The Tape Don’t Lie, as Adam Gase says.
And no, no it did not lie. There was so much ugly tape in the 6-10 Miami Dolphins season.
Hey, a few good moments here or there. But not enough.
Let’s take a look back at the most revealing observations The Daily Dolphin made in The Tape Don’t Lie during 2017, and how it played out:
Week 1: Dolphins 19, Chargers 17
Headline: “No other way to put it: Laremy Tunsil struggled as a pass-blocker.”
What we said: “If Laremy Tunsil makes the Pro Bowl, the Dolphins Ring of Honor or the Hall of Fame, there won’t be any highlights from this game… Tunsil had a false start on the second offensive play of Miami’s season and it didn’t get better from there.”
How it played out: Tunsil didn’t seem locked in during the spring and summer and it hardly got better throughout the season. It needs to get much better in 2018 and there’s no reason it can’t.
Week 2: Jets 20, Dolphins 6
Headline: “Jay Cutler looked like a rusty, 34-year-old quarterback who figured he’d be broadcasting football games this year.”
What we said: “For all the praise heaped upon Cutler after his performance at the Los Angeles Chargers last week, heavy doses of criticism are warranted after this performance… Cutler at times appeared skittish. Cutler was inaccurate. He failed to set his feet. Some passes sailed high. Some bounced short.”
How it played out: Well, you know. This was Bad Jay. And this was what we call “foreshadowing.”
Week 4: Dolphins 16, Titans 10
Headline: “Credit first-year DC Matt Burke for varied formations and aggressive blitz packages.”
What we said: “There was a notion last season that Miami ‘should’ be able to get enough pressure with their well-compensated front four. And perhaps that may be the case. But the best defenses are also willing to bring pressure from anywhere at any time, and Burke pulled all the right strings on Sunday.”
How it played out: Burke, like Miami’s defense, had his share of ups and downs. The year of experience should help.
Week 6: Dolphins 31, Jets 28
Headline: “Enduring Cameron Wake still accelerates like a Lamborghini and pounces like a Tiger.”
What we said: “There are times that what Cam Wake does, as he closes in on 36 years of age, defies logic and common sense. In the first quarter, on a second-and-9 at the Jets’ 40, Josh McCown escaped the pocket and began to roll right. Wake had McCown in his sights, but was a full six yards away. Wake then accelerated like a Lamborghini and pounced on McCown like a tiger.”
How it played out: Wake, 35, topped 10 sacks in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career.
Week 7: Ravens 40, Dolphins 0
Headline: “Miami cannot win if Jay Ajayi and the running game is not fixed.”
What we said: “Ajayi gained 21 yards on his first carry and then totaled two yards on the final 12 carries of his day. TWO yards. Ten of Ajayi’s 13 carries were for one yard or less. Impossible to defend. Almost impossible to explain. Let’s start with Ajayi, who, as Gase has said repeatedly recently, must take what the defense gives him, even if it’s only three or four yards. Too often, Ajayi has tried to make something bigger happen when it isn’t there.”
How it played out: Two days later, Ajayi was gone, dumped for a fourth-round pick.
Week 8: Raiders 27, Dolphins 24
Headline: “Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams can be exciting, explosive weapons.”
What we said: “Drake has the ability to exhilarate with his blinding speed. This adds a dimension that Ajayi just did not offer. This is why Drake, given 10-14 carries in any given game, is likely to pop at least one for 40 or more, driving up his yards-per-carry average. Miami needed more big plays.”
How it played out: Drake ended up tied for fifth among NFL running backs at 4.8 yards per carry.
Week 10: Bucs 30, Dolphins 20
Headline: “Miami takes penalties at the entirely worst possible moments.”
What we said: “Gase may have vomited when doing his own “The Tape Don’t Lie” review on Sunday evening. On a third-and-goal at the Bucs’ 3-yard line, Mike Pouncey false starts, creating a third-and-8 situation, an incompletion and a field goal. Then, later in the third, down 20-10 and with a third-and-7 at the Tampa 8-yard line, Laremy Tunsil false starts! Oy vey.”
How it played out: The Dolphins were second-worst in the NFL in penalty yards. This must be corrected.
Week 11: Patriots 35, Dolphins 17
Headline: “The 2017 Miami Dolphins highlight tape should be called, ‘My bad. I thought you had him.'”
What we said: “It must be extraordinarily frustrating to be a Dolphins offensive lineman or defensive back. It must be extremely frustrating to be a Dolphins offensive line coach or defensive backs coach. Or the play-caller. Or the defensive coordinator. They all must be banging their heads against the wall.”
How it played out: The confusion exhibited this night in the secondary and offensive line were very embarrassing. Thankfully, it didn’t get any worse than this for Miami.
Week 12: Dolphins 35, Broncos 9
Headline: “Sign Jarvis Landry. Sign Jarvis Landry. Sign Jarvis Landry.”
What we said: “Landry cannot be allowed to get away. He plays without fear. He turns into a running back after the catch. He makes the extra yards. He knows how to reach the first-down marker. He is a competitor who produces and who brings the type of energy, passion and emotion that endears him to most every Dolphins fan, as well as his coaches and teammates.”
How it played out: The Dolphins want Landry back, not they just need to find a happy contract medium.
Week 13: Dolphins 27, Patriots 20
Headline: “Adam Gase challenged his players to execute perhaps every formation in Miami’s play book. And they did it well.”
What we said: “Gase used Kenyan Drake, Jarvis Landry, Jakeem Grant, MarQuies Gray and Anthony Fasano at running back, fullback and H-back. He used Landry and Grant together in the backfield. He even lined up Laremy Tunsil as a blocking receiver on one play! On a touchdown pass to Landry, Jay Cutler faked a toss to Drake, who was lined up at receiver, then rolled to his right to hit Landry in the flat.”
How it played out: This was Gase at his most creative and best. Miami needs more nights like this.
Week 14: Bills 24, Dolphins 16
Headline: “Charles Harris took advantage of his Sunday start, delivering pressure after pressure.”
What we said: “There was a first quarter play in which Harris showed off the athleticism that made him a first-round pick. It was a third down and he was allowed to run free, because the tackle was moving forward to set up a screen pass from Tyrod Taylor. But Harris got to Taylor so quickly in the backfield, and was leaping at him like a tiger.”
How it played out: Some of Miami’s younger players showed promise, including Harris and cornerbacks Cordrea Tankersley and Xavien Howard, who showed growth as their seasons progressed.