutler did today, his receivers-Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills coughed up fumbles.
Just when it looked like the Dolphins offense was going to take off in the first half and Cutler found a rhythm, penalties and bonehead mistakes cost the team.
Never mind Ndamukong Suh’s neutral zone infractions.
Two fumbles at critical moments in the game sealed the game and the division for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Surely, the Dolphins would still be in the playoff hunt if not for the loss today.
Jay Cutler, the supposed cure-all of the Dolphins issues finished with a stronger game-one touchdown-no interceptions and 286 yards passing. Clearly Cutler, who came in 7-0 versus the Chiefs might have a better day if not for turnovers.
Cutler, surprisingly made some better throws downfield and as fans, we saw the length of DeVante Parker and craftiness of Kenny Stills and up and coming receiver-Jakeem Grant who scored his second career TD on a wide receiver screen-for 65 yards.
Grant, if you remember in the off-season worked on his return game and has now shown on film-reasons to fear his ability as a game-breaking player (Bill Belichick takes note).
What’s most unfortunate about this Dolphins’ season is that head coach Adam Gase didn’t feature Grant like he did in the last preseason game when Grant caught deep passes from David Fales.
I’m sure he’s kicking himself about not starting Kenyan Drake until finally sending Ajayi packing to Philly.
While the pressure will certainly be turned up on Adam Gase to turn things around from a six or seven win season, look no further than the bright spots-Grant, Kenyan Drake, and hopefully Landry makes his money and re-signs with the Dolphins.
Today’s game had the drama of most games except for the beloved 3rd and 24 where Cutler fired a pass well-above the head of Jakeem Grant-hospital ball if you will-and nearly took out his best weapon on offense.
The pass drew the ire of Landry who yelled at Gase and walked off the field continuing to yell as the Dolphins settled for a field goal they eventually missed.
This will be the talk of Miami as the fans will have fun with the jawing back and forth as alpha-personalities clashed between Gase and Landry. A lot of f-bombs were flying, much to the chagrin of CBS cameras who cut away quickly.
Ask the Cowboys if they want to dump Dez Bryant because of his tirades.
The Dolphins clearly show that they need Landry judging by their lack of a run game and Landry provides that spark on short passes that get turned into first downs.
On the other side of the ball, Kiko Alonso showed his warts (sorry Omar).
Alonso was the favorite player to pick on for Alex Smith as he couldn’t cover Travis Kelce and struggled to get a grasp on running back Kareem Hunt who didn’t have a good game, but did just enough to be effective, carrying the load for 91 yards on 23 carries. It will be interesting what PFF-Miami comes up with as a grade of Alonso-clearly inept in coverage situations this season.
Watching Kelce though, he’s next. He’s next after Rob Gronkowski and probably could have as good if not a better career than Gronkowski. What Kelce does in space is incredible and in the red zone, his hands, body control, and his ability to get the 50/50 ball, I’m flat-out amazed at his talent.
Finally, while I have a healthy respect for the Chiefs, I’m enamored by what Alex Smith has become.
Under Andy Reid he’s lead the Chiefs to two division championships.
Smith has boasted a career 4:2 TD to interception ratio (5:1 this season), 31,584 yards, 23 game winning drives, 62.5% completion percentage (higher in KC 65 to 59.3 in SF).*
The fact that Jim Harbaugh gave up on Smith in year 2 and jettisoned him for a second round pick, speaks volumes that Harbaugh can’t evaluate a QB settling on Kaepernick instead. Don’t give me that recruited Andrew Luck, his biggest recruiting war-he lost to Elway for Peyton Manning!
Smith can play and to ignore what he’s done in KC would be ridiculous.
He’s up there with the top 10 QBs and still has mileage left if KC moves on this offseason.
Weren’t the naysayers laughing when Smith couldn’t throw a deep ball nor get a red zone TD nor beat Denver?
How many of those same pundits believe in Alex Smith now?**
As the Miami Dolphins pick up the pieces on this crappy season, one thing is clear-changes are a-coming and many players are fighting for their jobs in week 17 who have a chance to spoil the Buffalo Bills playoff chances.
“Merry Christmas to all-and to all a goodnight.”***
*Football Reference stats-Google search Alex Smith.
**Fun pro -Alex Smith rant for my pal Stephanie Roets-huge KC fan.
***Christmas Vacation is my favorite movie of all time.
Photo credit: Palm Beach Post