There were “Tua” chants in the end. There was also the coach, Brian Flores, talking afterward of the “resilience” of his team while basking in the radiance of a season sweep of New England.
If only it meant something.
If only the Dolphins had played like this when it actually mattered the previous week in Tennessee.
What kind of fun-fest would Sunday have been if the Dolphins knocked New England from the playoff perch, 33-24, while qualifying themselves?
That, folks, would have been something to be, “proud of this team, proud of their fight, their resilience,” as Flores said after Sunday’s game.
As it was, this was a hollow day, an empty season, right down to the chants for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who probably played his final game in a Dolphins uniform. That’s up to team owner Steve Ross. He hasn’t talked publicly in nearly two years, so it’s hard to know his thoughts on anything, much less how he feels about this rebuild having a fourth birthday party Monday with no playoff appearance.
The ball’s in your court, Steve.
Do you want to: a) Cut bait with Tua after two seasons; b) cut bait general manager Chris Grier for picking Tua in a three-year sacrifice of seasons; c) cut bait with Flores and move on to the object of your heart’s desire a decade ago in an apparently NFL-bound Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh; or d) all of the calamitous above?
You can make a case for each of them.
You can make the case for none.
You can wonder if Ross knows what to do, considering he’s had 12 years as owner with one playoff game.
You can also expect him to have Deshaun Watson on Line 1 any day now, too, considering that’s the position we were in at the Nov. 2 trade deadline. Has anything changed to change that idea? Has Ross considered what it would be like to have a face of the franchise who faces 22 sexual assault allegations?
Tua was great on Sunday’s opening drive, completing all seven passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. He then completed 55 yards of passes the rest of the day. He’s a guy right now. Just a guy. Is there something more there?
His bigger plays Sunday were with his feet, actual third-down runs he hadn’t shown an affection toward trying until the final minutes of the season.
“We wanted to end this season with a bang, that’s what we went out and did,” he said.
Well, if a fun but inconsequential win is a bang, that’s what it was.
“This season has been up and down for me and a lot of the guys,” he said. “We’ll see what the offseason has planned for us.”
Yes, here we are, the offseason. Again. You want to say its the most important offseason in years for the Dolphins, but that’s how it’s been the last three seasons.
Flores was asked a question Sunday about how it felt to be the second Dolphins coach to have a winning seasons in two of his first three years. Does it matter he didn’t make the playoffs in either season? He also was asked how it felt to sweep the Patriots for the Dolphins first time in 20 years. wouldn’t it have felt better if it meant the Dolphins were going to the playoffs instead of the Patriots?
Here’s a simple question for Flores: Was this a successful year?
“Every year is different,” Flores said by way of answering. “Every experience you learn from them, good or bad. That’s kind of how I try to approach everything. I’ve learned a lot this year about myself, this team, players on this team and the people in our building. That’s really what I take from it. … I’d like to think I’ve grown a little bit, but I hope that’s the case for everyone.”
That’s existential, man.
I was just expecting some perspective on having a good but ultimately meaningless Sunday in the bigger picture of a lost season. The goal was the playoffs. I mean, wasn’t it? Or has that bar become one too high for everyone?
Another season says goodbye as the chants of, “Tua,” echo. Does it matter another year was lost? Does Ross care? Or should we just celebrate nothing wins?
“It had its highs and it had its lows,” receiver Jaylen Waddle said of the season, a great one for him. “I don’t even have words for it. It was just new.”
He’s a rookie, bless him. All his seasons are ahead of him. But no rookie of the past 20 years has won a playoff game for the Dolphins. Sunday was fun. But imagine what it would have felt like if that win meant anything?
Source: Berkshire mont