Fins Fan Focus: Could a Carpenter Fix it?

With the Dolphins fourth loss of the season to the New England Patriots on Sunday, fans are beginning to lose hope in the team they thought was completely rejuvenated and rebuilt.

Matt Moore Dolphins from Dallas v Miami HOF game Aug 4 2013The Dolphin’s Sunday loss (27-17) could not have been more horrendous. Miami came out strong in the first half, protecting Tannehill with their new addition to the team, OT Bryant McKinnie. Then, when it looked the Dolphins could actually pull off a triumphant win over the swollen-handed Tom Brady brigade, the third quarter struck. The Fins managed to blow a 14 point lead in the matter of minutes.

Why did the Dolphins lose such a huge lead when they looked they could hold their own? Fins Nation seems to have an answer to that question and it rests on the shoulders of both Ryan Tannehill and the offensive team as a whole.

One fan with the twitter handle @ToneOzMIA said that “squandering a 17-3 lead isn’t on a rookie Kicker. Offense stalled. RT sack made the FG longer as well. Stu shouldn’t hang his head.” This is absolutely correct and interesting to hear from a fan base that tends to blame a sole player for the team’s losses. Just last week the Miami fan base was up in arms over the T, Tyson Clabo. Caleb Strugis has a powerful leg and the entire offensive unit does not depend on him. It is Ryan Tannehill and the offensive unit’s job to carry the ball down field, placing the football at least within a manageable kicking distance. It seems that most of Sturgis’ kicks are set up from at least 47 yards back and during Sunday’s game, he did nail a 52-yarder. Overall for the season, Sturgis has made 11 field goals with his longest being from 54 yards out. That is pretty impressive for a rookie who has already been put in multiple close call situations. Sturgis just needs to work on his kicking under pressure, which comes from playing the game.

@DolphinMick said  the “wind was unkind to him.  He’s a rookie kicker and needs to get consistent again,” which is also very true. The Dolphins brought Sturgis in for a reason and, although Dan Carpenter is looking pretty good right now to most Fins Fans, Sturgis will be with the team for a long time. Sturgis’ accuracy will come back once he regains confidence in himself. It is very hard to find rookies that have extreme poise their first year of NFL football, so needless to say, Sturgis is coming along decently.

Dolphins fans were also extremely skeptical of the penalty calls made during the game. @ToneOzMIA said there was “horrible calls by refs,” but the “team shouldn’t have placed themselves in a situation where those calls change the outcome of the game.” This is not the first time there has been questionable calling in an AFC East show down. Back in December of 2012, the Dolphins played the Buffalo Bills, in which the penalties were more in favor of the Dolphins.

The truth of the matter is, the Dolphins win as a team and lose as a team, so no one person can be to blame for the loss. As another Fin Fan, @CourtneyNBC6 joked, “a 7-sack day for Ryan Tannehill. Everyone on that OLINE needs to send that man an edible arrangement.” She even went on to conclude the tweet with #33in7games, which is now Tannehill’s sack count. This count is among the highest in the NFL at this point in the season. Whether these sacks are due to the breakdown of the O-line, Tannehill remaining in the pocket too long, or New England’s pride coursing through their defensive unit, the Dolphins need to fix this problem.

Fins fans are relentless and unforgiving most of the time, but it needs to be understood that the team is still rebuilding. We as fans cannot expect the Dolphins to come out, a year after spending the most money they have in a long time, and win the Super bowl or the conference title. The best we can do is keep rooting for the Dolphins and hope they continue to improve as opposed to spiraling downward. The Dolphins go on to face the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night football where they will face a tough defense. The Bengals D is one of the highest scoring fantasy football defenses in the league and their WR Marvin Jones is coming off of a four TD game. May the best team win and hopefully Miami will have pulled themselves together enough to at least put up a hard fight.


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