The Dolphins took the long flight back from London after another gut-wrenching loss to run the streak to five games. Today, we look at where it went wrong, positive signs going forward, and the fallout from a 1-5 start.
As always, for further analysis, download the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield.
1. Justifiable Disappointment
"Disappointed. These guys work hard and prepare hard to compete. They do a lot of the right things. It's disappointing to not get the results and do a lot of the right things."
Those were Head Coach Brian Flores' thoughts following a fifth-straight loss for Miami. Disappointment can be a difficult emotion to process, as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa echoed in his post-game press conference.
"We lost," he said. "It's tough to kind of critique how I performed or how any of our guys performed. You know, right now, just it's tough in the locker room right now. Take a look at that when we get back to Florida."
Nobody could've envisioned a 1-5 start to this season that began with so much anticipation.
The arrival at this juncture is a concoction of critical mistakes at the most inopportune times. The Dolphins are playing with small margins -- without the starting quarterback for four games, without the top two cornerbacks in the game yesterday -- and they've not been able to overcome that limited room for error, not even close.
Drive killers like penalties and dropped passes encourage a conservative approach that compounds a defense that has fallen way off the production they enjoyed a year ago and it's the perfect formula for one victory in six starts.
2. Biggest Offensive Output of the Season
Tua Tagovailoa wouldn't evaluate his own performance post-game, so we'll do it for him. His 329 yards was the second-highest total of his career. He also converted on third and fourth down 10 times (two via the ground) and showed a positive command of the offense when he checked from a running play to a glance route to Jaylen Waddle that produced a touchdown.
Not all mistakes elude Tagovailoa, however, just 12 games into his pro career. On balance this season, he's been sharp, but both of his full games are attached to tough-to-process interceptions -- a throw that Tua owned as a play he never should've made. He also chose to attempt a pass when a clear path to a rushing first down was in front of him, though he converted the ensuing fourth down with a 20-yard rip to Mack Hollins.
The Dolphins 431 total yards of offense was the fifth-highest total for Miami dating back to 2017 and 101 yards more than the previous high of 2021 (Week 3 in Las Vegas, 330 yards of offense). It was the fifth-highest offensive output in the last five years for the Dolphins.
3. Defense Still Searching for its Footing
Jacksonville had one of their better offensive outputs in recent showings as well. The 23 points scored were the most under the Urban Meyer-led Jaguars and the 396 total yards were the second-most. Miami was down Xavien Howard and Byron Jones on the defensive side and rookie Trevor Lawrence went to work. He produced his second-highest total (319 yards) and single-game passer rating of the season (93.4).