Instant analysis of Dolphins’ fifth loss in as many weeks

For the fifth week in a row, the Miami Dolphins were handed a defeat, this time by the New England Patriots, 23-21, at Gillette Stadium.

Miami entered this game without Tua Tagovailoa, Terron Armstead, Xavien Howard and Bradley Chubb as all four were dealing with various ailments throughout the week. However, going against a Patriots team that was also dealing with injuries, they should’ve been more competitive in this game.

Teddy Bridgewater really only had two drives that with some semblance of success, but one of them started on the opponent’s side of the field due to poor punting from former Dolphin Michael Palardy.

In total, Bridgewater completed 12 of his 19 attempts for 161 yards and a touchdown and a pick-six before suffering a finger injury that took him out of this game.

He was replaced by seventh-round rookie Skylar Thomspon, who continued to show his struggles as a rookie. Thompson completed just 12 of his 21 attempts for 104 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He did, however, throw the touchdown to Mike Gesicki on his last attempt of the contest.

While Miami finally committed to the running game, 27 rushes for 86 yards and a touchdown, which was actually a pass behind the quarterback to Tyreek Hill, it didn’t mean a whole lot without the threat of the passing game.

Defensively, the Dolphins allowed just 16 points despite all of the injuries. Even safety Jevon Holland, who entered the game as the only true healthy starter in the secondary, left for some time.

Allowing over 4.0 yards per attempt on the ground, Miami wasn’t doing enough to force Mac Jones, who has been shaky this season, to make mistakes that they could capitalize on. They also allowed a touchdown to Jakobi Meyers with only linebacker Duke Riley in coverage, which is an inexcusable mistake.

As for special teams, once again, a 51-yard field goal that Jason Sanders missed, his only attempt of the game, ended up being the difference. His inconsistencies have been one of the most infuriating aspects of the season.

On top of the poor play all over, head coach Mike McDaniel needs to be put under the microscope for his team’s penalties and poor time management. There were simply too many unforced errors, making this game much more for a team that was hampered.

After the loss, Miami’s playoff chances will take a serious dip.

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Story originally appeared on Dolphins Wire