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Friday, 12 December 2014

Is the Dolphins Joe Philbin on the Hot Seat?

The Dolphins may be singing the same old song this season if they cannot make the playoffs.

After losses to Denver and Baltimore, with a victory over the Jets sandwiched in the middle, the tem stands pat at 7-6 with the Patriots hitting their stride right about now as the end of the season gets closer. Can the Dolphins afford to miss the playoffs and not witness a shakeup in the front office or with the coaching staff?

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald thinks another lost playoff spot could mean the end of the Joe Philbin era in south Florida.

The impact of this 28-13 home defeat against the Baltimore Ravens felt greater than the final margin. It felt like there could be a ripple effect.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill referred to “the opportunity we let slip.”

Defensive star Cameron Wake called the manner in which Miami lost this game “a little mind-blowing.”

The Patriots could be the final nail in the coffin for Philbin, who was given a reprieve of sorts last season amid a year that was turn upside down on and off the field.

The Dolphins beat New England in the first game of the season 33-20, but almost three months later, times have changed. The Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL, possibly the best team in the AFC, and could represent the conference in the Super Bowl.

Sunday’s game against the Ravens was a show of how the usually strong Miami defensive imploded as did the offense, again.

The Miami defense collapsed, impressively forcing three consecutive Ravens punts to begin the game and thereafter being helplessly gouged for length-of-the field touchdown drives of 97, 75, 80 and 81 yards.

The offense collapsed, jumping to an early 10-0 lead and then playing the final three quarters as if the end zone was a mysterious foreign land to which no transportation or map existed.

As Cote points out, Losses like this get coaches like Philbin fired. You have to figure this loss will weigh a ton as owner Stephen Ross weighs whether to make a change. You also have to note the irony that the coach who beat Philbin on Sunday, John Harbaugh, is the brother of the coach who could end up replacing Philbin in Miami, Jim Harbaugh.

That is pure speculation, but Harbaugh was a contender for the Dolphins job before and should it open, he could be at the top of the list again.

After the Patriots, the Dolphins finish the season with two home games versus the Vikings and the Jets. Miami should be favored in those two games, but should it lose to the Patriots on Sunday, would 9-7 – which is a one-game improvement from last season – be enough to keep Philbin in aqua and orange next season?

That’s the decision team owner Stephen Ross will have to make.


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