Same Old Problems Still Showing Up

There wasn't much that Dolphins coach Tony Sparano liked about his team's 24-6 loss against the Jets on Monday night. Once again, the Dolphins failed to score touchdowns in the red zone, coming up shot on three trips.

Once again, there was ineptitude and poor execution on third down. The Dolphins converted just one of their 11 third downs.

And once again, the defense — an expected strength entering the season — let the team down in key moments.

The one thing Sparano did appreciate, though, was his team's effort. Though the Dolphins appeared sluggish as the score became more lopsided during the second half, Sparano didn't see it that way.

"I would tell you that effort (on Monday) night was not the issue," Sparano said Tuesday. "Effort, enthusiasm, (the) physical nature of the game ... none of those things were a part of the problem.

"I really thought the guys played hard last night."

But, again, the Dolphins lost. Their 0-5 start is their worst since they started the 2007 season 0-13. The Dolphins finished 1-15 that season.

The Dolphins appear headed for a similarly disastrous season unless they can change things they haven't been able to change all year. From the season-opening defeat against the Patriots until now, the same problems continue to haunt the Dolphins.

Stalling in the red zone remains an issue, as does third-down efficiency, an area in which the Dolphins rank last in the NFL. And then there are the big plays allowed on defense.

"Honestly, I think that probably the thing that frustrates me the most is knowing the amount of work that these guys put in on the practice field to correct some of the things that we know hurt us," he said. "I sat here last week and I told you what we worked on. I mean, I was specific about it. ... We did this in the red area, we did this in third down, we did this.

"And then you go out there and you see those things haunt you (again)."


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